Month: July 2014

Be Advised MarkStCyr.com Seems To Have Been Hijacked In Search

Dear subscribers and visitors, it’s come to my knowledge that my .com search results (Both in Goolge® and Bing™ have been hijacked sending people to other websites we have NO affiliation with. It seems using the web address to go directly there is working properly but as of now we don’t know what else may be at risk.

It seems the more popular one becomes – the more the thieves and low-life’s want to share in.

I’ll post again as I know more.

Mark

It’s Always Been About Getting Out – Not In

An issue that has been debated more times across the financial media than the main stream media’s fixation on some celebrities bottom has been about “missing out” or “getting in” since the so-called “generational bottom” of 2008.

What has been lost on so many of the nascent “just buy the dips” crowd is they have been systematically rewarded as to forgo any objective analysis on why this market keeps rising; and like Pavlov’s dogs they’ve been rewarded every-time they’ve answered the opening bell.

Getting in to buy every dip fueled with free and easy money to spend via the Federal Reserve has taken little skill or expertise. However, who is going to be there to buy what you’re holding; when you want out? Especially in any unexpected downdraft.

That is the only fundamental issue that still seems to have true relevancy in this 5 year bizarro world we now define as “the market.”

Call them Shorts, Bears, whatever, but the one moniker that doesn’t fit properly yet is applied universally so is: wrong.

Bears have been wrong: but they’ve been wrong for all the right reasons.

Yes, they have been wrong as in calling the direction of this market. But is this truly a “market” any longer since it’s now singularly based on interventionist policies never before witnessed in its history?

Yet this latest moniker has been allowed to be affixed with such permanency it would make a bottle of Superglue™ blush. Personally I wear it as a badge of honor.

To show just how far we have come in looking at true fundamental, objective analysis, consider the following:

If Billy Paintmiester goes to the local store and purchases a paint by number set, then puts it up for sale where it’s purchased for $1,000,000.00. Then does it again, and again, and again. What would one think?

Of course Billy’s paintings would now be the rage throughout the media as “Genius” or “Picasso-esque” and more. You would have a cacophony of art critics and more heralding his brilliance on the use of his brush along with critiquing every other minute detail as to keep the story alive.

Yet, as a few dig deeper it’s revealed “the bids are only coming from one buyer” however, they are refuted and branded as critics jealous of having missed out on this nouveau craze of painting by the numbers.

The refuted critics are continuously sneered, jeered, and finger wagged as every new painting sold is held up as “proof” they didn’t know what they are talking about for: “it’s different this time.”

Then suddenly everyone realizes that “one buyer” can’t be explained away. The one bidder is found out to be Billy’s rich uncle and without his influence: there is no “paint by the numbers market.”

This is where I believe we are in respects to today’s market highs. At some point true fundamentals of market forces will come back into play. And the fundamental that may be missing currently is the most important as well as overlooked by today’s just buy the dip crowd: Who will they sell to when they need to get out?

Since former chairman Ben Bernanke’s famous (some will say infamous) Jackson Hole speech where he announced in no uncertain terms the Federal Reserve will supply the funding (via QE) as long as the economy’s picture is made up by certain numbers contained within lines the “Fed” deems correct. The market picture has been hailed as a work of art worthy to be placed in museums where scholarly work and interpretations will be bestowed for all times.

Yes these numbers or colors are within defined lines as to make something which resembles a picture of economic recovery, but what you don’t have is something resembling a picture worth looking at: Let alone one worth buying.

There’s no true true economic recovery picture to be bought. The only artistry on display here has been of the BS variety. And most serious business people are not, and have not bought it for a very long time.

People everywhere continually point at “the numbers” as concrete evidence to hang their horns on. Although if I’m not mistaken Bernie Madoff, Enron, and few others had quite spectacular numbers also. They too created great pictures staying within the lines showing a picture only Wall Street could love. Till they didn’t.

However, what’s again the real issue with the markets at these heights is that little unsettling, as well as under reported fact that Shorts (as well as even the contrarian play trader) has been decimated, discouraged, and for many even bankrupted when trying to play the fundamental elements of supply and demand contained within free markets. For the Fed. has proven it will use its own bazooka to protect this so-called art gallery from being exposed as the paint by numbers fraud that it is.

