How to Win Friends and Influence People (Without Changing Your Last Name to Carnegie)

By Lynn Bardowski


My Mom, Barbara Joy Cusack, could have written How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. Thinking I could glean a few tips on how to gain more friends, I picked up the book off our family room book shelf as I was about to enter High School. Many of the ideas resembled things my Mother had already taught me.

As I was doing research for my book, Success Secrets of a Million $ Party Girl, I found out that Dale Carnegie was really Dale Carnegey. Apparently, he changed his name so that he would be associated with another Carnegie at the time, multi millionaire Andrew Carnegie. Maybe that’s how Dale won friends and influenced people.

Three key lessons I learned from my Mom about winning friends and influencing people…and you won’t have to change your last name.



Women are masters at this technique. Just watch any woman convincing their husband they need a new piece of furniture. Mom taught me to never suggest a new idea when Dad was busy or stressed. She waited for a moment when he was relaxed and engaged in conversation. No wonder all the big deals are made during lunch and on the Golf Course. 

She had patience and asked my Dad for suggestions like, “What do YOU think we should do?” Planting seeds and using positive language so that his idea was what she had in mind in the first place. When was the last time you listened and asked your client for their input, feedback and ideas?


Empathy is defined as understanding of another ‘s situation, feelings, and motives. My Mom would emphasize often, “You never know what’s going on in someone’s life, or what their situation is, until you walk a mile in their shoes” Most of us rush to judgment quickly, assuming a client is not calling us back because they don’t want our business.

Worse yet, we get frustrated that we’re putting out all the effort and getting no return so we trash talk them in our mind (or out loud), thinking “I can’t believe that &#&@! is not calling me back!” Sound familiar? Take a minute and step in your Customer’s shoes. Maybe they had a bad day, week or month and you’re the last person they want to talk to. Or, they are just swamped with life. Let them know you’ll be there when they’re ready. It’s not always about YOU.



This was not a technique for making friends; this is who my Mother was. She was constantly buying cards and gifts for anyone that was in need, going the extra mile to extend a helping hand. Whether you send a card, tweet or write on someone’s FB wall, the sentiment is the same. You took the time to notice. I end every email to my team with the message, I Believe in YOU!

We all need someone in our corner, reminding us they believe in us and cheer us on to go for our dreams. My Mom’s belief in people landed her a dream job at the age of 60, working into her 70’s managing a Dental Office. She had a special corner in the waiting room where she created a monthly display to celebrate a season or occasion, recognizing Veterans during the month of May and a 911 Memorial in September, including photos and personal Memorabilia of employees and patients. She passed away a year and half ago and they continue Mom’s tradition at Marmora Family Dental, dedicating her corner not to a Holiday or a Season, but to a person. Barbara Joy Cusack. 



Winning friends and influencing people is not only the key to success, it’s the key to leaving a Legacy. 

Lynn Bardowski is a 22 year entrepreneur, new media author, national speaker and mentor. For insights on entrepreneurship, leadership and vision, follow her blog, milliondollarpartygirl.comand LIKE her FB page, You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.

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