Month: May 2012

Getting Specific

(My column as it appeared in Upmarket magazine week of May 27th)

One of the most powerful tools in business and life is goal setting. There have been books, speeches, seminars, and more done on this one subject than probably any other. Yet one of the most significant parts of the goal setting process is not only ignored by most, but appears innocuous if it’s not followed. You need to be specific when you’re setting your goals. Being vague can produce unwanted results.

Goal setting is not just some gimmick. It’s a very powerful tool and when used correctly it can produce incredible results. The problem with goal setting today is not with its fundamental application, but rather not following through on one key step that is critical to the process. Specificity.

I learned a mantra years ago while attending a Tom Hopkins seminar. He implored from the stage, “You must be specific to be terrific.”  What I did not realize at the time was just how important that detail was. It sounded so simple, so plain, or may I say so corny at first blush. After all I knew all the rules. I had been to countless seminars. I read all the books. I practiced this stuff. It wasn’t like I didn’t get it. I did, so next subject please I muttered to myself. Problem was I knew it, but I wasn’t doing it.

Goal setting allows you to focus. It gives you clarity in where you’re going and why. But not accurately setting them while monitoring your progress with possible adjustments can result with inadvertently reaching a goal in a way you least expect.  “I want to make a lot of money” is worthless. “I want to make X dollars, by X date, by doing X tasks ” is specific and your chances of hitting the marks are exponentially increased as compared with something less specific. Leave vague details to be filled in by the cosmos, and trust me what you’ll get might be nothing short of stunning.

Years back I had written down a goal on specific amount of money I wanted to earn over a given time frame. When I wrote it I had no idea if I could ever achieve it. What’s uncanny about this was the fact I had put the note in a place and forgot about it only to find it a few years later to my amazement I had hit it nearly to the exact amount. It was an amazing example of the power of specific goal setting. But I also have had stunning reminders on what can happen when you get lazy and let the universe fill in the details.

When I was a kid we were left poor from divorce. My father on the other hand was always seen around town driving the fanciest of cars. (Lincoln Continentals to be exact) There was one I would see him driving that for some reason I loved its styling. I would say to myself “Someday I’ll have a brown, 1972 Continental also.” Years later I did but not what you might think.

I was in the middle of the crisis of my life. I had just lost everything. I lost my cars, my job, money, titles, everything. I had just met my wife and now I was nearly destitute. From big shot to big loser in a matter of months. It was winter and she lived 3 cities over and I had no transportation of any type to get around. Till a friend offered me something I could borrow to at least get around with. Being near destitute I was grateful for anything, but what it was is nothing short of eye-opening.

There I was once again poor but this time the universe gave me my wish. I had a brown, 1972, Continental. Only it wasn’t a car, it was a Schwinn® bicycle.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Sometimes You Have to Think Quick

As some of you know I’ve had a pretty adventurous life growing up. Up and downs were the norm along with watching first hand some friends go through the same. Some use the term “friends” to infer they actually know someone however their actual contact can be used in a game of Six Degrees of Separation. It’s like they see some star at a coffee shop whipped out their iPhone® for a photo and now recounts of the encounter morph from a happenstance of chance to a description of them having coffee and hanging out with their buddy “the star.” The same happens in the motivation industry by many speakers. They have their picture taken at some event with someone of significance and now from the stage they tout facts and references as if they had gone on a year-long sabbatical into the wilderness alone with them as to contemplate the wisdom to be passed on to the mortals. From my viewpoint it’s down right laughable to sometimes pathetic what I hear and see. So with all that in mind I thought some of you might get a chuckle at my expense which happened a few weeks ago, and how yours truly handled it.

As some of you know I’ve referenced and told the story how when both myself and some friends years ago were having difficulties at the same time while aspiring for what many presume as unattainable “Brass Rings.” Mine for business and early retirement, theirs as rock stars. I relate this story because of the powerful impact it has on so many whom think their dreams are unattainable. I speak or reference the matter as not to brag, but in relating to others the real situations from first hand knowledge and contact so they can possibly make application of it which is far more important to me than telling someone, yes you can do it, because I read somewhere in someones book that you can.