We are now at heights where even the so-called “Uber Bulls” are beginning to get a little nervous in the hoof. For just who is going to buy when the first major dip goes stampeding past?

There are no shorts to speak of at these levels that would need to cover and buy as to close a position. The Fed. has all but eliminated them giving a possible free-falling market even more wind at its back. Market volume analysis alone should bring this fact to light for anyone who’s serious about looking into why volume is so atrocious. You have only one side now playing.

In 2010 when the market first showed signs of honest weakness you had prudent bulls that rode the 666 train from the market lows that could take profits as the euphoric killing bears would inject rational thinking back into the markets by tamping down unicorn and rainbow exuberance. The Federal Reserve has completely thrown that market dynamic out the window – by opening their own.

The dirty little secret that everyone (and I mean everyone) wants to act as if it no longer exists is: These prices are only representative of anything worth value if they can be sold.

And as of right now, just how much of a discount will be needed if suddenly someone shouts “Fire Sale!” in this crowded theater?

© 2014 Mark St.Cyr

 

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

I thought during the holiday weekend I would write an article about writing and more, and why one shouldn’t listen to naysayers along with using the Punctuation Police and the Grammar Gestapo as examples. It was a lighthearted post about dealing with serious matters that could stop many before they even start. So I was absolutely flabbergasted when I was alerted to a debate raging in the NY Times™ of all places about “a period” in the Declaration Of Independence and whether or not it was a typo! This is nearly 240 years after the fact and the PP are going after Thomas Jefferson! To wit:

If Only Thomas Jefferson Could Settle the Issue
A Period Is Questioned in the Declaration of Independence

And I thought they were tough on me…We’re talking Jefferson here! What’s next – the period in my last name will now be questioned?!!! People, you can’t make this stuff up. It’s just too insane, and that’s crazy.

© 2014 Mark St.Cyr

Profiting At The Bottom Line™

This month’s focus: Make Sure You Own Or Control Your Livelihood

In today’s new and ever-changing world of technology, one thing is becoming crystal clear: Far too many entrepreneurs have no understanding of what they own or, what rights they’re giving away to others.

In the mad rush to be all things to all people everywhere, many would be (as well as current) entrepreneurs are giving away the ownership or rights to their intellectual property both unintentionally as well as willfully.The problem in most cases is due to ignorance. Although this is curable, the price paid for a cure may be more than most will have ever bargained for.

Case Study: Currently there is a great debate and argument playing out with the business model of the internet of yesterday to the one that it is transforming into today. An example to watch currently is Amazon™ vs Hachette™. The battle has a few different elements to it, however, the most compelling is the audiobook portion taking place amongst other various titles, publishers and authors.

Not only does Amazon want to dictate the selling price along with a larger portion of the profit. It now is allowing users via a feature through its audiobook division to allow purchasers of a book to listen to the audio version for $1.99. irregardless if that audiobook is sold everywhere at much higher prices. e.g., Many popular titled audiobooks sell at around $45.00

The pressure to allow digitally distributed products to be priced at prices that are “good for the customer” based on the rationale of “cost of distribution” is ludicrous. One would never put forth a serious argument if one found a dollar bill, they should in turn sell it to someone for 5o cents, because after all, they found it, it cost them nothing and was pure profit. Yet this is the argument in kind being put forward.

This is one reason why I curtailed the release of my own audiobook version of my first book. The reason for it was simple, as I was entering the studio in preparation to recording, setting up the studio time, engineer, director and others; the cost factor continued to escalate. If I were to release the original version in audiobook fashion via the now accepted norms, I would be subject to this same issue crushing any hopes of ever recouping production costs, let alone any profits. So I released a version I was comfortable with for free in iTunes™

Although my own audio version is currently available for free: I own both the rights, and the distribution channels of how and where my material goes. For if one doesn’t: You’ll have nothing worth selling down the road for you gave everything away, all at your own expense – while others profited on your behalf.

It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to produce just 1 audio book properly. Whether or not you believe you can recoup that cost at $1.99 or $199.99 doesn’t matter. That should be a decision discussed and agreed to by all. If a third-party distributor is allowed to dictate terms of sales you don’t agree to and have no way of stopping or opting out; you don’t have a viable business. As a matter of fact, you don’t have a business at all. What that’s called is indentured servitude.

© 2014 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.

Just An Update On: The Updates

Dear subscribers and guests. As many of you know we have been mentioning updates that are coming for the blog, this is the weekend we’re going to try to install many of them. For now many of the updates are on the so-called “back-end” since the blog has grown with more subscribers and visitors from around the globe. (It is officially now viewed and read in over 95 countries!) Some may not experience any changes depending on the time, or the day as we initiate them. All this updating is to ensure a smoother experience and the facilitation of adding more content some strictly for subscribers, and more. (much of that will be announced on a roll out basis.)

The MarkStCyr.com website and the blog will become one as in “seamless.” A redesign incorporating the two is in beta and we’re rolling it out (hopefully) in working order. If not, don’t be surprised if you get some form of error message or if things seem a little buggy over the next week or so. It’s just us in the background trying to get it right.

As always thanks to all of you around the globe. We hope this update will make your experience here even better.

Once again thanks!

V.V. -StreetCry Media

Celebrating Independence!

Here’s to all celebrating July 4th, the day our nation declared its independence from tyranny, and had the guts to state it publicly and defend it with our lives and sacred honor. We still believe and hold these truths to be self-evident.

And to those around the globe, may you take the same solace and reverence in spirit to renew your own independence whether in your thoughts and deeds as to not allow anyone to tell you: you can’t accomplish that. You can!

Mark

Addendum To: Receiving A Valid Ticket

I was asked after I wrote this if I could give an example of someone who was an actual writer that they would know as to give them more context. The name that came to my mind was Stephen J. Cannell. Mr. Cannell wrote scripts for some of my favorite shows to this day” It Takes A Thief, Ironsides, Columbo, Adam 12, and many, many more.

I remember years ago hearing him during an interview recanting his lifelong struggle with dyslexia. This would have stunted the ambition as to even contemplate the idea of writing, let alone actually pursue it. Most would look upon this condition as fatal. He looked at it as an obstacle that just needed to be dealt with. He was also known for describing his condition as something that enriched his life.

So debilitating was his condition I remember him laughingly state during an interview (I’m paraphrasing):  Nobody could steal his ideas because only his then secretary could decipher his writing. It would be like looking at code for anyone else.

Let people like this be inspiration for you to follow you pursuits as well. Just imagine how many people tried telling him when he was first contemplating a career in writing: “Steve, c’mon, you can’t spell properly and you want to be taken seriously as a writer? You better rethink that idea and focus on a career in your father’s business.”

Remember, there were no such things as word processors with spell checkers and all the other attributes we take for granted today. As a matter of fact, I don’t think WhiteOut® was even invented yet!

Receiving A Valid Ticket From The Punctuation Police: And Pleading A Case

Readers who’ve been with me for a while know all too well my struggles via the printed word. I have been very candid in print as well as speaking: I can barely spell cat without running it through a spellchecker.

Punctuation? Please, I have an even harder time knowing what goes where, when to use commas, colons, and all the rest. Grammar? I hit that about 50/50. My only clue to this ratio is in direct proportion of violation alerts I receive via what I deem a more over-arching authority: The Grammar Gestapo.

These are the people I equate to as “the don’t mess with crowd.” For they take their position very, very, very seriously. I think of them all in my-own self-made  hierarchical order. The Punctuation Police are the locals; the Grammar Gestapo are the feds! And just like most federal agencies: Ignorance is no excuse. I might be able to talk my way out of a ticket with the PP, but the GG? Forget about it. I’m going straight to the slammer!

Since we’re going into the holiday weekend I’d like to take a moment and elaborate (or meander) on some of this and more. And why I decided it was important to write this post. (even though as I said it might meander)

The reason isn’t about me: It’s about many of you allowing yourselves to be hobbled into not taking risks for fear of criticism.

I am here to state rather bluntly: That is the worst, most soul sucking way you can go through life. Don’t let that happen.

If you truly desire you want to achieve something you must be willing to take the necessary steps and move into the line of fire approaching whatever your subject matter is, with the best of your abilities while simultaneously; not fooling yourself that you don’t (or wont) need improvement along the journey because of material gains made along the way. The journey is: Self-improvement. The money gained is only a tool to help fuel the journey. Nothing more.

