Tiger Woods Business is Nobody’s Damn Business!

December 9, 2009          Comments (0)

TigerWoodsSmile

Here’s the thing: Tiger Woods business isn’t anybody’s business! However, Tiger Woods wouldn’t be Tiger Woods, if no one cared about his business!

There in lies the juxtaposition so many celebrities face. “Just leave me alone. I want my privacy!” they plead.

Many professional athletes have sympathy for Woods, too.

NFL football player, Jason Taylor, of the Miami Dolphins was in the locker room and saw ESPN running a tease about Woods. He reached up and turned off the TV. “Nobody’s damned business,” Taylor said.

Do you really want people to not care about your business Tiger (or Jason)? The reason why athletes and celebrities get mega-endorsement deals is because so many people are so emotionally invested in them. So many people do care about them and their business.

If Tiger endorses Nike and uses their clubs (or gets them used on him) then I want to use them. If he puts his name on it, he must believe in it. And if he believes in it, it must be good enough for me the conventional thinking goes. If I love rapper 50 Cent then why shouldn’t I drink his Formula 50 beverage or buy Britney Spears perfume?

Growing up when I thought the NBA was a legitimate career option, I idolized Michael Jordan. I drank Gatorade, got his sneakers and wore Air Jordan clothes. I tried to look, dress and act like him when I played basketball because I wanted to be like him.

That’s why companies pay gazillions of dollars to celebrities. People emulate highly successful people. They buy and do what highly successful people tell them to do because they aspire to be like them.

Companies only spend the bazillions because it works. Want to know if an infomercial product is selling? If you keep seeing the commercial over and over it’s working!

No one cares about the worst players. And if no one cares about your business, no company is going to want you to endorse their products.

So embrace it Tiger. You certainly can’t fight it at this point!

Ironically, one of my post popular posts “Why you shouldn’t hit the snooze button ever again, according to Tiger Woods“, includes an interesting nugget from him.

He said, “The greatest thing about tomorrow is, I will be better than I am today. And that’s how I look at my life. I will be better as a golfer, I will be better as a person, I will be better as a father, I will be a better husband, I will be better as a friend. That’s the beauty of tomorrow. There is no such thing as a setback. The lessons I learn today I will apply tomorrow, and I will be better.”



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The art of the fake retirement

July 7, 2009          Comments (0)

elvisjackson

How many times can someone say they are going to retire?

Retirement in the sports and entertainment industries has become somewhat of a joke.

Jay-Z convinced us that the Black Album was going to be his last album. He’s released 3 albums since his supposed retirement.

Brett Favre announced his retirement from the Green Bay Packers. He has since gone onto play with the New York Jets and after announcing his retirement yet again – is supposedly under contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

Michael Jordan announced his retirement to pursue baseball and came back to win three NBA championships in a row. And then retired again, only to come back and play for the Washington Wizards.

The examples are endless. And the demand you can create if you’re an artist or sports figure is incredible. Especially, if people believe you.

Everyone wanted to see Mike Tyson’s last fight. Or Michael Jackson’s last tour. His planned European tour quickly sold out all 50 dates.

The more demand you can create, the more money you can command. Everyone wants to see your last hoorah!

And that’s why artists have an advantage over athletes when they ‘retire’ and announce one last tour, concert or CD as opposed to one last season.

But money talks for some people! And enough of it will ignite a comeback!

Or, too little of it will force a retirement.

Who can forget Latrell Sprewell’s public outrage. He said, “I have a family to feed” after the Minnesota Timberwolves offered him a 3-year, $21 million contract extension, which was substantially less than what his then-current contract paid him.

He felt that if he held out he’d get what he wanted. Sprewell’s agent, Bob Gist, said his client would rather retire than play for the NBA minimum salary, telling Sports Illustrated, “Latrell doesn’t need the money that badly. To go from being offered $7 million to taking $1 million would be a slap in the face.”

In February of 2008, Sprewell’s home was up for foreclosure and he was forced to sell his yacht.

I don’t blame him. He has a family to feed!

Ultimately, I think suggesting your retirement whether you’re a boxer or a singer or a basketball player is the fastest way to create demand for your services.

But who can trust when someone ‘retires’ these days? And how many times are we going to fall for it as consumers?

We all want that encore!

But sadly, the only time we can be certain we’re not going to get it is when the artist passes away.