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve had contact with my friends but the other week they were headlining a concert here at the arena. (Rupp Arena) I at first thought I’d buy a meet and greet ticket and show up where I would surprise them, but they were sold out. So I decided I would just make my way down to the arena and get back stage and see them. It was funny is retrospect because of the ease I had getting into areas others can’t. So there I am down amongst the tour buses looking for theirs. I was astounded on how many there were! It was a big show with multiple acts but they hadn’t arrived yet. So I decide I’d go into the arena where they’re setting up. I was on the floor of the arena at the stage as the crews were hoisting the lights and sound system. I was walking and talking amongst the crew (being a former musician myself I have a good rapport with most crews) when a woman approached me and asked “Can I help you?” I said yes are you affiliated with the band? She said yes. So I said great I need a favor. Can you get a message to them from me so they know I’m here and blah, blah, blah? She said sure just come this way. So I followed her and she took the information and said she would give it to them but they weren’t due in till much later that day. Then she proceeded to direct me to a door that once through it I was what one might call “Out The Door!” I was laughing to myself and saying she probably threw it right in the garbage as I was out the door. How many times must she have heard that line. If I had to bet on it she was probably their road manager by her demeanor. (And skill!)

So as the day went on my wife would ask me “Did they call you?” I said no my phone hasn’t rang and they probably would never get the message. My wife was like that’s too bad because I wanted you to get some autographs for me. I laughed because I reminded her when I was hanging out with them you didn’t like it, now you want their autograph! She said, “Well they’re big stars now.” I just kept laughing.

So later that night my wife said it’s too bad you didn’t get to see them, you’re probably right she must have tossed your number in the garbage because if they knew they would call. So late that night I checked my phone because I was going to turn it off. And there was a text message “Where are you now?” I said I guess this phone doesn’t ring if it gets a text message. Looks like I missed their call. She said “Aren’t you going to call them back? You should call them back now!” I said no it’s too late. They’re probably back on the bus sleeping or on a plane. Then I followed up with…

“Well if they miss me when I’m at the Carnegie Center in August that’s their fault. One thing they won’t be able to say is I didn’t try. I mean what more could I have done? It’s not like I didn’t try to get a message to them.” My wife’s jaw is still on the floor.

Sometimes you have to think quick is all I’ll say.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

A Memorial Day Weekend Event Worthy of Sharing the Spotlight

As we celebrate this uniquely American holiday of remembrance for those whom sacrificed for us, many will also have the ability to throw parties, enjoy cookouts, along with a myriad of others events. However for the first time in quite a while as we understand the somber reasoning why this holiday was originally created in the first place as to express our gratitude as a nation. We can also take great pleasure in the fact that against all odds, and against the backdrop of politicians and alike saying the aspirations about space for the foreseeable future is dead. There were Americans and others whom didn’t listen, and didn’t partake in the drumbeat that our space aspirations were dead.  A group of Americans and others against all odds and naysayers have successfully launched and actually docked with the space station hovering above us in outer space.

As we partake in this weekends celebrations and while remembering those whom have gone before us there are American companies, with American ingenuity, topped with the never-ending spirit that against all odds and doomsayers the American spirit of entrepreneurship, and the idea of American exceptionalism is not only alive and well, but when we reach for the stars, Nobody can hold us back but ourselves.

Congratulations SpaceX, and thank you for giving us another reason to be grateful and proud Americans.

Bravo!

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Is it Strategy or a Tactic?

(My column as it appeared in Upmarket magazine week of May 20th)

Strategy, and tactics are terms I hear used frequently by many, yet I believe they are misused or just plain misunderstood because of the way I hear them used or described.

You’ll hear most incorrectly use the term strategy as a descriptor for their long-term discussions, and tactics for their short-term. Strategy and tactics have nothing to do with time frames, nor are they interchangeable. They have two very distinct and different meanings with time frames not being one of them. Strategic and tactical plans could be made for how you’ll get dressed in the morning, as could a strategy and tactical blueprint be made for the rest of your life.  You don’t have a strategy for life and a tactic for the morning. Many think this way because the two have been used so interchangeably hence their confusion and frustration when little to no results are manifest.

Strategy has to do with the direction of your life or business. Tactics are what you’ll use to implement the strategy. Here are a few examples for clarification:

  • We implemented Cold Calling as strategy to increase sales.
    No, what you did was add cold calling as a tactic for reaching your strategy of increasing sales.
  • I have a strategy to put my shoes on first to make getting dressed faster.
    No, what you did was use the tactic of putting your shoes on first as to reach your strategy of getting dressed faster.

