Month: August 2013

Adventures In Stupidity: Surveys

The line that describes most surveys today? “Stupid is, as stupid does.”

When I hear people tout the idea that technology is reducing redundancy, or streamlining the process, or, __________(fill in the blank.) I just refer to any “customer survey” put out by any major corporation (and some mom & pops are also guilty) and ask, “Ever filled out more than one? In its entirety?”
Most reply, “No.” The reason? They’re not only agonizingly long, they’re just plain stupid. And, it’s this very technology that gives these glaringly tedious forms their reason for being.

One of the overwhelming dysfunctional parts of these surveys, is the unmistakable tone they are both generic, and willfully absent of any or all of my account information.

First, indulge me in stating the set up…
If you’ve forced me to enter my account number to proceed as to have all my information available to “serve me better.” Then why when I’m transferred back and forth do I have to give that information every single time, again, and again, within your own system?

Secondly: If you can generate a survey automatically, directly sending it to me within moments of my interactions, using my email address found within my account information on your servers. You’ve demonstrated there’s a priority problem with your customer service, not a technological problem.

Lastly. After I’ve been switched, transferred, beamed up, and what ever else they do with me and my info, to then get transferred to the dreaded “boiler room call center” where it seems the above process starts all over again – is infuriating.

It’s at this point where any first held thoughts you just might get your issue handled in an expedient manner seems to drain from your cranium like wax flowing down a candle. Yet, for me, from out of no where came hope or maybe, just maybe, salvation.

In two recent instances, with different companies, my issues were resolved by two knowledgeable as well as pleasant reps. (Although the way in which they make these people use scripted phraseology over, and over, and over again during the conversation was not only tedious, it was annoying.)

Just after I had lost faith in all that is “customer service” as my tendonitis pain subdued since no longer having to press 5 for this, 3 for that, acct.# here, and more. I regained my faith that maybe, just maybe, there was hope.

Then – I received the survey via email.

I truly wanted to fill it out. I figured as we all do at times. “How are they going to know unless someone says?” So I opened it…

Question 1: What was the nature of your call?
Are you kidding me? You just had me in your system supplying account #’s, speaking to rep’s within your company, on hold at any given time for so long I could have ordered Baked Alaska, from Alaska, and you need me to supply the reason for my call?

Insult to injury. (still on question one) The multiple choice descriptions did not even fit or come close to describing my issue. They were far to generic and confusing as to am I this or that. I guess, since I just wasted the morning, they figured I could waste a few more hours as to contemplate which one fit best. After all, what better things might I have to do. And, besides, this is all to serve me better correct? Yeah, right.

Yes, there was a box marked “other” where I could nicely and neatly type an exact description as to the nature of my call. However, it was so soon since interacting with their system it left me wincing at the thought of typing anything more. At least not before the ice packs melted.

I then decided I would just check the closest one as to see what was question 2. Then I looked at the top of the questionnaire only to see the horror that awaited me. Question 2 put me somewhere less than 2% complete. What in the world awaited me – another 100? I abruptly closed both the survey as well as my browser.

Here’s my professional advice pro bono to any and all that may have any input or, think about implementing a survey of their own. If you’re truly serious about getting results that matter, follow these 3 steps.

1: All surveys should be no longer than give or take, 5 questions. Maximum.

2: If you need to use the word “Why?” you’ve already shown your survey to be worthless. Ask simple straight forward questions with reasonable replies. i.e.,
“Was your problem resolved to your satisfaction today? Yes or No? Was the process easy for you to navigate? Yes or No?
Or, “How was your experience dealing with our automated system? Click anywhere between 1 and 10”
1 for: I will change companies if this continues, and 10 for: This was a satisfactory experience to resolve my issue.

3: Your questions should be designed as to distinguish real problems that need to be addressed.
If your survey trips your threshold of: “Oh, oh..there’s a real problem with this customer.” Don’t ask on the questionnaire: “May we contact you?”
If it trips – contact them. Period.
They’re your customers, and they have an issue. Call, email, what ever. Just do it with a real desire as to fix the issue.