Getting back to the title of this post. It was prompted when I was reading comments on a blog where I am a contributor. As many of you know I don’t have comments on my own blog and never have. However, this is the doldrums going into the summer season so I decided why not read a few.

My latest post, “Forget Shrugged Atlas May Just Throw Up His Hands” has been very well received. So when I was perusing some sites reading various comments I was struck when I read the following:  “Mark Sweety , the punctuation in this article . I would of expected this be written in crayon . Don”t quit your day job .”

As many people who have followed me know this type of commentary or snark I could care less. (not to mention the possible grammatical error contained within their snark) However, this time I decided to see if there was a valid point. (As opposed to inadvertently missing a glaring typo or a misspelling.) The point was valid. The punctuation wasn’t incorrect in places: It was down right atrocious.

Again, it’s rare that I read comments on other sites and the reason for that is I found out very early on from people who ran or started other blogs: it’s very easy to become obsessed with them. Whether they received 1 or 1000 it didn’t matter. The obsession developed as to try and read between the lines of every single commenter. i.e., What do they mean exactly by “the sun is rising?” Is there a hidden meaning that I should now use or eliminate “sun” in my posts? What if I use the moon? Will I lose them? Will I gain more comments? Should I write about planets instead?

Many curbed their views while some decided not to write at all for fear of writing the wrong thing. What has happened to most of these blogs over the years? They’re gone or abandoned. Some of these people I knew personally. Some were professional writers, editors, and more. Their command of language and all that entails by right should have allowed them far more ease at content or expression; with far fewer worries about criticism within the scope of typo’s and such. Yet, they’re gone.

People want everything to be absolutely perfect before and sometimes even while moving. You can’t in all situations. As a matter of fact you’ll find in practice more times than not: this is exactly the wrong thing to do. For it helps create more inertia rather than helping to start any form of momentum.

If you’re about 80% ready whatever the en devour: you should move or start. The remaining 20% more often than not you’ll find is unnecessary. If it’s found you do need it: You can acquire it on the go.

Your default position should be to move earlier or sooner with a hint of reckless abandonment, rather than waiting for perfection before proceeding. (Unless you’re constructing a nuclear facility. Just saying.)

Personally that’s how I’ve approached most things in my life. My writing is just my latest expression. I know I have issues. I struggle daily searching for proper punctuation, spellings, phrases, grammatical errors and more. But that can’t be a crutch as to not move.

I put my best foot forward and hope that readers will look at the idea expressed in context. So far like many of my past endeavors this philosophy has proved correct. I would rather be known for coming up short but trying my best, rather than trying to be perfect and not accomplishing squat.

If you have something to say, or have something you want to express (as in a business of any shape, size, or type) you must err on the side of moving too early, rather than waiting for everything to be perfect.

I can not emphasize this enough. Move and improve on the move. That should be your mantra. Forget all the naysayers. Move, move…..Move! Economic conditions and more be damned. Make your own conditions!

I was reminded of the importance of this while running yesterday for it gave me additional promoting to write about this very thing. As I was running I was alerted to a new single just released by friends of mine Godsmack (GS). Their newest release is, “1000hp.” (YouTube™ link here)

As some may know I refer and incorporate anecdotes from their success in some of my writings and talks because we both have done things at the same time where everyone told us: “No F’n way you’ll ever get there!”

Friends of ours that were other musicians, business owners and more all telling us, “Maybe you should rethink your goals?” We didn’t – we doubled down. But these weren’t based on pie in the sky thinking. We knew the risks. We knew failure was not only possible, but very well could be probable. Yet, we moved, pushed, ready or not, go, go….GO!

Why this song caught me were the lyrics. In 1995 we were struggling. Both of us. I was there when the band didn’t have more than a handful of followers. I at the time was in between career choices wondering just where and what I was going to do next.

I remember going to their first show under the banner of GS where I was one of an audience of about 20 when they played to a basically empty room. (They were opening for another of my friends band before they switched names and went full force under GS) When they first decided to try recording I was there with my other friend that owned the studio, bringing my gear for them to use if needed. (They were just cutting their chops in the studio and as friends do, I offered what ever I had if needed.)

Now nearly 20 years later I find it fascinating that no matter the success (watching theirs as well as living my own) the journey is still as fun and as fresh as it ever was. I continue to hit milestones others told me were basically unattainable, or rare if ever were going to happen. They are still touring the world playing some of the largest stages when most are nothing more than one hit wonders. Or as David Lee Roth once stated, “Here today, gone later today.”

For the guy’s in GS I know first hand what they were up against and how much commitment they made to their cause. I can remember like it was yesterday having discussions with others that were “the professionals” commenting on why they (GS) didn’t have a chance. What and why they were playing was already done and more. Now it’s they that are still sitting there watching as they (GS) continue reaping the benefits of all that hard work and risk taking.

I still find it amazing that my career took off at about the same time only in a different direction. For here I was at the same time, same place dreaming the “big dream.” Who was I to think without graduating from high school (let alone college) while always facing the finger waging of “You’re going to end up nowhere” then would end up running one of the largest independent food companies in New England, along with being involved with so many other ground breaking events. Retiring at 45 years old, then becoming a writer, speaker and more where my thoughts at any given time can be viewed (some in the millions) around the globe. I left the music stage behind deciding to immerse myself in business pursuits only to find myself back on one now commanding speaking fees of $35,000.00 and up. Just absolutely mind-boggling. (Again, all this from a person who has a hard time spelling cat without spell checker. Let alone fluent in grammar and punctuation.)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking proper feedback. Actually I recommend it. However, be very guarded as in not allow yourself to be swayed in your pursuits by listening to detractors or free advice givers.  Taking unsolicited advice is usually the worst thing one can do. Remember, most advice of this type is for the purpose of making the sender feel superior, not to actually help the recipient.

Many just want to take shots because they feel it’s their job as a self-appointed critic. Others just don’t understand what it is to think as “big” as you do, so they reflexively will say: “That wont, can’t, will never, ______ (fill in the blank).” etc., etc., etc.

However, if there are times when someone makes an observation where you’ll find there just might be some validity; it is inherent upon you to improve upon yourself if it’s found to be valid. There’s nothing wrong with that either. Just understand the difference and not allow it to immobilize you.

You can always improve, we all can. But do your improving on the move. That’s where you’ll find the highest multiplying effects. You’ll stumble, you’ll get embarrassed, you’ll mess-up. People will call you on it, call you out in public. Who cares! Move, move, move!

Be big enough to acknowledge a valid point even if it hurts and find ways to improve. Maybe you’ll decide to make this holiday of independence your own starting point where you claim independence over your own course, rather than allowing yourself to be blown too and fro, never setting a sail to mark your own place on a map to where you want to go.

Set your sail, get your bearings, and GO! Critics be damned!

It’s a great big world out here. You’re the captain. The destination is yours for the choosing no matter what anyone wants to tell you.

I’m living proof. (as long as I can spell it I guess)

© 2014 Mark St.Cyr

Addendum: I was asked after I wrote this if I could give an example of someone who was an actual writer that they would know as to give them more context. The name that came to my mind was Stephen J. Cannell. Mr. Cannell wrote scripts for some of my favorite shows to this day” It Takes A Thief, Ironsides, Columbo, Adam 12, and many, many more.

I remember years ago hearing him during an interview recanting his lifelong struggle with dyslexia. This would have stunted the ambition as to even contemplate the idea of writing, let alone actually pursue it. Most would look upon this condition as fatal. He looked at it as an obstacle that just needed to be dealt with. He was also known for describing his condition as something that enriched his life.

So debilitating was his condition I remember him laughingly state during an interview (I’m paraphrasing):  Nobody could steal his ideas because only his then secretary could decipher his writing. It would be like looking at code for anyone else.

Let people like this be inspiration for you to follow you pursuits as well. Just imagine how many people tried telling him when he was first contemplating a career in writing: “Steve, c’mon, you can’t spell properly and you want to be taken seriously as a writer? You better rethink that idea and focus on a career in your father’s business.”

Remember, there were no such things as word processors with spell checkers and all the other attributes we take for granted today. As a matter of fact, I don’t think WhiteOut® was even invented yet!