They’re Just Not That Into You

(My column as it appeared in Upmarket magazine week of June 24th)

Although the headline suggests something on the lines of dating, what most entrepreneurs experience with either friends or family amounts to just about the same feelings when it comes to them valuing your opinion or advice when asked. Just because you might be a recognized expert with awards and accolades, to most of your immediate family or fiends, you’re just you.

Have you ever been asked for advice by a family member only to stand in bewilderment when they go right ahead and do the exact opposite? There’s a reason but it’s not what you might think.

Your family of course loves you; will stand behind you, will encourage you, and more. However most won’t see you in the same light as the experts they believe have the answers. They may nod in agreement with you, even state your advice was brilliant, but in actuality they probably tuned you out unknowingly. Why? It’s because through their eyes you are their peer, and if they don’t know the answers instinctively they’ll believe you don’t either. Regardless of your accomplishments.

Years ago this was explained to me by a friend using the best example I ever heard. He was the CFO responsible for the accounting of a major corporation generating tens of millions of dollars annually. He said: “Your family is the first ones to think you’re a schmuck!”  At first I was aghast but as he described his reasoning, I found myself in total agreement, and things in my own life became easier because I now knew it wasn’t just me. It happens to everyone, everywhere, worldwide because more or less it’s the human condition.

My friend’s wife decided she was going to open a business. At the kitchen table they were discussing details. The scope and scale of the business was in line with running a lemonade stand. Her concern? Would they be able to afford an accountant for the start-up? Remember he’s the CFO of a multimillion dollar enterprise, but to her, he’s just her husband. I’ll bet many of you can relate to this with your own experiences. Don’t assume for a moment that some of the finest Doctors or Lawyers on the planet weren’t asked by their family members if they should seek a second opinion or counsel before acting on their advice. It’s just the way it is.

Currently I’m closing in on my third decade of matrimony. My wife is supportive, been through thick and thin, and is my most trusted ally. She’s witnessed my triumphs and accolades from a front row seat. Yet, even though she’s fully aware I’m a Master Meat Cutter, been a liaison to the USDA, was one of the first to formulate compliance programs for a meat company based on programs instituted by NASA (that’s HACCP), and ran the #2 largest private meat company in New England. When we are at the supermarket she’ll ask: “Are you sure you want to buy that? Maybe we should ask the kid behind the counter if it’s going to be tough.”

I just say, “Sure, after all, they’re the experts.”

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Everything Just Changed – Or Did It?

Many will wake this morning thinking their world has changed. Some will be ecstatic with the changes for this new dawn. Others will perceive the morning with dim light and dark clouds for the sun might never shine again. And for more than just a few, it’s the same as always because that’s what it’s like if you keep your head in the sand.

Of course this is all in reference to the rulings from the Supreme Court on what is now known as “Obama Care.” But unlike most the entrepreneur will view this all quite differently for one simple reason: No matter what in the world is happening the entrepreneur will survey the landscape, make the adjustments called for, jettison projects that were as of yesterday most promising to forge new plans that as of today meet the criteria at hand. That’s why we’re entrepreneurs. We are in control of our lives and livelihood. If we need to change we’ll change if that’s the plan of action. However what we won’t do is him and haw that’s somethings fair or unfair. Probably the greatest most freeing factor of self direction is that freedom. Don’t ever take it for granted.

This is not a rant or screed about the politics of the day. For that I have no comment. That is for every individual to decide for themselves. This is about how the entrepreneur will move during turbulent times no matter if they be political, economic, or both. The power in how and what you’ll decide to do rests within your own hands, not with someone else. Their will always be great challenges, total destruction of previous economic models and more. So what. It’s our position in this world to make sure what ever the circumstances not only will we survive, but we’ll thrive because that’s who we are.

As I watched and listened to the so-called “smart crowd” across all media formats, all I heard was doom and gloom for everyone. I say that might be the thinking for people whom don’t want to take the wheel of their own ship – but not for me – and I believe not you either.

No matter how others look at the state of affairs we still reside in a 15 TRILLION dollar economy. It is up to the entrepreneur to decide how they want to interact with it for their own prosperity because that is their decision. That’s why we’re entrepreneurs not mere workers or employees. Self direction for monetary gain in a vocation of our own choosing is whom we are regardless of what the world puts before us. There will be winners and losers in any economy regardless. Entrepreneurs are the ones who decide to take up the challenges and be on the winning side unlike so many others whom will wake this morning and hope someone else makes the right decision for them. Whether they’ll be able to afford something or not – or have a job or not – or if their family will or won’t have something. We don’t grovel for anything. We create. Period.

On my desk where I’m currently typing there are two very important items to remind me of how others met challenges in the worst of times. I have a First edition, First Printing of Napoleon Hills seminal work Think and Grow Rich of 1937. Many are aware that this book has sold millions upon millions of copies, and read by even more through shared gifts. However this one represents when not even Mr. Hill himself knew if anyone would even read it. It’s the first printing and was being released for sale in the depths of the Great Depression. How many people do you think told him including the publishers that thinking in riches during that malaise was foolish? Better to be looking for a job and try to survive was the call of his time also.

The other is a free standing plaque I had made that bears a passage I lifted from a book authored by Andrew Carnegie in 1902 The Empire of Business (Yes I own a first edition of this also) it reads:

“The businessman pure and simple plunges into and tosses upon the waves of human affairs without a life preserver in the shape of salary…He Risks All!”
(The emphasis was mine)

Hopefully you see my point. I offer not pie in the sky thinking but a tangible lesson of history. It is up to you and I to act on and within the circumstances of the times nothing more. But it’s our decision to act, so act if you will, or huddle with the doom and gloomers because there is always a spot on the floor at their abode.

I choose to have a seat at the table with the my fellow entrepreneurs.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

What Happens When Free Becomes Costly?

Newspapers were one of the first monolith business models to feel the squeeze in this new age of media consumption. Then like only a disruptive business model can, free content slammed into anything fit or not fit to print. It’s hard to beat free at any price is it not? But as Bob Dylan famously twanged, “Times they are a-changin’ “

At first take you might say well of course this is old news, but I submit as everyone is currently running in the direction of giving away their content for free, there’s a strong yet subtle change in the wind. And that change is the possible demise or end of “free” as we now know it.

Under this guise of “free” I’m not speaking about illegal downloads or circumventing pay-walls and such. I’m referring to the subtle yet growing number of sites that are no longer allowing users to just view or use tools that were once available to anyone at anytime. Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself. You visited a certain site but now you can’t access it without either becoming a member, paying, or they’ve closed down all together. Welcome to the “New” in the “New Age of Free.” And I’m here to state we are at the inflection point. Right here, right now. Everything is about to change and will change, just as fast, being just as disruptive to the existing models of “free” as what happened to the traditional business model landscape. If I’m correct I believe most will be caught off guard continuing to run in the wrong direction towards free and into oblivion. However those whom don’t will not only prosper, but will set the stage for decades to come. I know it’s a bold call, but hey, that’s what I do. Here’s some of my reasoning.

Kudos, That a boys, Awards, and most others don’t transfer into real money. And real money is all that creditors, supermarkets, babysitters, gas stations and more will accept if you want to eat, live, or fix the septic system. Even the baby sitter as impressed as she might be when you tell her your site has 2.5 million likes will still want cash as payment because as impressed as she might be they don’t take your “likes” as payment for her iPhone® at the mall.

Across the web the realization that revenue generation is critical even for a one man band. If you can’t pay your bills you can’t continue. Period. The goal of “Hey I’ll build something that looks good, and sell it out to investors for a killing.” Is dead. As I’ve written before on the “Bubblishish” rebirth of IPO’s (Initial Public Offering) back in May of 2011 and since. That period has now been crushed with the FaceBook™ debacle which is why I wrote this was the one to watch. All of the sudden many so-called “brilliant ideas” are not looking so brilliant because of the realization Wall St. no longer cares. Wall St. is only interested in THE MONEY! Why people forget that point is beyond me. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I believe it’s exactly what it should be concerned with. Wall St. is business, and business is in the business of making money.

