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Book helps others catch wave

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BLOOMINGTON -- Bloomington author and entrepreneur Frank Lunn wants to help others surf a wave of success.

After dealing with the death of his father, his son's treatment for leukemia and a tour of military duty that earned him a Bronze Star, Lunn finished writing his second motivational book, "Carpe Aqualis!" The title is Latin for "seize the wave."

"I learned how to take very stressful situations and turn them into manageable situations. I want to share what I've learned the hard way," said Lunn, president of Kahuna Business Group Inc. of Bloomington. "If you don't get value out of this (book), I fear I've let you down. We achieve our victories through the victories of those we serve."

Beginning his entrepreneurial run, Lunn, 39, founded CMS Inc. in 1995, an ATM equipment sales and credit-card processing company headquartered at the old Chicago & Alton railroad yards on Bloomington's west side. Through CMS and its parent company, Kahuna Business Group, Lunn now employs 22 people.

In 2002, the Illinois State University graduate finished his first book, "Stack the Logs!" and formed another subsidiary, Kahuna Empowerment Inc. to publish it.

"Stack the logs was my dad's saying. 'Come on, son, stack the logs, keep making a little progress,'" Lunn explained.

"That was the right words at the right time," he added, pointing to the last birthday card his father sent him before his death in 2002. Lunn has it framed on his office wall.

"It wasn't until after my dad died that I got it. My dad never got to see me grow up," he said.

Shortly after starting "Stack the Logs!," Lunn found out his son Frankie, now 12, had leukemia, for which he's since been successfully treated. The book Lunn intended as his fulfillment of a dream to be a motivational writer became an escape from his own hardships.

"I just started writing the book for me," he said. "I'm probably the biggest beneficiary from these books."

That's not to say others can't benefit from them. Some people already are.

Through the Kahuna Charitable Foundation, another offshoot of Kahuna Business Group, the company donates 10 percent of Kahuna Empowerment revenue to Memphis-based St. Jude Children's Hospital for cancer research.

With about 20,000 copies of Lunn's first book sold, Kahuna has donated nearly $20,000.

"Our milestone goal is $1 million to St. Jude. That represents one day's operating expenses there," Lunn said of the hospital that helped his son.

Revenues from "Carpe Aqualis!," which is available at or though the official release isn't until January, also will benefit St. Jude. The book has a list price of $14.95.

Through his new book, Lunn hopes to share his company's ideals and modes for success with his readers. He calls the book an autobiography, not strictly about himself, but also the 22 co- workers who fuel his business ideas.

Lunn uses surfing as the metaphor for his writing, though he admits to being a much better businessman than amateur surfer. Waves constantly move and change, he said, so surfers must learn to react.

"Change is something that really stresses people out. People don't like change, but change is inevitable. If change comes your way, bring it on," he said.

The surfing metaphor also works because "a lot of people find fun in waves," Lunn said.

The books include a CD to listen to in the car. It's popular among Lunn's three children -- Frankie, 12, Matthew, 8, and Rachel, 7.

"They listen to the CDs. To me, I look at it (these books) as an important legacy," Lunn said. "I feel good about being genuine."

--------- "Carpe Aqualis!"

Businessman Frank Lunn of Bloomington has written his second motivational book, "Carpe Aqualis!," which is Latin for "seize the wave." Here are a few excerpts, which Lunn calls "Surf-Titudes:"

* "In life, there are only waves of challenges and opportunities. Both have the power to wipe you out or give you a tremendous ride. The only difference is in your approach."

* "The better surfer you are, the less you have to tell others. It is demonstrated in your actions and attitudes. The higher you go in any organization, the more humble you need to be."

* "Unfortunately, average people develop arrogance as they ascend the Stewardship Pyramid, which is completely contrary to partnership. Develop humility and a realization that, although you alone are responsible for you, no one ever climbs to the top alone."

* "Don't look at your peers as competition. Learn from them and help them be better surfers. This will enhance your skills and opportunities. Surfing with the best makes you a better surfer."

* "It is your world. It is your wave. Design it, build it, surf it, enjoy it, live it ... Carpe Aqualis!"

(C) 2005 The Pantagraph Bloomington, IL. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

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