If not: Save your time and the expense of weeding through these worthless “satisfaction” ploys to show you care.
It’ll at least save us (the customer) what little sanity we have left after dealing with you.

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr

A Quick Thought And Perspective

Whether one agrees or not with the current policy of sending US ships into harms way, one thing should never be questioned; is the respect for the men and women that stand aboard those ships. Let alone their families which they leave behind, sometimes in a communications “black out” condition.

Currently there are 4 destroyers along with other naval assets being moved into what can only be perceived as “harm’s way.” The destroyers are what delivers or, what one considers the “missile” contingency of the battle group. (please pardon my clumsy attempt at the correct terminology)

Personally, I have been aboard one of these vessels. In particular The USS McFaul (DDG-74). One can not fully understand nor, can I express through words, the humility as well as the respect that grasped me once the full understanding of just what is at stake, for both those on board, as well as those that have to face her once she’s “on the ready.”

Only until I walked on and below her decks did the overwhelming presence of seriousness and humility envelope me. Words just can’t describe what I felt aboard a vessel that’s only purpose is to make manifest to any and all before her, what her commissioned status signifies. i.e., Destroyer.

When that realization hit me, especially while I was actually below deck knowing her armament to carry it out was only inches out of my reach, all I can say is, I was left feeling humbled. I wish I had the words or phrases as to put it into a more complete picture. However, I just don’t. For me, only being there can one truly understand what I’m trying to convey.

It’s just something that once you comprehend the utter seriousness on why the vessel was built, commissioned, and then manned to carry out her reasons to be at sea, does something unexpectedly serious in nature grip you. At least that’s what it was with me.

Moving these ships along with the men and women that man her is something I personally am grateful for not having to make such calls. When they are made, regardless of who makes the call, the weight of the world is, and should, be on their shoulders.

I hope what ever the decision – is the correct one. Regardless whether I agree with it at the time or not.

On another note. I had the luxury of this experience when the US NAVY had a display in Boston Harbor a few years back. They bring ships in an atmosphere of “Meet The Fleet” type event.

One of the interesting things that happens aboard many of the ships, is the crew will set up some makeshift tables and sell souvenirs. They in turn use the proceeds to fund crew related activities that may not be covered under normal procurement.

On the McFaul they had a table of coffee cups used on the ship (all new). Some were blank while others were marked with special designation for certain crew members. i.e., Captain, First Officer, etc. There are very few of the designated type usually available. (They’re not only prized by civilians, but by the crew themselves.) However, I noticed one with the designation FCO. Personally I’m a huge coffee drinker and love these type of heavy porcelain mugs. So I thought maybe I should buy one.

So I picked it up and asked. “It says here Fire Chief Officer. Is that the person responsible for putting out fires on the ship?” The answer came back, “No. That’s the person in charge of launching the missiles aboard the ship.”

Before I looked to see how much I blurted out, “I’ll take this one please!”

At that point I cared less if it cost as much as a Buick®.
I wasn’t leaving without it!

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr

Why Knowing Just “The Numbers” Is Meaningless

Here’s a quick real-time example to answer those which want to live and die by “numbers” alone. Where extrapolation of the numbers are de facto as proof of why something (marketing plan, business investment, fill in the blank) should proceed.

Next time you’re in a meeting or, sitting across from someone who is only concerned with “the numbers” in which you know is far too myopic a view where it can actually hurt more than help. Think of this example:

As of today, JC Penny® has hit one of its lowest points. Both in credibility, as well as in its outlook to move forward into the future. Their stock is down somewhere near 60% or more, and seen to be floundering. (It was announced today that activist investor Bill Ackman has sold his position in total as of this morning) Simultaneously it is assumed they have lost sight of their core business. On the other hand…

As of today it’s being reported the vulgar performance of a once heralded child star has pushed the Nielsen® ratings for the VMA Awards™ up over 60%. It is also widely considered to be a low point for this brand. While simultaneously it is assumed they have lost sight of their core business. (Remember when MTV® actually played music videos?)