As the two examples above show, there is a distinct difference between them yet you can see how many have unknowingly used them. But let’s use the same two in a different example and show how they actually change yet time is not applicable for their differentiation. (Below is purely hypothetical as to demonstrate and clarify the example.)

You can forge a Cold Calling strategy by implementing as a tactic salespeople getting dressed faster in the morning because you have a study that shows this works.

As you can see where it was not a strategy but a tactic in the above examples, it has now switched from one to the other. Not by some logic of long-term or short-term time reference, but rather where it sits in the overall progression of your plans. Regardless of the time frame you can and need a strategy and tactics to implement it. Not one without the other on any time line. They go hand in hand.

I believe that this misunderstanding in how to use or think about each is where many get confused, or frustrated. This is not something that lends itself to only the newly minted entrepreneur or manager. It is expressed across many companies and boardrooms at an alarming scale. What’s worse is there are just as many people running around calling themselves “experts in strategy” using these terms interchangeably only adding to the dilemma which results in more confused or frustrated people and companies.

If all you ever learn between strategy and tactics is the difference in meanings between them. Then you are well ahead of most, and you’ll know what area you need to either learn or get help with. And that alone is a winning strategy and tactical advantage.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

News of the Day JP Morgan: Final Entry

I was having a discussion on the JP Morgan news and was asked “How would you have advised them differently? After all one would assume they have at the ready the best consultants or public relations firms money can buy advising them.”  Fair point, but the assumption that just because they have money to spend doesn’t mean the value of the advice received will equal it. You can spend a near fortune obtaining worthless advice then spend nearly twice as much trying to repair the damage from the original investment. And the latter will always remain an open question of: “If.”

I decided it was a fair and relevant topic for discussion and although I normally don’t write about certain strategies and tactics I would advise for a client (in other words opinions are free, advice I charge) I decided to write what I would have advised with my reasoning for stating so.

This post will be a little longer in breath than most, but I wanted it to be available to you or anyone else whom might be new here (And there are many, and thank you!) rather than writing a white paper and putting it in the archives. So with no more fanfare let’s get into it.

Mitigating the debacle caused by the CIO (Chief Investment Office) in London.

As of this writing JPM is regarded in the minds of many to have two faces. One face is of greedy financial executives cheating depositors and taxpayers alike for their own benefits while leaving behind a wasteland of financial disasters in their wake. The other holds JPM in a slightly better limelight than most others. It seems they have been able to keep some of their cache’ intact with being looked upon as one of the more prudent, well run, less riskier institutions with a straight shooting, credible CEO at the helm. What will be critical to management from the CEO down will be to embrace while understanding the former image of greedy reckless behavior will overshadow the latter view in the public’s perceptions and minds. You will not be able to overcome a very emotionally charged subject with logic at first. That will take a consistent effort and marketing campaign that will involve all levels of management for the foreseeable future. This will not be viewed as a one time problem or issue. This will be viewed by the public as systemic and will be fueled by the press and other news outlets as “red meat to the masses.” The first critical words uttered will set the stage which will be relentless. Management must realize this dilemma will fuel an image problem, an emotional perception. You won’t be making logical arguments to people who know or understand your business. They want to know where to gather with the pitchforks. Understanding this will go far in mitigating the issue. Execution of tactics is now paramount.

(As of right here most of you have seen the financial channels or media outlets. You’ve heard Jamie Dimon’s reasoning or defensive statements and more. I’ll just write what I would have advised if they had done nothing as of this moment.)

What needs to be understood at JPM.

Since the financial collapse of 2008 public perception of the financial sector is that not only have they not learned from it, but is currently engaged in even more riskier assets since the collapse, and with their money, not the banks. They hear of legislation passed, not passed, implemented, not implemented all laced with ridicule, misunderstandings, and misconceptions. Even the more sophisticated of market mavens are having a hard time understanding what is good and what’s not. No matter how manageable JPM thinks the risk might be in the losses accruing, the perceived details available to the press will have all the trappings of tabloid styled headlines the press will be delighted in running with. Mr. Dimon is the type of CEO whom is comfortable in front of the camera while being asked tough questions. The initial statement should be initiated, and delivered by him. Here’s how he should address the press.