Many sites across the web that were disruptive to the preceding models were brought to life and sustained by the hopes of what is referred to as Angel investors. These are the people whom put up the money in hopes of bringing the entity to Wall St. for the big payout in an IPO, or the possibility of the big buy out as in the Instagram®, FaceBook merger. This wasn’t just some writing on the wall they witnessed. This was the equivalent of these Angel investors starring horrified watching hordes of graffiti artists descending on their once pristine ramparts. The barbarians (people whom demand real results) were at the gates! Now just as in a siege to protect what’s most valuable (their money) projects are being jettisoned at a rate only comparable to the number of projects that will not see any halos. This is a critical juncture but even more so for the entire web based model we currently know and use. I truly believe we are in game changer mode once again. Everything one thought of as the “new” model, is now possibly the “kiss of death” model.

Imagine you’re a provider of content or service primarily on the web. You were under the assumption that if you allowed it to be viewed or used for free that was fine because the motive for building it was to “appear promising” that it would produce a profit somewhere, sometime in the future. However now your Angel investor is hammering you harder than a carpenter looking for exact dates and amounts. These Angels suddenly look and sound like bankers calling in loans. And people don’t call bankers Angels. Just sayin’.

If you think I’m off track here’s another example in my logic train. How many sites currently on the web that offer free content or usage of any type are even in the same universe never mind ballpark as Twitter®? The realization that an IPO for this darling of so many has been shelved should be a wake up call to anyone building something with “free usage” in its monetizing model. If they see a problem, you think the vast number of less than’s won’t? I contend we are just at the beginning of a sea change.

Just when the traditional resources of content and tools are about to be pulled under into the sea of free. They might find out that it’s not an ocean but a tub. And the very ones whom were not allowing them a chance to catch their breath may have unwittingly pulled the plug and the tub is draining.

Just how costly will the future be after all of this is anyone’s guess. But I do believe they’ll be money to be made in order to pay for it.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Why Your First Words Matter (Part 1)

Personally I can’t recall so many real-time lessons at such high levels in Public Relations occurring all at once. There are so many I thought I’d share some thoughts and observations.

If there’s anything that companies, governments, executives, and more put on the back burner is exactly what they’ll do when the excrement hits the proverbial fan. They’ll give lip service to it. They’ll have plans locked away in secret locations. But what they won’t do is what they should do; Be honest in what has happened, State contrition, Put plans in place where it should never happen again, and MEAN every word of it!

First let’s look at Mr. Dimon of JPM last appearance before congress. Did anyone notice a subtle yet significant demeanor change in his testimony? If you listened carefully to his opening statements, and the way in which he responded to questions from House members (their finger-pointing was far more directed and stiffer than the Senate) it was obvious that his initial statements to the press left far to many holes that could be exploited later. And they were.

Here’s a few points where Mr. Dimon found himself suddenly uncomfortable in trying to answer questions where his initial words were being used against him, and if he had followed a path similar to what I wrote his response could have been much more direct, short, and where an honest response of “That question has already been addressed.” could be used to brush aside any political grandstanding in his favor.

First: The Hedging Question:
When Mr. Dimon first addressed the issue this point was glossed over by not only himself but nearly everyone in the financial media. Within hours of that talk I wrote the following: “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.” (Article archived here)
It seems I wasn’t alone. The outspoken Christopher Whalen of Tangent Capital Partners LLC made the same case on Bloomberg. In an interview he said: (I’m paraphrasing) “Was this a hedge? No. If we’re posting reserves against it, it’s not a hedge.”

Second: Mr. Dimon wasn’t aware.
I wrote: “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.”
Mr. Whalen expressed that he to did not feel that Mr. Dimon was unaware and gives his reason why. You can hear the full interview on Bloomberg here.

Third: What about your money and job?
This was bound to be asked, and why this needed to be addressed and taken right off the table because if a scrap was left behind the ability to feed the masses from it would rival any biblical narrative.

I wrote this should be said: “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.”

When the issue of claw backs and his performance as CEO came up, his response was: (I’m paraphrasing) “I serve and answer to the boards recommendations or wishes.” Although correct it’s far too wishy-washy and doesn’t deliver the kind of directness that a response of: “I’ve made it clear to the board, and in my original statement if they find fault with me then I will also resign if they see fit, all of which is their discretion, including claw backs, not mine.” That would have allowed no scraps to be found with the ability to honestly state you answered an issue forthright and continue to move on. But in not doing so it reeks of hiding behind the legal governance before predators whom want blood, not words for dinner.

When you’re at the helm of not only one of the largest corporations or running a lemonade stand you need to be aware of the maxim: “You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

It also applies that if you don’t clearly explain your mistakes first, it could result in never getting a second chance to explain.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Emotion vs Logic is the Wrong Debate

(My column as it appeared in Upmarket magazine week of June 17th)

Many times we hear arguments based on pure logic or emotion. When this happens more often than not one side is absolutely convinced the other side is wrong. Usually there is no reconciliation between the two. For an analogy there is none better than the parent vs teenager debates. This drama also unfolds across the spectrum of business regardless of age or stature. The crux of these discussions can be narrowed down to one side defending their position purely based on logic while the other is wrought with emotion. Neither side will be able to persuade the other and usually ends in dead lock or worse.

Sometimes we hear the term passionate used to describe a fiery debate. Although passionate conjurers the image of pure emotion, a “passionate” debate is laced with logical reasoning as to why one cares so deeply. In finding a workable conclusion or middle ground you need both sides to have both logic and emotion in their arguments. Not one or the other. If not there’s no reason to continue the debate. Nothing but frustration will result. You need to be aware so when this becomes evident you can end politely because nobody will be happy or win if it continues.

Think of emotions as the sails on a ship and logic as the ropes that bind them. Without the strength and points of restraint to hold the sails in place the sheets will whip to and fro aimlessly. Not only does this not allow any power to be used as to move the ship, the sail will become tattered and torn as it flails untethered. It won’t take long before it wears itself out and frays beyond repair. Ropes on the other hand in relation to the size and scope of sails are fractional yet they are what give the sails their power and strength. They allow the force to be captured as to move the ship forward. Ropes important as they are by themselves are meaningless if all they do is stay coiled in some container. It’s the combination of the two that give both their reasons for harnessing the wind with astonishing results.

When you’re in a debate, discussion, or argument you must be the one whom is on the lookout for signs that the emotional and logical sides of the argument are present in both sides. Not just one expressing logic as the other is purely emotional. Once you’re able to do this in real-time or watching from afar you’ll be able to spot the brewing storm clouds and adjust your course of action as to not get swept into more turbulent weather.

A passionate debate has both sides pleading their case with emotion tied down with logical reasoning. When this takes place the murky waters of business become as exciting as being at the helm navigating a ship at the Americas Cup.

One without the other and you’ll never get further than the dock.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

The Immutable Law and Rules for The Game of Life

I was looking over notes and other items as I’m compiling material for my upcoming book. (Release will hopefully be later this year) When I first wrote this I had no idea if I would ever use it or display it. Now with world events being what they are as I read it took on an almost eery connotation. So much so I thought it was worth posting.

The Immutable Law and Rules for the Game of Life:

The Law: The game is to be played, and will always be in play. You may not opt out. Players, levels, prizes, and penalties may change at any time. Only your interaction with whom or at what levels is discretion possible.

The Rules: There are No rules. Only the perception of illusion.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

A Weekend Musing That’s Not Amusing

As we go into this weekend one would think all is calm on all fronts. However they’re not.

This weekend could prove to be a pivotal weekend for many things financial. Greece will be once again voting on things that not only will affect themselves, but could infect world markets with who knows what.

Once again everywhere I turn to look talking heads, writers et al. are spinning this or that into such a piece of patch cloth I think a moth would disdain the flavors. Just so I’m clear, I’m not calling for the Mayan’s to come waltzing back to take a bow before the curtain collapses. What I’m trying to convey is all the “brainiacs” that told anyone within ear shot that the Euro would never break up, that Greece was solved, that the financial markets are safe and more, are pointing to the markets rising today as some type of hook as to hang their hats stating “See, the markets have no fear of Europe.

I’m not a markets or financial analyst. Nor do I want to be. However what is most important to me is just conveying my thoughts to my subscribers and anyone else whom may have just found my writings for the first time. I created this forum as to express both my current thoughts, workshops, writings, or other endeavors while at the same time give thoughts and ideas from my viewpoint about many other subjects I see or feel need addressing because either nobody else is, can’t, or won’t.

Just to give an example my thoughts that I posted here on what I would have had Mr. Dimon of JPM say at his initial press conference rather than what he did and why was picked up by some of the most highly read financial sites across the web for professional traders. One of the most popular read Forex professional sites carried my thoughts for their readers. (That was quite exhilarating for me to say the least) The Forex market (i.e. currency markets) is 10 times larger in scale than ALL the world’s stock market exchanges combined. I state this not to brag, but to show a point. “Clearly articulated actionable advice has no boundary.” I’m noted for saying that because it’s true. So never let someone force their opinion on you. If you study and look for real answers you have just as much of a right to point out their follies and call them on it as they do. Regardless whom they might be.

Today the markets are rising but not for the right reasons. I could go on at length why, but this isn’t a financial blog nor do I want it to become one. I speak about markets only in the framework that if one wants to be an entrepreneur than you can not afford to turn a deaf or naive ear to them. It is empirical to business at any level to have a working knowledge or understanding of them, even if you only have a lemonade stand.

This weekend can be anything from a water shed moment where the clouds break and the sun lights the heavens, to the grey skies turning to storm clouds releasing a deluge of down pouring rain culminating into raging torrents. Just what ever this weekend might bring at least we’ll be watching the horizon for warning signs.

Most others will have their heads in the sand.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr


(For those who say I just don’t get it…Get this!)

As I have written earlier thoughts or warnings on such subjects, now what I warned others about once again gets proved prescient by way of yours truly.

I have instructed StreetCry to remove any and all videos and content from YouTube™ and to close any and all accounts with Google®. In an amazing show of shoot before looking we had a copyright claim made against one of my videos.

For someone like myself whom actually has written, and spoke on the subject of copyright it is to my amazement someone filed a complaint that is a down right frivolous. Not that I lifted or used any of their content, but that I coincidentally used a theme and transitions similar in a manner that they did. Which coincidentally is exactly how Apple® created and designed them to be used so that anyone, anywhere, from me, you, to Santa Clause may use them . This infringement rationale gives way to the premise that if you were to make a project using the same tools I can, then I have a right to file notice or complain regardless of the content. If that were true millions of videos using purchased software would be in violation. And while the claim may be out right frivolous, before you have a chance to state your case, ads or restrictions can now be placed regardless if you want them or not because you just lost control of your own copyright protected material.

It appears that YouTube™ places some form of algorithmic signature that alerts if similar content is posted. Although this is an attempt in good faith to protect copyrights the algorithms are keying off flawed data because the two parties made entirely different material but used free use software and graphics in a similar manner. Because the formats were similar in length, had music and text, it set off some alert. Here’s an example using this platform as an example:

This blog uses a page, text, and color that is available to anyone using WordPress. If you write a blog and use the same theme, color, fonts, and place your widgets in the same spots as mine there is nothing that is available for protection under copyright by me. Only my content that I created is protected. Your page could look near identical however If I want to convey ownership of the look and tools used to create it. I must buy the rights or license for that exclusivity of use. Only then would I have some form of right to dispute. WordPress makes these materials, formats, and graphics free for use to anyone however they see fit. Just the ability for more than 1 person to access these tools gives chance that similarities will take place. Hence why people buy custom themes or tools for exclusivity. I only have a claim if you are lifting my actual content no matter where or how you’re displaying it. Which is what copyright is intended to protect. Or here’s another example:

I write these words:

I Like Grapes

You write:

Moving My Car

I’m discussing farming, you’re singing about cars.

You can’t claim copyright protection against my headline  because I used the same software to boldface the content that are similar in the amount of words, and posted on an electronic platform that you use also. The graphics and their use is made available to anyone for free use by the provider of these graphics. Just because it may look similar to something created by someone else doesn’t mean anything. Coincidence in creating something similar happens because of the very nature of availability of use to anyone. It might not even be protected if I used the exact same words on a billboard, and you used it on TV unless you have a registered trademarked ® for the exact look, size, and scope or use. And even then it’s questionable at best.

So since the StreetCry channel on YouTube™ was only used for previewing material as we developed I have decided not to have my work subject to frivolous claims where I can lose control of my own copyrighted material because of a shoot first ask questions later policy.

This subject will definitely be addressed in my seminar on “The Business of Writing” when I’m presenting for the Carnegie Center in August!

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

Discounts Aren’t Your Only Option

(My column as it appeared in Upmarket magazine week of June 10th)

Many business owners are ready to offer a discount even before they’re asked. They’ll give a price, and in nearly the same breath: “If the price is too high, I can offer a discount.”

The moment a discount in pricing is introduced the buyer will immediately seize the opportunity — just as a shark senses prey in the water. Now it’s just a matter of how much of a discount can be obtained, with the buyers ultimate goal of getting most, if not all, for free.

People believe that they get what they pay for. But the other side of that coin is this: People love to get a discount, and they hate to give up value in order to get it. Your only true defense against discounting your wares into oblivion is to offer different levels of value at different price points and let the buyer decide.

Let’s say you’re in the carpet cleaning business. Your competition charges $100 dollars to clean a living room carpet of 800 square feet, and your potential customer knows this. How will you make your pitch without having to offer a discount?

Easy: Offer options with different levels of value. Here’s an example…

  • $80.00 – Clean one carpet area up to 650 sq. ft. and include a coupon worth 10% off any service on the next appointment.
  • $110.00 – Clean one carpet area up to 800 sq. ft., and include a wiping of the rooms floor moldings, and a complimentary front door mat.
  • $250.00 – Clean three carpets or an area up 2000 sq. ft., and include floor moldings, front door mat, and a dusting of crown moldings of same rooms.

When the customer looks for a discount on your services to match or beat your competitor’s price, you can show them the added value in your list of options — and instead of being able to compare your offerings directly to your competitor’s offerings, they’ll be able to focus their attention on what level of value they’d really like to take advantage of.

Don’t offer to discount your services to match someone else’s; you’ll just be in a race to the bottom. Trying to be the cheapest option doesn’t last, because someone will always try to provide the same service more cheaply. But if you give the client the option of saving money by giving up value, it’s worth your time to sell your service. Anything less, and you’re not selling — you’re just in the game to lose money.

This formulation applies to nearly every kind of business, whether it be accounting, consulting, coaching, home building, lawyer, doctors and more. If you’re trying to find one that doesn’t or thinking yours is the exception, then you’re more comfortable selling by discount — not actually selling.

If you’ve ever been at a jewelry counter with your significant other to buy a special piece, do you remember the sale? “Well if you can’t afford this piece, you can always go with this piece…” Not a discount, but an alternate option. Do you see how powerful a technique this can be?

Anyone can sell by discount — and usually they do — but they don’t last long.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr

En Guard

There are times no matter what the subject matter you’ll find someone trying to inject their topic du jour for their own agenda. You can see it coming a mile away because it just doesn’t fit into the conversation at hand. Someone will assertively ask a question then during the stunned pause proceed to give their own rehearsed answer leaving everyone with that “say what?” look on their faces. They use this tactic with purpose. It’s similar to someone setting up a T-Ball so they can swing away nothing more. Some do this to create an opportunity to begin proselytizing. Others because they only want to challenge someone to a duel of verbal fencing.

I was in a discussion with a few others where the subject matter was about fast cars, trucks, boats, and alike. Personally I have an affection for anything with a big motor. So there we were bantering back and forth amongst ourselves between brands, models, boats, planes, and so forth when out of no where like a jet fueled dragster this person inserted themself into the conversation asking us if we cared about what a waste of resources our choices in toys had. I think they became enraged when I said my truck had a V-10, 8 liter, Viper motor in it and stated you don’t have a vehicle like that if you worried about mpg’s or the price of gas, but in comparison to boats or planes it’s more like a Prius.

At first they tried to box myself and the others into a corner with the effects on global warming from the pollution these vehicles caused. Then the conversation went further and next thing we knew the discussion had morphed into the effects of food additives, fluoride in water, and more. Finally I decided this was not the place nor the time to discuss these matters. We were either just enabling this persons need for attention or being too polite so this person could mount their soap box to espouse their personal agenda. I waited for my moment and made my move. I said, “Well if facts are to be the case…before we put fluoride in water, put pollutants in the air, and became obese, we had a life expectancy of about 45. Now we are up to around 75 and still climbing. And might I remind you that we really took off in living longer after one of the worlds greatest inventions?” Indignantly they responded, “You must mean the advancements in medicine right?“…I said…“No, Twinkies! Just look at the time line. Think about it.” Right there the conversation ended when the offending party decided that speaking to us any further was a waste of their time and left in a huff.

Touche’ I said to myself. Touche’.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr