Self-Publishing Book Spotlight: ‘The Pony Principles’ by Keith Elkins

Outskirts Press was founded and grown upon the principle of helping creators realize their greatest writing ambitions. Self-publishing a book is a major undertaking, and we’re proud of the work our authors do to create amazing literature and see it through to publication. So, it’s with pride that we take a moment each week to recognize one of the many authors of whom we’re so very proud in our Self-Publishing Book Spotlight.

This week we shine our  spotlight on self-published author Keith Elkins and his book, The Pony Principles: Lessons in Optimism Because of Adversity.

In The Pony Principles: Lessons in Optimism Because of Adversity, Outskirts Press author Kpony principleseith Elkins takes the metaphor of the pony from the positive, childlike perspective of anticipating the gift of a pony for one’s birthday and expands that idea into four simple, innovative principles by which one can make things happen in one’s life despite the influence of negative people or negative circumstances.

No matter what is occurring around a person, author Elkins writes, there is always a path to one’s goals if one is committed and on purpose. What one focuses on, expands. His four pony principles help one achieve the focused optimism necessary to carry through to one’s goals. One has to see the pony, feed the pony, train the pony and, finally, one has to ride the pony.

“Seeing” the proverbial pony is the start of one’s journey and involves concentrating on one’s goals, clarifying one’s vision and purpose and thereby strengthening one’s belief. In this first step one must also overcome any limiting notions one might have about one’s talent or one’s potential.

Elkins’ second principle, feeding the pony, concentrates not simply on the nurturing of one’s mind, body and spirit, but on the robust nourishing of them with a new way of processing one’s life experiences through “lifetime learning” and through exposure to people, places and ideas that help a person grow.

“Training” the pony, step three, is the work, the discipline, the practice necessary to actually make a lifelong change. If one’s life is worth living, it is worth training for, the author says, and training is, simply put, work.

Finally, in step four, one “rides” the pony. One mounts the animal and gives it a little kick. Rather than merely sitting around, looking at and daydreaming about what one wants, one actually gets on the pony and follows through to one’s goals with action. One moves forward with commitment and passion.

One then succeeds.


Keith Elkins is an entrepreneur, a martial arts educator and a motivational speaker. He is the president of Keith Elkins Enterprises, Inc., a human potential consulting company that offers presentations on leadership, team building, embracing change and developing programs for at-risk youth. Keith and his family live near Washington, DC.

For more information or to contact the author, visit:

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