(What I would have written for Mr. Dimon’s press conference)

I want to address an issue first hand before anyone in the press or other outlets run with this story as to give JPM’s customers, shareholders, and even the American people solace as to a situation that arose in our London office over the weekend. I see it as my duty as CEO of JPM to make sure that people have no misconceptions and to put minds at ease so they can make their own logical conclusions. As with anything regarding banks or financial institutions there will be a myriad of tabloid expectations and story writing. Although some will try to overstate the severity, in the actual operations of JPM this is well within our parameters and profiles of risk management. Managing risk is what JPM is all about for both our clients and shareholders.

I was made aware that a hedging strategy that was being executed in our London office seemingly has over run its risk profile parameters. Although the sum to most at first blush might seem large and makes for a great headline the risk to JPM is minimal. Although I am of the belief no loss is a good loss. There are times where you need to pull plugs even if you are capable of correcting the mistakes. For us at JPM it’s a matter of financial management along with the perception we know many have of the banking and financial sectors. I believe it is my duty as CEO of JPM in understanding that perception is everything, regardless of my ability to stand here and state how we are completely in control and understood the risks when we first entered into this strategy. With that understanding clearly in mind I am compelled to address it before anyone else so that it may be understood clearly, and factually.

The CIO in our London office has reported to me they will experience a $2 billion dollar loss as a result of parameters poorly executed by the team in charge of that strategy. Although the sum sounds large I would remind everyone that JPM is on track to earn for its shareholders over $14 billion in profits. Although this amount will of course result in a dent to our original projections as anyone with even a grade school grasp of mathematics can understand 14 is far larger than 2.

Some will try to make a story or for some push an agenda of if it’s so small why even state it? The reasoning is we reported our quarterly earnings just weeks ago. If I or we were to say nothing on this subject only to report it at our next earnings report we would be by our own dint fueling perceptions of secrecy or the letting of others sensationalize such an event. Although waiting until our next report is well within our rights to do so, I felt in today’s world of misconceptions, distrust, and other perceptions the public has of the banking and financial system whether deserved or not, I thought it was only proper to address this myself as to put at rest any misconceptions that might arise.

Our CIO office in London reported to me that the parameters set regarding a hedging strategy had been breached. The reasons for the breach in my estimation is unacceptable. Although it is possible to salvage the losses incurred the cost in retro fitting and personnel change is not worth the effort. It has been decided it is more equitable to jettison the strategy completely rather than as the saying goes throw good money after bad. The head of the office is Ina Drew. She has since tendered her resignation. I have accepted it. I have placed Matt Zanes to fill that position. JPM will pursue any and all fixes needed to ensure this situation isn’t repeated.

As with everything at JPM the buck stops with me. I have alerted the board of my decisions and asked the board to conduct a full review of the matter. I have also instructed the board that if they find anything improper or a mismanagement on my end that for any reason put JPM at risk or its shareholders I would tender my resignation if they wish. Both the board as well as the shareholders must feel secure that one of Americas finest financial institutions is being managed with correct discipline and adherence to proper risk management that today’s turbulent markets demand.

I will be happy to take a few questions.

And that’s what I would have had Mr. Dimon say.

As you can see the above is far different from the response that was actually delivered. The problem with what was originally delivered by Mr. Dimon was it left far too many questions unanswered than answered. It sounded more like someone covering their derriere more than it did about getting in front of something to put to rest the issues. I feel their original press conference followed by the Sunday show appearances allowed more fodder for the innuendo crowd of writers and talking heads. Without concise details, and the direct understandable reasoning on why you are speaking to begin with, followed by an understandable layman’s view of why the public needn’t worry they will find themselves arguing the same points over and over again reigniting old wounds rather than the ability to leave scars behind and get on with healing process.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

What to Do Next…Jump or Dive?

I was asked to share some thoughts for people whom are contemplating striking out on their own for PocketGreens.com
Below is what I wrote:

What to Do Next…Jump or Dive?

Making the decision to strike out on your own is a daunting task laced with questions of uncertainties that scares most from even contemplating the idea. But once you’ve made the decision to take the plunge just how you get your feet wet is probably just as important as the original decision.

Most want to just dive in head first without regards to just how deep the waters are. This is when not testing or examining just how much water there is to dive into can have the same disastrous results as thinking there’s a deep market yet finding it profitably shallow.

Then there is the technique of jumping into a market feet first. Although this may seem safer, the waters could be so deep that all you can do is tread water to stay afloat exhausting your resources.

Not kidding yourself about where you’re about to swim and doing some real research about how deep the market you want to jump into will go farther in fortifying your resolve to make the plunge and go.

After all. We’re here to make waves. Not just dip our toes.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Practice Makes Perfect, Doesn’t Always Work

(My column as it appeared in Upmarket magazine week of May 13th)

People sometimes mistakenly assume that just the repetition gained from practicing a task before actually do it will safeguard them from mistakes when under pressure in the real environment. It sounds like it makes perfect sense, but it does have flaws.

Repetitive practice works well where the discipline of performing tasks involving muscle memory is at play. Sports are filled with them. Practice throwing 3-point shots in basketball while under pressure is one such example. You can practice to such proficiency that even when you try to miss your so programmed it’s near comical as evidenced by Hall of Fame star Larry Bird when making a commercial for Pepsi®. The plot was for him to miss a free throw only to have the production crew in laughter because of how many takes it took for him to miss! He was so programmed that even when trying to miss his reflexes took charge and made the shot.

That type of disciplined practice doesn’t necessarily transfer to many areas of business or life. Let’s look at sales as one area to demonstrate this rationale. You can not sit and roll play the same answers to the same questions or objections over and over again as a measurement of how well you’ll do in the game. The questions you may be asked could come in a form or manner that may not portend to you answering them the way you’ve practiced. Practicing a sales technique to the point of producing near automatic responses could wind up causing you to appear in a buyer’s eye to be animatronic.

The goal you want to reach for these situations is based more on familiarity or proficiency in the techniques. Not an exercise of muscle memory for your thinking brain. Understanding and practicing techniques is where you’ll find your reactions to stressful situations taking over.

The decision-making process of what to do, and when to do it is such a fluid and ever-changing process that one needs to have more of a sense of awareness and an understanding of options that can be used during these times, more than just being absolutely masterful in a few. And that can only come from the lessons you’ll learn actually playing in the game.

If you want to look at this using a different example just think of what you practiced and learned when first driving a car. If all you did was practice parallel parking and you could be woken up in the middle of the night, placed behind the wheel, and instructed you have less than 60 seconds to park, go! You may execute it flawlessly. But would mastering that skill be paramount in deciding how well of a driver on the open road you’ll be as compared to someone with a general knowledge skilled enough to execute it if needed, but also has a knack for finding alternative parking spots learned from actual driving in a major city?

There are times that a familiarity with possible scenarios and possible responses is far more important to be learned and practiced, rather than practicing to perfection scenarios that may never be needed. It’s about success most times, not perfection. And success comes from actually playing, and engaging on the real field, not the practice field.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Some Final Thoughts on JPM News of the Day

Like many of you I also watched some of Sunday shows where the events of the week were discussed. What I found absolutely fascinating was the spin in both directions of the debacle at JP Morgan. Both sides of the argument was bandied across with both sides trying to make their cases why they were right in their conclusions. But once again what would surely be important was not even hinted at as to be noticed by any of them. Anywhere!

I watched Jamie Dimon the CEO of JP Morgan being splashed across the television screens all morning with his statements of so called candor. He basically said this one should be fired, that one should be fired, this should be done, that should be done, and in the end the institution’s name itself should be buried in disgrace. Hey great, but what he never once uttered anytime, anywhere, was that he should be fired. Oh no not that! That would be heretical to any CEO doctrine of the last few decades. If the two most important rules about money are #1 Don’t lose it. #2 Refer to rule#1. then the unwritten addendum to rule #1 is #1.A, “and never should the CEO be blamed.”

As I was sitting there in absolute amazement on how he was leaving himself out of any out-rite recourse except for the self-imposed tongue lashing he was giving himself (Oh the humanity!) was the abject failure of a single so-called “Smart crowd” anchor to call him on it. This is why so often people get confused or just fed up. They believe many on television are smarter than they are. They’re not. Anyone with any credible knowledge of management will tell you. If he was in charge of everyone who is to blame, then the first one escorted to the door along with everyone else is him regardless of title. But then one must refer to rule #1.A to understand the sorry state of management at some of the highest levels.

The part of this story for someone like myself is just when I think I’ve seen enough a better punch line will come along to really put a cap on this tale.

This morning we were enlightened that the person in charge of the department that is causing the bank all this distress retired. Yes, you read that correctly. She wasn’t fired, yet everyone else in that division seems will be dismissed as fast and with the same dignity as the refuse from a cruise liner if the press stories are true. It seems when she tendered her own resignation to Mr. Dimon he at first rejected it. Why? Because he wanted her to face the same dispatch as her department? No don’t be foolish, he felt she should stay! But alas she thought it was best to leave and so she’s leaving with a full golden parachute. She will retire and not have to face that terrible indignity so many of what I guess must be referred to as “the underlings” will have to face. The unemployment line with the scarlet letter of having worked under her direction.

This self protecting nature of living under the unwritten rule of 1A is the scourge of modern day management and must be mediated for the betterment of all of us.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Some Thoughts on the News of the Day: JPMorgan

Today the news wires and financial channels are ablaze with J.P. Morgan Chase announcing they are going to experience a $2 BILLION dollar loss from one of their departments responsible for hedging risk for the bank. The drumbeat I hear from the so-called “Smart crowd” of talking heads and analysts is both very interesting, and at the same time troubling.

I just want to illustrate a few key points that from my point of view are not only critical questions that need to be asked, but jump out at me in bewildering amazement on how they are spinning or making assumptions that are superfluous.
Here’s what I’m hearing followed by what I think:

1. “Give Jamie Dimon credit for coming out with this story getting ahead of hit. He’s embarrassed and mad and blah, blah, blah.”

Me: Currently he is being compared to getting ahead of a story with a subtle nod of comparison with “The Tylenol® Recall” from years ago. Although the tactic was brilliant and now a case study in how and what to do in a corporate crisis. The comparison or similarity doesn’t work because Tylenol was an act of malicious and criminal intent to mame or harm from an outside force. This is a failure of management and leadership from the top down. The assumption that JPM is so large that the CEO can’t know everything doesn’t fly. Currently we are talking $2 BILLION dollars and that is the current figure being reported. That figure can go up and no one knows exactly by how much. It’s all a guess even by the banks own words. But that is not being discussed. I contend there is NO company operating today where BILLIONS are at risk, and are currently being lost, and they are the very same instruments the bank is using to mitigate risk  which is now causing the entity itself to be at risk without the CEO fully aware of what is going on. If he didn’t know or fully comprehend the risks he’s either a fool, or has had plausible denial scenarios at the ready on par with any Head of State.

2. The instruments used by the bank were for their “Hedging Strategy”

Me: This is the one that jumps out at me the most. Everywhere, and I mean everywhere you hear this one say this, or that one say that. What’s glaringly obvious to me is how these so-called “financial analysts” are missing the largest point of their own analysis. They are going on to explain how this or that might have happened and are so caught up in sounding smart they look foolish. My question is, “How can this be called a problem from their Hedging? Hedging by its definition means protecting your position or in plain language if you lose on this you’ll win on that because you hedged. If you can lose on this while at the same time you can lose on that what you did was not a hedge. You speculated, you gambled, you did something, but it clearly was not a hedge.” This is where language is important and anyone in charge of money knows this let alone a CEO of one of the worlds largest financial institutions.

This story is far more troubling and I believe could be just as dangerous to the financial markets than any of the so-called “smart crowd” either know or understand.

It’s no longer any wonder to me why economists and analysts have a track record of being correct on par with fortune tellers on Coney Island.

My apologies to fortune tellers everywhere.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Some Think I Have it Easy…”Au Contraire!”

I was speaking to someone the other day when they said, “You’ve got it easy! You retired years ago you don’t understand just how tough it is out there with competition and such these days.” (For new readers, I retired at age 45 which was 7 years ago) I said you may have a point. But if you’ll think for a minute instead of trying to berate my views just ponder this:

I decided to enter the world of public speaking. Not only is public speaking regarded as one of the most feared tasks, but it normally comes in at the number 1 position beating out the fear of dying! Place on top of that the genre of Motivational speakers is regarded as one of the most laughed at styles. (With good reasoning I’ll add.) I personally refer to most of these so-called “Guru’s” as Snake Oil salespeople. And I’m now in that field myself.

So here I am trying to single-handedly change and give credibility to a genre that I believe has lost its way. A genre that the public views as the advertisement from Wendy’s® puts into full view.

Ya think we have an image problem?

I think my decision to leave the pool behind and embark on my latest quest might be called by some nuts, but chicken won’t be one of them.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr