Category: Events


I am constantly exhorting friends, family, colleagues, clients, etc. to build a successful public brand. But whoever came up with the phrase “There’s no bad publicity” didn’t know the right way to go about building a brand! Sadly, we need look no further than the headlines swirling around a suddenly famous public official to see how damaging building a negative brand can be.

Unless you live in Illinois, you probably never heard of Governor Rod Blagojevich until allegations that he attempted to sell the vacant Senate seat of President-Elect Obama became public last month. Now his interestingly-coiffed visage is all over the nightly news and everyone in America knows his name. He has a level of national visibility and name recognition most politicians would kill for. And it’s destroying his career.

I will not judge Gov. Blagojevich’s guilt or innocence in this matter; that is for a court to decide. But I will judge rather harshly his arrogant and defiant response to these very serious charges. Instead of humbly stating his innocence and perhaps taking a leave of absence so the controversy surrounding him does not bring Illinois state affairs to a standstill (which has apparently happened), he has taken a hostile approach.

The governor is making it clear his opponents are in for a brutal, ugly, drawn-out brawl. This attitude may have served him well growing up on the tough streets of Chicago, but there is no place for it in the halls of government or the court of public opinion. However this scandal gets resolved, you can be sure that the name “Blagojevich” will be synonymous with “corruption” long after it’s over. What kind of results will building a brand like that create?


Get a Brand or Die a Generic ®

www.TheMichaelDBrown.com

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Many in the financial community are starting this week off with a look of amazement on their face. On last week it was revealed the one of Wall Streets most respected individuals (Bernard Madoff) allegedly duped investors out of more than $50 billion in a “ponzi” scheme.

A number of individuals and institutions (that might manage or invest in part of your portfolio) have come forth claiming they have lost thousands to millions and in some cases their entire nest egg.

Here is how officials allege that Bernard Madoff was able to get by with this scheme for decades. He would falsify reports from a secret money management service that he owned (separate from his other business ventures and stock transaction firm). This act resulted in the appearance that the money management service was more profitable that it actually was. He kept investors happy by taking cash from new investors to pay customers who wanted to cash in their holdings.

Well things caught up with him and he admitted on last week that his fund was “all just one big lie” and “finished” with “absolutely nothing.” Madoff also admitted that the fund was not solvent for years

Does this incident concern you?

What will you do (if anything) to ensure that the balance on paper is actually correct for your investments?

http://www.TheMichaelDBrown.com

No more company 401(k) match?

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, more companies are suspending their 401(k) match. A challenging economy is often cited as the reason for this decision.

The alarm bells went off last week when GM stopped their 401(k) match in order to conserve cash and survive this downturn/recession. I don’t think it will be long before more companies take GM’s lead and eliminate their match as well.

Prior to GM Goodyear, Frontier Airlines, Cushman & Wakefield, Entercom and Dollar Thrifty made the decision to cut their match.

Do you think this will hurt morale and decrease productivity?

http://www.TheMichaelDBrown.com

I had the privilege of hearing Steve Pavlina speak two years ago at a NSA conference and have been following his work every since and invested in one of his services. Steve possesses a rare authentic voice on personal development. His new book Personal Development for smart people hit the shelves this week (you have to get a copy).

What you will find in Steve’s book is a simplistic and powerful road map to maximizing your personal growth. He lays out seven straightforward principles: Truth, love, power, Oneness, Authority, Courage, and Intelligence.

The two principals that really hit home with me were truth and love. So often we go through life in denial and lying to ourselves about what we really want to extract from life and the success we want to experience. Instead we opt to force ourselves into a box of someone else’s perception and plans. The second principal of love also struck an accord with me. So much of our success is limited or never happens because we try to travel this journey alone and down a selfish path. The amazing impossible can be achieved when you align yourself with a truly supportive network of people that you are willing to receive from and give even more. I personally call this group my Branding Board of Advisors. This board of friends and supporters help and challenge me to create my best personal brand, which allows me to maximize my success.

Personal development for smart people (Steve Pavlina) helped me to further validate a core belief of mine- In order to achieve maximum personal or professional success you must be willing to truly work hard, have a laser focus on your self discipline and the courage to be different, think different, see different, and take risk.

Be skeptical of any book, person or guru who tells you that you can achieve substantial personal growth and success without some combination of the above. Instead, I would recommend you get a copy of Steve’s book Personal development for smart people.

Another reason why I have really enjoyed this book is because it aligns with many of the principles I talk about in my signature work: Fresh Passion (Get a Brand or Die a Generic ®). Which basically challenges us to really figure out the competitive personal brand that we want to be and work hard to make it a stand out brand that will yield the personal and professional success that we desire.

http://www.TheMichaelDBrown.com

Oil gushed past $127!

Oil prices rose more than $3 a barrel, moving beyond $127 for the first time Friday and putting even more pressure on skyrocketing lofty gasoline and diesel prices ahead. This can’t be real good news, considering the beginning of the summer season is days away.

Part of the rationale is apparently due to the speculation that China’s demand for diesel needed to fuel its power plants would rise even higher in order to deal with the massive reconstruction efforts as a result of the earthquake (certainly our best wishes and thoughts are with China as they cope with this sad event).

I am constantly hearing stories of hard working individuals and families who are struggling just to put fuel in the car to go to work.

At $4 a gallons even the middle class worker is struggling.

What will you do to make it through this difficult time of rising gas prices?

http://www.TheMichaelDBrown.com
http://www.FreshCustomerService.com

This revolutionary and often controversial approach to customer service is the subtitle of my new book, Fresh Customer Service (Treat the employee as #1 and the customer as #2 and you will get customers for life).

My approach to customer service has been featured on a number of radio shows, in national print media, and also featured in a newspaper in India.

But what do you think about this statement?

Fresh Customer Service will be featured at Borders on April 26, 2008 @ 2:00 PM. Be ready to discuss! Here are the details:

Meet the Author: Michael D. Brown, MBA
(Click to register.)

Fresh Customer Service

Saturday, April 26, 2:00pm
Borders Bookstore
9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands, TX
Phone: 832.585.0051

http://www.freshcustomerservice.com