By Phil Klutts
December 14, 2021

Personal success through “The Traveler’s Gift”

In "The Traveler's Gift," author Andy Andrews shares seven decisions that determine personal success.

The Traveler’s Gift

By Andy Andrews

I read The Traveler’s Gift between Christmas and New Year’s every year and have done this for the last several years. I first read Andy Andrews’ book after my business coach recommended it. We read a chapter each week and discussed its implications on my life. It is a powerful story, and the seven decisions outlined in the book are a great foundation for setting personal goals or New Year’s resolutions.

The Traveler’s Gift is not a business book, although it has had a significant impact on my professional career and ventures as an entrepreneur. The decisions and storyline of the book have helped me focus on priorities, take risks, and follow through on commitments. The values contained in the book are both an inspiration and a tactical path to finding success.

It’s written as a fable and opens as a successful professional finds his world crashing around him. He faces the loss of a job, family health problems, and financial distress creating an overburdening and seemingly inescapable path to ruin. David Ponder, the protagonist in the book is then taken on a journey through time to meet several successful figures. The results and takeaways are documented in the seven decisions.

These decisions are given to Ponder from all across time and locations. The time-travel and historical fiction make this book much less of a self-help book and more of an enjoyable story to read at bedtime. Andrews uses historical details and imagination to bridge together a fantastic storyline. Each decision fits the historical context from which it came.

The third decision says, “I am a person of action. I seize the moment. I choose now.” This decision comes from Colonel Joshua Chamberlin during the American Civil War. Chamberlin leads a heroic effort at the Battle of Gettysburg. Being ready to take action is a must in life-threatening situations of war, but it is also an advantage for personal and professional situations. I have seen this action-oriented mindset deliver great results in the business world.

The story continues until Ponder receives all seven decisions and then returns to his original time and place to put them into practice. It is a fitting end to the book as the reader now has to decide, just like Ponder, to put these decisions into practice.

I have found the individual decisions to not be earth-shattering in and of themselves. It is both the context and the compounding effect of all seven that make the most impact. Trying to put all seven into complete use at one time may end up with frustration and a loss of motivation. This is why I read the book every year. Without fail, there is some new business problem or personal situation going on that is put into better perspective by one of the decisions. I will use that decision to focus on my goals focus for the upcoming year.

You will enjoy this book as both a good story and as having solid, actionable advice for being a better person and professional.

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

In addition to being the co-owner of Edmond Business, Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.