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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Valley’s Terry Fossum, winner of ‘Kicking and Screaming’ reality show, writes best seller

By Cindy Hval For The Spokesman-Review

In 2017, when last we wrote about Terry Fossum, the Scoutmaster had just won the reality TV show “Kicking and Screaming,” splitting the $500,000 prize with his partner Natalie Casanova.

“Nobody was more surprised than I was,” he said of the win.

He hasn’t been resting on his laurels.

Four years ago, he contacted a local agent/acting coach. “I got a wild hair one day to see if I could act.”

It seems he can.

In 2021, he won Best Supporting Actor and Fan Favorite at the Christian Film Festival for his role in the movie “Agape.”

Meanwhile, he’d been brushing up a manuscript he’d written. In August, “The Oxcart Technique: Blueprint for Success,” debuted and quickly climbed the bestseller charts, reaching No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal, Amazon and Barnes and Noble lists.

“ ‘The Oxcart Technique’ is a revision of the old parable of the donkey with a carrot or stick,” Fossum said. “There’s a reason most people don’t reach their goals – the carrot doesn’t always work. The stick (fear of loss) can be a better motivator.”

Before his forays into acting and writing, Fossum, 58, enjoyed several successful careers.

He earned a mechanical engineering degree from Texas A&M. While at the university, he was part of the Corps of Cadets.

“It’s like ROTC on steroids,” he said.

From there, he served seven years in the United States Air Force. In 1990, while stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base, Fossum was named Officer of the Year. He was also selected as Humanitarian of the Year for the Strategic Air Command.

Upon leaving the service, he started a direct sales business, building sales teams around the globe.

“I’m just a regular guy,” he said. “I work hard and I have a lot of faith.”

When he married a woman with three young sons, he chose to become a full-time father.

“I retired,” Fossum said. “I can always make money, but I only had one chance to turn these boys into honorable young men.”

He became their Scoutmaster, walked them to school and was there when they got home.

For him, the best thing about winning “Kicking and Screaming,” was that his appearance allowed him to raise millions of dollars for scouting around the country.

With his sons mostly raised, he’s focusing on helping others reach their goals via “The Oxcart Technique: Blueprint for Success.”

Fossum feels what sets his book apart is his recognition that dream boards and vision statements alone aren’t the only tools to achieving success.

Instead, he asks readers to create a success scenario and a failure scenario.

“Read the failure scenario first – what will happen if you don’t achieve your goal? It kicks you in the butt,” Fossum said. “Then you say, ‘This will NOT be my future,’ and follow the action plan and steps you’ve created.”

He uses his marriage as an example.

“I’ve had a failed marriage. I know what that feels like. I don’t want that again.”

In his case, the carrot is a thriving happy marriage – the stick is the fear of divorce.

“The decision to succeed doesn’t happen once – it happens every single day, several times a day, by the actions we take or do not take.”

He recommends reading the failure and success scenarios twice a day and ending the day with the success scenario.

“It serves as a review,” he said.

Fossum believes the principles in his book apply to everything from overcoming addiction, to weight loss, to success in business.

“The Oxcart Technique: Blueprint for Success” is currently available as an E-book, but a print version will be released soon. While Fossum is delighted the book has hit the bestseller lists, his biggest desire is that readers will find it a beneficial resource.

“I hope it helps people achieve their goals and dreams.”

Find “The Oxcart Technique: Blueprint for Success” at