If in fact, they really did…



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What we can all learn from Britney Spears

December 4, 2008          Comments (1)

I love all types of music. I can go from listening to Jane Says by Jane’s Addiction (actually, I can’t get enough of this song lately) to Britney Spears (what can I say? It’s good gym music). I’m intrigued by her and unfortunately, she has turned herself into a ‘Paris Hilton’ type which is not smart because she has more to offer the world than just being fascinating.

So, I was looking forward to watching her MTV documentary and I finally got around to it. What a disappointment!

Here, she had a GIANT opportunity to totally clear the air and dispel all rumors and beliefs. No paparazzi, no reporters trashing her, nothing. Her and me! And I felt like she didn’t say anything! It wasn’t revealing, whatsoever.

I was hoping for a little more wisdom; a little more insight. Instead, she broke down talking about how lonely it is to be her. About how she wants to do nothing more than make music and dance yet 10 minutes later she said all she wants to do is be secluded on an island with a man she loves and her kids.

I wanted more. It almost seemed like the guy asking her these questions was probing too. But nothing!

I think there’s a huge paradox of being one of the most popular celebrities in the world.

On one hand, you expect her (and almost want her) to be this Goddess and ultra confident and untouchable superstar. After all, she’s Britney Spears. Yet, on the other hand, you want to see some vulnerability because it shows that she’s a real person.

I wrote about this with 50 Cent. If he was rapping about being lonely and Toyota’s it just wouldn’t be alluring. That’s why he can get away with rapping about how much money he is making off of his own fans. In fact, we like it!

I don’t care if 50 Cent or Britney Spears are lonely. That’s not what makes them intriguing. I only know each of them as international icons which is exactly why it was so fascinating to watch Britney self-destruct.

In the end, Britney left me feeling that she still has major issues to work through. She still doesn’t know who she is. And it showed. Because I have no idea who she is and she could have totally changed that after an hour of uninterrupted television.

Instead, it seemed as though Elizabeth Arden (the company that puts out her fragrance and sponsored this hour of mindless television) forced her to do this so they can sell a lot her perfume this holiday season. I think (and I could be very wrong), everyone at one point or another has fantasized about what it would be like to be famous.

Unfortunately, in this one hour of television I only learned two things. Always be you. No matter what. (Even if there’s not much depth to you.) And although I could care less about fame it’s not nearly as appealing as it seems.

The ironic part of all of this is that her fragrance is called ‘Fantasy.’

Sadly, about 15 months ago I thought I gave Britney some sound advice. Evidently, she’s not a slave for me and doesn’t read my blog!



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Wall Street Firms Expected To Slash Annual Bonuses. Really? No!?

November 10, 2008          Comments (0)

According to the merriam-webster dictionary the definition for bonus is: something in addition to what is expected or strictly due: as a: money or an equivalent given in addition to an employee’s usual compensation.

With companies like Lehman Brothers going bankrupt, the emergency sales of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual and federal rescues for the insurance giant American International Group and the mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac how can the word bonus even come up for discussion?

The fact that our tax dollars are being used to bail out these companies and many others and bonus talk is even going on is completely outrageous.

The sad part is these companies employ hundreds of thousands of people cumulatively but only a tiny percentage of the people in these companies brought this all on us. When I say this; I’m referring to the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. I’m referring to people who almost brought down the entire global financial system.

I’m referring to the companies that are going to get over $700 billion beans from us. And please spare me with, “The Government’s money is not being used for our bonus pool”, is what these companies are saying. I don’t care if my money or their company’s money is being used for a bonus. If they have enough money for a bonus why do they even need our money in the first place?

Now all of these guys who made millions and millions on the way up want money on the way down? Did they distribute their wealth when they were doing so well?

Nobody can make a bad business decision in America anymore? Business failure is just as critical for a free market (like the one I thought we lived in) to succeed.

Not every business can thrive (and survive!). Capitalism creates innovation. Innovation leads to a better standard of living because we get to enjoy a higher quality of products and services. Out with the old. In with the new. Survival of the fittest baby.

Unless, the old, is of course, still better. Either way, the free market dictates everything it wants to see more of.

If old systems and processes and ways of doing business (obviously) aren’t working then let them not work. But what’s the incentive for a company like Well’s Fargo (still doing relatively well) to innovate and not make reckless decisions? Why not go for broke if you’re just going to be saved in the end anyway?

When you save industries like the car industry, or large Wall Street ‘Institutions’ or the airline industry what’s the incentive to innovate?

How come Herb Kelleher (one of my heroes) was able to build Southwest into such a profitable company while other airlines were begging for money?

I do understand if we didn’t bail out some of these companies they wouldn’t just affect the people in these companies. It would affect the entire world.

But there’s got to be a line drawn somewhere. This isn’t a risk free game. Or is it? And how in the world do these companies even have the audacity to give out bonuses?

Thankfully, MyBodyTutor is doing well but I’ll tell you one thing for sure – if I went out of business because I made bad decisions the government certainly wouldn’t give a flying f$$k!

But I’m so lucky to have clients like Wes. Read this blog post of his and this blog post of his. (Actually, read all of his posts at PickOnTheFatKid.com. My goal is to inspire him (and all of my clients) to be inspiring.)

And I’m so lucky to be doing well in this down economy with all this craziness that was brought on by these Wall Street guys.

It’s too bad I’m not like them. They are lucky no matter what.

(Hat tip: This article for making me ticked off enough to write this post and to Evan for also wondering what happened to a true free market economy!)

[Update: Apparently other US Taxpayers feel the same way! Check out this great article from Bloomberg here.]



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If I did it why shouldn’t you?

October 14, 2008          Comments (3)

Pledging my fraternity in college was the best experience I ever had, that I’d never, ever, want to go through again.

I’ll never forget some of my fraternity brothers that went out of there way to be complete assholes to my pledge class. It’s like they had nothing better to do. They enjoyed making our lives miserable.

I love our country. The opportunities are endless to be or do anything you dream of. But everyone has an opinion (and that’s fine) and too many people enjoy bashing our country without a plan of action. I wonder if people would bash our country if they had to actually serve our country.

People probably wouldn’t take it for granted anymore.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to play in a golf outing. Our foursome had a caddy. For someone who caddied for 7 summers doing 36 holes a day lugging golf clubs in the hot sun waking up at 5AM every day, it was a pretty cool experience.

I remember when I caddied how much I hated the members that treated us (the caddies) like dirt. I’ll also never forget the names of the members who were awesome to us. I always dreamed of the day where I’d be in a position to tip a caddy. I’ll never forget all the character building days I had.

Some of my caddy friends at the time always said that if and when they had an opportunity to have a caddy, they’d be an even bigger asshole.

If they had to go through it, why shouldn’t the next guy? Payback is a bitch. I guess.

When I was in a position to have ‘slaves’ as pledge brothers, I never forgot how miserable I was at times during pledging. I never wanted my pledges to experience that feeling. At least not from me. I was the Vice President of our fraternity and was the guy who smiled and hysterically laughed while trying to fake yell at them. It’s just wasn’t me.

I’m overly generous when it comes to tipping waiters. Why? I used to be one. And there was nothing worse than being stiffed after working your absolute tail off for every possible request they demanded. I never want someone to experience that. Because it sucks.

So, I tipped our caddy ridiculously. And that felt absolutely amazing. The guy was smiling from ear to ear. I’ll never forget those loops as they call them (a loop is one round of golf) where I made $300 for something I normally made $100 for. The caddy was in heaven. I gave him all the beer and food he could have possibly wanted. It was more fun for me than it was for him. I’m sure of it.

What’s the point of all of these little anecdotes?

Compassion.

Treat people how you want to be treated.

It’s so simple it hurts.

Ouch.

[Some comments over at BrazenCareerist.com!]



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How Can You “Snakes on a Plane” Your Business?

October 1, 2008          Comments (1)

The other night I happened to be flipping though the channels and stumbled on Snakes On A Plane. I had never seen it and who can resist hearing Samuel Jackson yell, “I have HAD it with these mothaf%$&*#g snakes on this motha%$%#*g plane!”

I never saw this movie, yet I immediately knew what it was going to be about. You know it’s going to be a thriller type movie that entails getting the mothaf*&^%ing snakes off the plane.

I knew what I was getting into. And that’s the idea.

Without anyone telling me anything they made a promise to me. It just so happens that the title was good enough to be able to do that.

When it comes to your business, usually you need more then your name (and tag line) to tell people what you do. You might have website copy or a pamphlet or a business card or all of the above.

In this day and age, sadly when a business keeps their promise it’s shocking. However, some people do expect a company to keep their promises. After all, why assume the worst?

But most people never say anything if they like something (because they expect a certain something – as they should). Think about it. You definitely are a customer of many places because they do something a certain way.

If they changed that certain something you might stop going. For example, when I used to go to the diner under my old building where I lived and I’d order my grilled chicken sandwich or turkey burger, every single time, my man Sammy would bring me like 10 pickles. He knew I loved pickles and I didn’t have to ask him for extra pickles.

Maybe it’s the way you joke around with your clients. Maybe it’s because your clients can relate to you with the stories you tell them. Maybe it’s because you treat them like family. Maybe it’s because you want the best for them…and they know it. Whatever it is.

Most people are too busy to say something nice though.

But if you believe in what you’re doing, and people are coming back and referring clients to you, don’t stop what you are doing!

It could be the smallest thing that people really enjoy…like free pickles. But the idea here is that I grew to expect those pickles.

The idea here is not revolutionary. It’s extremely simple.

Keep doing exactly what you do if people are coming back and referring customers to you. It could be the smallest thing that people love.

And the most important of all:

Keep your mothaf%$&*!g promises!

[My note: Is it possible to plagiarize yourself? Well, I originally wrote this article for Blogtrepreneur.com and it got some awesome and interesting comments. You can read the original piece by clicking here.]



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Update on MyBodyTutor and some lessons in business for ya

September 5, 2008          Comments (2)

MyBodyTutor, my company that I designed to help people stop making excuses will be re-launching in the next month or so.

For the last 6 months, after some minor bumps in the road, my team of developers and designers has been working really hard on making MBT something really special and we’re almost ready!

See, I’m sort of a hypocrite.

On one hand, I’m a very strong advocate of design and beauty and elegance. Perception is reality. Right now, my website looks like an amateur made it. Because I made it. I’m certainly not a professional when it comes to web design.

I know exactly what I like and exactly what I want and am extremely particular (you can ask Adam and Mike over at PureAdapt who helped design this blog). As someone who used to run a small web development business – dealing with people who know what they want is a gift compared to people who have no idea.

On the other hand, I am very much an advocate of starting small. Very small. (Note – this concept later turned into a magazine column which you can read here.) I don’t like to invest a lot of money upfront without a proven concept. If you can make your business work when your website is a piece of crap like this and people are willing to pay you, then and only then, do you have something you should invest in.

How heavily you invest in your business is only a matter of belief. How much do you believe in what you offer? Money talks.

Like I did here and am doing for MBT. (Although, I didn’t spend nearly as much money on the Ultimate Discount Card website as I am on MyBodyTutor.)

And that’s what I’m doing. I’m spending a fortune on my new website. And I don’t say that word [fortune] lightly. I say it because I believe in what I’m doing 1000%. There is not a doubt in my mind that I can help people reach their health and fitness goals.

So what the hell are we doing?

Well, as Warren Buffet says, we’re building a ‘moat’ around our business and creating a ‘durable competitive advantage’ so when I go up, inevitably, which won’t be for years, against the big guys, I’ll be able to do so.

This custom application that we’re building from the ground up, is going to allow me to scale this business. Meaning it will allow me to take my single health food store and replicate it over and over if you will so we can help more people.

But the key is to not lose what has made MBT so successful. And that’s what we’re working really hard to ensure. That is mission critical.

Don’t get me wrong, MBT is still a tiny, tiny company. But we’re getting there. Slowly but surely. Day in and day out. But consistently. Even if we just accomplish one small thing every day – we’re headed in the right direction and that’s all that counts. (Kind of like my philosophy with MBT!)

And as little patience as I have – I have a lot of patience when it comes to this. MBT is my baby.

To say I’m extremely excited is an extreme understatement.

Stay tuned.



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Meeting with the CEO of The Pump Energy Food

August 28, 2008          Comments (0)

Right now Adam Eskin – the CEO of Pump Energy Food – is the CEO of a restaurant with 6 locations and a colt following.

I am a colt member.

The Pump Energy Food has a simple philosophy. They only cook and serve clean and healthy food. They don’t even serve soda.

Enough said.

The authenticity reeks. I met with Adam last week after emailing back and forth with him.

I wasn’t surprised that we hit it off. After all, we have a lot in common. I was telling him how I started working out when I was in 5th grade and how health and fitness has always been a huge part of my life.

He was laughing and said that he too always loved working out and eating healthy. He said his friends used to kid around with him after learning about his involvement with The Pump and would say things like, “Wow, you really love protein that much huh? Of course you would do this!”

I know what he means.

Adam, a laser focused guy and a graduate from Brown University was an associate at a private equity shop. He said he used to eat the Pump at least once a day and his PE firm was looking to invest in interesting restaurant concepts so they contacted them.

Long story short he is now the CEO with big ambitions.

His goal is to have 200-300 locations throughout the country and I think they can do it.

As we both finished up our grilled chicken and brown rice and our meeting that lasted over an hour – he was telling me that he recently met with Howard Schultz (Starbucks founder). Howard told him that he’s not even in the first meter of a marathon with regards to how much work he has left.

He knows it. And so do I.

I always enjoy seeing waiters or cooks eating the food they serve. Even more so, I enjoy meeting people who practice (and ideally, live) what they preach.

Well, Adam now eats his own food 6 times a day.

The golden nuggets that you might be interested in are nothing new:

Systematize, systematize, systematize.

And as Howard believes (and knows): work, work, work!

Enough said.



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You could look like J-Lo too!

August 12, 2008          Comments (0)

Have you ever seen the gorgeous people on magazine covers, and thought “I know they’re air-brushed, but damn they still look good”?

Or, you may have thought, “If I had an army of people working for me, I could look like that too!”

Well, I recently read an article on Jennifer Lopez which included the following:

Her last album cover alone cost $60,000 in hair and makeup, lighting, photographers, re-touching, etc.

And that’s just what it costs to get the album out the door. Lopez performed on “Good Morning America” earlier this year, and all the costs were absorbed by the label.

Epic had to eat the cost for that entire performance. From her makeup — which typically costs in the neighborhood of $8,000 per day — to the backup singers, to the rigging, lighting and sound.

Makeup at typically $8,000 a day?!

Evidently, the woman requires everything short of flying dogs to get on a stage.

I think it’s safe to say musicians aren’t only selling music.

##

Related posts:

The only business where it’s acceptable (actually, encouraged) to brag about how much money you make



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Will you be missed?

August 7, 2008          Comments (4)

If your favorite pizza shop disappeared tomorrow, would you miss them? Could you find a replacement pizza shop?

What about your personal marketing, though?

If you disappeared tomorrow, would your customers/clients miss you?

The problem with fitting in and being a cog in a machine is that cogs are intentionally designed to be easily replaceable. When one breaks, you just get another. No one particularly misses the old one.

So, here’s the question: When you’re gone, will they miss what you and your company do?

If I stopped writing my blog tomorrow would my posts be missed? Thankfully, I think so.

Adam McFarland writes me this:

I wanted to write and let you know that your blog is by far my favorite. It’s the only one in my feed reader that I jump to right away when I see a there’s a new post (I subscribe to close to 100 blogs). You do an amazing job of showing the balance between the passion it takes to run a business and the qualities it takes to have a happy and fulfilling life. It truly is a pleasure to read every post and to see you, your thoughts, and MBT evolve. Keep up the great work!

Joseph M writes me this:

Adam – where have you been? I don’t think I received a blog post from you last week (I get your blog posts via email)…I suspect you were doing something fun. I wanted to know if you could resend me the last one…if there was one.

If MyBodyTutor went out of business tomorrow would I be missed? Thankfully, I think so and that’s what it’s about.

Simi D writes me this:

I am soooooooooo happy to be back. Dude, I missed you over the weekend! I did really well. I went to the gym 5 times! My face looks a million times better (that is the first place I always see a difference).

And this and this and this and countless other emails that I will spare you of for both MyBodyTutor and this blog.

If you stopped teaching tomorrow would you be missed? Ask my amazing Auntie Anne and fellow New Yorker who needs storage for all of her retirement gifts, awards, etc., from her former students and colleagues. My mom too.

If you stopped being a student will your professors miss you?

If you stopped being a doctor tomorrow will your patients miss you?

If you stopped being an accountant will your clients miss you?

If you quit your job tomorrow will you be missed?

If your company was forced to go out of business will your customers miss you?

That is the question.

Will you be missed?

It’s not too late to change the answer.



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