However…

One is going to look at their numbers and do everything possible to halt their slide and change direction. The other?

If numbers were the only measurement – there would be no need for any discussion or insinuation there was a right or wrong choice for either.

Never be afraid to assert whether or not the “numbers” are the end all – be all or, the only metric that’s relevant. More often than not everyone else will get so focused on just the numbers – they’ll miss the big picture.

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr

Turn Around vs Merry Go Round

The news is awash with the disastrous happenings to befell on some of the nation’s oldest, and at one time, most trusted brand names. i.e., JC Penny®, Sears®, HP®, Microsoft®, and others. Understanding what needs to be the next move for each is not only formidable; it may just be terminal.

Everyone from media to advisers now clamor for their thoughts or perspectives to be heard as to what, why, and how these monolithic corporations should proceed. Some of it sounds quite reasonable however, most of it is nonsense. The reason?

Turn Around Management (TAM) is a highly specialized field and very few truly understand the difficulties involved. While even fewer understand the fortitude and wherewithal needed to implement, as well as sustain, difficult courses of action paired with the countless other tough decisions needing to be made in real-time. I know this because I am one of those very few with the track record to prove it.

Let me try to express the underling premise on why TAM is so highly specialized using a scene from the movie U-571 (Universal Pictures – April 2000)

Early into the film there is a dialogue between the submarine’s Capt. and his officer whom is trying to become one. It unfolds something like this: (I’m paraphrasing) Officer: “I understand it was you that cast the deciding vote failing me on my test for promotion. Why?” Capt: “Because, when the decision came for you to send men into harms way knowing full well that many, if not all, would die or be lost – you flinched. The very survival of both this ship and everyone on board depends on, when the hardest of decisions are to be made, regardless of the difficulty – you wont flinch. If you will – then you have no business being a Capt.”

Harsh? Yes. Instructive? Absolutely. It is what separates one from the other. And, why so few truly understand turnaround situations. They call for decisiveness. It’s the very thing which becomes absent at its most fundamental level company wide. The failure in not recognizing this factor actually gives strength to the grip of inertia. Which in turn actually propels these companies faster into disarray.

Boards as well as most others will obfuscate till the cows come home, or the barn burns down. Sometimes doing both – simultaneously.

Although a few of these companies are embroiled in activist investor gamesmanship. i.e., Bill Ackman vs Carl Icahn. For me, the main issue as to whether or not these companies will survive is this: Just how scared (or convinced) is the Board, as well as all the others participants, that both the brand (and everything that entails,) along with the belief that their benefits and perks, are about to be annihilated out of existence? (Notice, I didn’t say bankruptcy or other term of art.) This is a critical distinction that can’t be overstated.

Only when everyone is convinced, and on board with the understandings that its “do or die” in its purest form is there a chance on executing the correct plans. Until then they’ll continue applying half-baked ideas with poor or terrible execution, long past the point of no return. Rather, than squarely facing death’s door to come back reinvigorated as to put plans and measures in place not only to survive, but – thrive.

Without “knocking on the door” or actually seeing the “ferryman’s” outstretched hand. There is no capitulation as to move, and move now!

Steve Job’s was asked to return to Apple when?
“When both the Board, as well as the others participants were scared (and probably convinced) that the brand (and everything that entails) along with all their benefits and perks, were about to be annihilated out of existence.”

Before this point both Apple as well as Jobs himself were on what I call, “the merry-go-round.” Endless small, bad, unproductive, costly decisions made in either panic modes – or screw you mode. It seemed boardroom as well as other members were more concerned with posturing for self-aggrandizement, rather than the company’s survival.

Then the moment came: When Jobs knew what was needed and how to implement it. While the players needing to give him that authority were willing to give it to him. Lock, stock, and barrel. Only then could Apple Computer become what we now know today as Apple.

So one might be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Apple, Jobs, its been harped to death, name another.” Well, you may have forgotten the story however, you still know the name because they had similar experiences. IBM®.

When Mr. Gerstner was asked to lead IBM, it was far from anything remotely resembling “good times.” The title of his book, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? (Harper Collins 11/2002) is a great title however, for me it also has another connotation: Who says? The Board or any other integral players that don’t or wont – get on board.

One thing that was abundantly clear. Mr. Gerstner was able (although many times having to fight tooth and nail) to do what he believed needed to be done only by getting everyone on board with his vision. And that vision was to change the entire business model and more of IBM. Agree with him or not, like Jobs, the task at hand was not for the faint of heart.

Again, we’re not talking about some mom and pop operation nor, mixing apples and oranges for comparisons. What was imperative to the task then, is just as imperative to the tasks in size and scope relative to today’s troubled names.

The catalyst that allowed Jobs, Gerstner, and the few others to get the authority needed, as well as the necessary backup to do or make the hard decisions was, and is, once again: “When both the Board, as well as the others participants are scared (and probably convinced) that the brand (and everything that entails) along with all their benefits and perks, are about to be annihilated out of existence.”

Once this becomes surreal to all the players involved. Not only will they let you teach the “elephants,” they’ll let you have the keys to the whole damn zoo.

The reason why so many fail after initial attempts more times than not, is just when things begin to show signs of improvement – some players begin acting as if they’re cured. This is the critical juncture where most comeback trials turn into failures.

Nothing in TAM is as frustrating, or sounds a clear death knell as when the arguments for continuing a strategy or tactic meets the dreaded, “We caught our second wind, so let’s not implement or take any of that hard medicine any longer.” And everything that was once agreed to – is now conveniently forgotten or forsaken. Here’s where being prudent takes the shape of entering the auctioneer’s number into speed dial. Reason? You’ll need them sooner than you think.

If the likes of JC Penny, Sears, and others are able to save themselves, it still might be possible. Although, they may or may not resemble anything of what they are known as today going forward. But then again, Apple, IBM, and the others that made it through aren’t what they started out as either.

The marketplace is littered with the remnants of companies that squandered the opportunities of, or for, reinvention. As I’ve said over and over in this article. The one constant that is going to tell whether or not it’s possible for any of them is this: “Are these Board’s, as well as the others participants scared (or convinced) that the brand (and everything that entails) along with all their benefits and perks, about to be annihilated out of existence?”

If they can agree that it is. Then they are more likely to agree and get the person needed on board. Then to empower, as well as back them, on what ever they need to do. Lock, stock, and barrel. Only then do any of these names have a chance at not only being relevant, but dominant.

The purpose when we were young was to grab for the brass ring as to get another go around, on the merry go round. The purpose in TAM, is to capture the brass ring, so one can turn around and – get off.

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr

Profiting At The Bottom Line™

This month’s focus: Not Everyone Wants A Better System

Whether you manage or own a company. You’ll hear many complaints within all levels of business. Whether it be departments, customers, suppliers, or any others. Usually the first thing to be blamed is: “The system.”

There are far too many to list however, here’s just a couple in brevity: Order process is convoluted, shipping doesn’t talk to receiving, salespeople don’t check stock before taking orders, buyers don’t stock what customers want, etc.

All the above are valid. Yet, that doesn’t actually mean they are the defense as to point or lay blame when issues arise. These same issues could very well be helping (yes helping, as well as being exploited by) the very people who complain the loudest about their current inefficiencies.

Case Study:
I was hired by one of the premier companies that both specialized in as well as supplied some of the world’s finest dining establishments in the country. One of my tasks was to reduce the number of order errors. i.e., Customer ordered X, yet received Y, and charged Z. It was for all intents and purposes a monumental task that had been tried many times before me with little to no resolution of note.

I worked on then devised a revamp of the entire ordering and fulfillment process which entailed developing a new order entry process for the company. My innovation worked so well that testing proved it all but eliminated the issue in one fell swoop. So, everybody is happy now correct? Well, not everyone.

All of the sudden the person which complained the loudest about all the earlier misgivings of the original system was now quite loudly proclaiming how this new system was “too hard to understand,” or, “making their customers uneasy,” because of new protocols. This person? The #1 salesperson for the company. Why?

It seemed this person had been exploiting many of the “issues” to their benefit however, or whenever the need arrived. i.e.,
Forgot to enter a customers order?  Say you did, then blame the system.
Customer complains about higher prices? Enter a lower priced (usually out of stock) product then, attach special instructions to fill order with higher priced item at same price. (“After all why should the customer pay for our mistake.” was the often employed alibi) Not to mention the back flips, and somersaults that would be demanded by this person from the company as a whole, as well as other departments for as they would shout, “You screwed up my order, and my customer. Now you go fix it!”

Once the resolved issues with the system became manifest where no one could end run them any longer, the person that complained the loudest as to fix the system, now was shouting they couldn’t work with it or they would lose sales.

Anyone can sell or move product out the door on the cheap. (or worse)
It’s up to you as to make sure you’re #1 because of the profit brought in. Not just the amount of product moved out the door.

You can’t make up a loss with even more losses on volume.

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr

Profiting At The Bottom Line™ is a monthly memo, which is pithy, powerful, and to the point. It focuses on innovative techniques and or ideas that you can put to work immediately in your daily or business life.

Stop Waiting Because Nobody’s Coming

One of the worst self-fulfilling cycles where doom and gloom can set in, then both feed and amplify its effects on anyone is in the dreaded: Waiting for someone to come save you.

Of course this is a generalization. However, the analogy is based in some hard lessons learned from others over the years across the spectrum of life.

Just as in survival tactics, many times waiting for help is exactly what you shouldn’t do. More often than not – you need to seek it. Getting into the “hunkering down” mindset can feed upon itself (as well as you) without you noticing the effects till far down the rabbit hole.

Action trumps reaction. Taking control where you decide that you’re going to be the proactive measurement in a given situation, as opposed to waiting for some action, is the mindset that propels you forward. If you’re stuck – you need action. And, that action begins with you doing the pushing – first. And – now!

Technology today is a great benefit when used properly. It can keep you “in the loop” as to not miss important information or “that call” when you need it. However, it’s a double-edged sword.

Waiting around for the phone to ring, bleep, or whatever can be both self-defeating as well demoralizing when that’s all you seem to be doing. You need to get busy doing anything that’s in line with moving you towards your goal or goals.

Make other people’s phone ring as in getting appointments. Get proactive – now! Just don’t confuse proactive with some form of busy work.

Checking the social or business networks every 30 seconds as to see if someone left a message where they just offered you some six figured salary with stock options and needs your response now or it’s gone – is a fool’s errand. No matter what others say. Period.

If you’re busy making things happen (no matter what “things” may entail, as long as it’s worthy of actually being paid as in legal tender) then get busy doing it.

If you have a great idea trust me when I say this; nobody cares more than you to make it happen. So go make it happen. Waiting does only one thing – it encourages or causes more waiting.

There’s something inherently freeing when one decides they will wait no longer, do or die, they’re going to move (or do.) Waiting for the phone or computer to ring or bleep can turn into nauseatingly wasted emotional roller coaster rides.

Just ask yourself what’s better or more productive? Making yourself so busy as in needing to stop what you’re doing, as to make time to answer or receive a message? Or…

Sitting around waiting (or checking one’s status every 30 seconds) for a message only to find the ones that do come in are of the “un” wanted variety? i.e., You’ve just been un-liked, un-followed, un-friended, un- whatever.

One thing you won’t be is unhappy when you move on your own initiative instead of waiting for someone else to initiate something.

Don’t wait for the knock – Get busy and knock yourself out!

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr

The Dreaded: It’s Different This Time!

For anyone that’s been either following or actively trading the markets over the last four years. The over used, and now maligned phrase, “It’s different this time.” has for all intents and purposes become not only irrelevant rather, has taken on the same implications as being lumped in with crying wolf, or riling up Ms. Little. However, the only bird that hasn’t (or more likely wont) taken notice of the past weeks market gyrations – is an ostrich.

Personally I don’t know if it “is” or “is not” anything this time. What I do know is most people, especially those that have mimicked ostrich like behaviors or traits during this run-up since 2010 will be the most surprised and, probably feel the ravages more acutely if there is anything remotely different going forward from here. Only time will tell as all this plays out. Yet, the stage this time is set a whole lot different for act two than what we’ve been watching play out in act one.

The distressing point I see today that wasn’t as prevalent before 2010, is the way far too many still involved with “investing” are handling their money. I am both dumbfounded as well as staggered when I hear people talk about their investments. (I try to shun away from the conversation but it never saves me.)

Either they have no idea what they’re doing or worse, they transfer account balances to and fro with anyone bearing a business card. i.e.,
“Hi, I’m Joseph (I just graduated from school yesterday so can I have access to all your money?) Schmoe.
We really know how to invest for your future here at Snidely Whiplash’s Emporium of All Things Financial and Banking Inc. Let’s look at your allocations and get you ‘diversified properly.’ What’s you’re SS# and Retirement account # so we can get started today and, get you that free toaster!” Yet, so far – it’s worked. So why worry? Right?

Well, here’s an issue all those so-called “smart crowd” talking heads said wasn’t anything to worry about, but now? “OMG! It’s the taper!” (As in the Federal Reserve will taper its purchasing or quantitative easing programs aka QE)

The issue that’s really putting the pressure on what the, may, or, may not happen paradigm is this: Not only did many not heed the perils of 2008 and fortify themselves with education, as well as a more hands on approach with their investments. It seems they took the mantra, “The Fed’s got your back.” as some form of gospel. And, like I’ve stated earlier, “So far – it’s worked.” Which is where I believe a lot of the unforeseen repercussions will metastasize from if something were to go awry.

Here’s a personal example of what I’m trying to illuminate. During 2010 the markets were very volatile. The melt down was fresh in everyone’s mind and to many, they were (although scary) behaving much like they should.

We were on the cusp of what seemed like another downdraft approaching. I remember clearly for 2 reasons. First: I had already immersed myself into becoming financially literate and understanding markets during the first rumblings in 2007 as to handle my own money. And, was comfortable in this period with my knowledge of what and, what not to do. Second: My mother had just passed and I was being quizzed by relatives after the services about what they should do.

The market at this point and time was showing all the signs of rolling over once again, and everyone was nervous. This was May 2010 right before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s famous (or for some infamous) Jackson Hole speech and the onslaught of QE.

As I spoke to one family member in particular the conversation revolved many times with them just having “faith.” They worked for a Fortune 100™ company for years and were hard pressed on (or about) doing anything. Doing nothing (as in channeling a casino term, “let it ride”) for them seemed like the best course of action. Why? Because people by and large put more faith into others than they do in themselves. Plus – It’s easier. With the added benefit whether consciously or unconsciously allowing for the possibility of having someone else to blame rather than themselves. (I’m not being smart alacky, we’re all guilty of this at times)

At this time I was firmly in the “markets are about to roll over camp.” I stressed over, and over again, “You don’t need to heed my warnings if you don’t want to. However, get educated and know why you don’t want to heed them. Not because some talking head on TV said this or that.”

The reply as it usually does comes back something akin to'” Yeah, you’re right. I should do something like that. Maybe later this year when I get some free time.” And, that’s when you know in your gut right there – they aren’t going to do anything. And, just like a broken record I say again, “So far – it’s worked.”

This is where my whole crux for concern with the dreaded, “It’s different this time” resounds. What happens this time in a sell off with any magnitude of size or scale? Do people just, “let it ride” once again like my family member? (Or possibly someone close to you? Maybe really close?)

Will a 25%, 30%. 50% liquidation in values once again leave anyone with some calming reference of, “Don’t worry. The Fed’s got your back!?” For if one were to be honest with oneself, “If the Fed has your back.” How can they allow the market to ever go down again? And, if it does go down. Does that mean the Fed. has lost control? Or, does it mean the Fed believes you have too much money and can afford to lose some? The answer truly is one – or the other.

And that’s the difference in today’s market that is – different this time.

Never before in the history of the financial markets has such a quandary ever shown itself. Nor, the implications that are present today been so acute. For the true answer to the question or statement, “It’s different this time” resides in the answer to the above questions which I repeat:

“If the Fed has your back.” How can they allow the market to ever go down again? And, if it does go down – does that mean the Fed. has lost control? Or, does it mean the Fed believes you have too much money and can afford to lose some?”

There are a lot who are going to dread finding out the answer. Just don’t let it be you.

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr

Moving The Needle On Motivation

I wanted to share a few things that are currently taking shape behind the scenes that I’ve been contemplating from both my writing, speaking, and more.

As some that subscribe or visit my site on a normal basis know, this blog is my “window” as well as my “soapbox” to express what’s on my mind, how I may view current events as they pertain to entrepreneurs, and more. I will at times when expressing why one should try this or that use myself as the example. i.e., I have actually done “it,” or currently doing “it.”

Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong. Yet I’m both willing and comfortable enough in my own skin to state it (when proven wrong, not simply called wrong) as well as willing to change tactics or directions in the face of new or recently discovered evidence.

However, one thing that hasn’t changed is my adamant distaste with the deplorable shape and quality of most “motivational” speakers, seminars, as well as the majority of trite sold which leaves many even more dispirited or unmotivated than they first were.

I started both this blog as well as my writing and speaking in direct opposition to the “snake oil” hawkers. Knowing full well I would be lumped into the whole genre which has become a mockery of anything motivational in the eyes of most people. (If you want to see people roll their eyes just tell them you do any sort of motivational speaking.) Yet, that doesn’t mean people don’t want or need it. What they don’t want or need is fairy-tales. Or, as I’ve said repeatedly, “romance novels for business.”

So, in all this light let me share a few things I’m both working on, as well as expanding in the coming months (and further forward) from here.

For those not aware (I state this for any new visitors as well as the new traffic we receive from around the globe.) I had started another project affectionately named “Motivate Yourself To Riches.” (MYTR) Originally I had planned on releasing a book as well as other initiatives under that banner when I changed and decided to first write, “A Fist Full Of Mark’ers” (FFOM). So I put that project on the back burner.

When I first released FFOM I was experimenting with the audio delivery and presentation. (Yes, I’m still working on the audio but, that’s for another post) I released it in what some might refer to as a “beta” version. In other words not perfect (possibly not even close) to the final version, however, I made it available for free via iTunes® as a podcast format under the MYTR banner or site.

This seemed like a great fit since it was a work in progress and since the MYTR site was dormant. (many know it’s been available there since the original launch of FFOM) Yet as they say, “You just never know…”

Now I knew it was getting some traffic however I payed little to no attention to it. (The actual site has been in place holder format and not even fully operational) I’ve been immersed in other projects with FFOM as well as being discombobulated with moving my residence from KY to OH this summer. (I’m just now feeling normalcy beginning to take shape)

So last week I decided to do a Google® search on MYTR. For laughs I ran the search criteria using no quotations, clear of cookies, and more just to see where it might turn up in the hierarchy. When it came back I nearly fell out my chair. (V.V. at StreetCry had similar results) Below is a screen shot.

MYTR in #1 position of resulting 58 Million

MYTR in #1 position of resulting 58 Million

Some may be shrugging thinking “So what?” which I can understand. However, for those that understand statistics, especially in search results hierarchy, you don’t get the #1 position in a tens of millions result query using words that are known SEO (search engine optimization) darlings where brands (as well as individuals) pay big money to manipulate unless you are actually getting noticeable traction or traffic that pushes you to the top of that list. Never mind not trying to manipulate it or specify the criteria yourself by employing “quotes” and other drill down modifiers. Honestly without the ” ” modifier, I honestly thought maybe, just maybe, I would begin to show up on about page 4 or 5. But, 1st? Absolutely not. (Bear in mind I also don’t use “social media” which all the “gurus” state must be employed – or they’re unemployed.)

I was actually stunned to see I was above Mr. Chandler whom by the way is a favorite of mine and, he along with some other quite famous names were actually going to allow me to use some of their work on this site when I first created it. Speakers like Mr. Chandler and some others (for brevity I’m not naming them all here but, they are out there) are truly both generous and the real deal in my book. There are far too few of them in or left in the genre today. I’ll write that story and the motivation behind the original idea of MYTR but for now – that’s another post.

So what might you ask is this all about. Well, in all it’s just a long way of saying when most were telling me the “motivation industry” was dead and no one listens or wants that type of crap anymore they were correct.

What they were possibly incorrect about and what is now becoming clear is that there is thirst for, and quite possibly a re-birth of motivational writing and/or speaking that people both want and need. With yours truly helping to lead the pack. (Think I’m off base? Just look at the coverage today of Ashton Kutcher’s channeling of Steve Job’s famous Stanford speech at the Teen Choice Awards™ Ceremony.)

So watch for coming details on changes and future plans for MYTR with some other projects in the coming future. I’ll post and you’ll see them here first as always.

And, thanks to all of you for coming here and reading, watching, or listening to my offerings. Giving me the opportunity to either get it right, or get it wrong, or, to try again.

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr

FFOM’ers Audio Book Update

We just wanted to touch base as to let you know the audiobook version of Mark’s “A Fist Full of Mark’ers” is continuing to taking shape.

Once again the only issue has been time and timing. We’re currently looking at a release date sometime late fall. (Maybe even sooner if we can just get Mark to not change something…Again!)

As we’ve stated before:

“Unlike other books on business or entrepreneurship, this truly is a re-design of the whole idea of just how the message, thoughts, premise, or ideas will be expressed in today’s new world of delivering insights. The style, format, presentation, and more is absolutely unlike anyone else on the world stage of success or business today.”

We as well as Mark are fully aware some will love it, some will hate it, and some will shrug. All we know is this: You won’t confuse Mark’s work with anyone else. Which is exactly the point.

So in that light here’s another sample of what it’s shaping up to look or sound like. We hope you enjoy and, if you like it please feel free to share it anywhere you like. (Please don’t spam anyone!)

Sincerely,

V.V. -StreetCry Media

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Emotion vs Logic Is The Wrong Debate

©2013 Mark St.Cyr
in association with
StreetCry™ Media
All Rights Reserved

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr

Can’t see the audio player on your mobile device? Click here.

Please Stop Telling Me: “I Matter”

If you’re in the field of sales and you are not well within sight or, currently earning a six figure income. I would wager dollars to doughnuts you are well versed in every cliché ever muttered or newly coined. i.e., “Your call matters to us.” et al. However, in reality, your potential or current customer thinks: “You’re full of it.”

If you have voice mail where I can leave my name, return #, a message that I want to purchase and you don’t call me back in (let alone) hours, but rather for days where I have to leave another message? Sorry – I don’t matter, and you don’t care. Period.

If you picked up my call on the second ring like all the “Customer Service for the Dumbest” books told you to do. Yet, now that I’ve purchased I can’t get a call returned within 24 hours – you’re not a “salesperson.” You’re an order taker and deserve the wages paid for such.

If you’re a true salesperson with the quest to earn income awarded to the profession such as, writing ones own ticket, with unlimited income potential, what you won’t need to do is tell me: “I matter!”

I’ll know it through your service, which tells me all I need to know. While at the same time will gain you the gold standard award only given to the best of the best, which is why they earn the “big money.”

Unsolicited referrals and praise.

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr