Category: News

A couple of weeks ago I laid out 13 tips for wrapping up 2012 and preparing for the new year at work. My expert sources suggested that you complete outstanding projects; establish new goals; reflect on accomplishments; get organized; and tie up loose ends–among other things.

Now, as you return to the office in 2013, there are a few things you can do to ensure you start the year off right.

forbes“A new year is a brand new beginning,” says Anna Sidana, VP of marketing at Simply Hired. “If we take the time to step back from our day-to-day and hit reset, it is a chance to look ahead with a new perspective and make every day count.”

She suggests you take a moment to reflect on your life–both professional and personal–and kick off the new year with renewed energy and a fresh focus. “Close out any small, nagging projects and focus on the big ones that can accelerate your career. Reach out to colleagues and strengthen those dusty relationships. A new year offers this unique opportunity to step up the game and become laser focused.”

Michael D. Brown, a career consultant, author, and motivational speaker, adds: “In this continuing economic tsunami of 2013, you must be clearly purposed and focused on success with a well-defined and proven game plan to transition yourself from a generic to a fresh and powerful personal brand,” he says. Companies and organizations can no longer afford to invest in generic employees with anemic or non-existent ROIs; and they’re not able to be competitive if they don’t have a fresh, branded and competitive workforce.

“The best success navigation plan you can have is to turn yourself into a clear, compelling, and competitive personal brand,” Brown says. “You can’t wait to do this in August; you must do this now. As such, you will be seen as someone who can add and deliver value in these turbulent times.”

Click here to read the full article.


Greed Is Not Good – Fresh PASSION Is Much Better!

In the classic 1980s film “Wall Street,” the ruthless financial tycoon Gordon Gekko memorably states, “Greed is good.” As anyone who has seen “Wall Street” knows, Gekko ultimately winds up in disgrace, exposing the fallacy of these words. I don’t know if today’s real Wall Street titans have seen the film, but perhaps a special screening should be arranged.

Every time you turn on the news, it seems there is another report of a Wall Street institution that has accepted millions or even billions of dollars in federal bailout funds spending hard-earned taxpayer dollars on things like Super Bowl luxury suites, lavish executive retreats, corporate jets, and seven-figure executive bonuses. Rather than pump this money back into the general economy through loans or investments, many Wall Street firms seem content to hoard it for selfish uses. This type of short-sighted greed is the antithesis of everything Fresh PASSION stands for.

Fresh PASSION ® (a phrase coined and trademarked by Michael D. Brown in his signature work Get a Brand or Die a Generic ®) is all about finding what you truly love and are best at doing, and then totally applying yourself to succeeding at it. The “A” in PASSION stands for “Aspiration,” but aspiration and greed are two very different concepts. Aspiration means having particular ambitions and then setting out to achieve your goals. Greed means blindly pursuing personal gain without any thought to the broader impact of your actions.

Beyond any ethical considerations, greed is also a poor long-term business strategy. In the short term, greedy people and corporations often do achieve success. But keep in mind that everything you do and say becomes part of your personal brand. Build your brand through lying, cheating and stealing and eventually you’ll be surrounded by liars, cheaters and thieves – not the kind of colleagues who can take you very far!

Wall Street firms who greedily squander bailout money will soon find themselves looking for more handouts from a decidedly less sympathetic federal government. Wall Street firms who use bailout money to help jumpstart the economy will profit from loan and investment interest, as well as build a positive brand reputation. Which firms are better positioning themselves for long-term success? If you honestly aren’t sure, maybe it’s time to rent a copy of “Wall Street” – all you really need to watch is the final scene.

Citigroup is slashing 53,000 jobs!

Is this a precursor to what will happen at other companies in the financial sector? The economy is showing no immediate signs of improving. Citigroup has posted four straight quarterly losses. Not only are they cutting jobs, they stated that expenses will be lowered by 20 percent and assets will be reduced by more than 20 percent.

What advice would you give to the thousands of employees who will loose their job?

billion bailout. In exchange for the loan, we the taxpayers would get an ownership stake in the automakers. Sounds simple, and it’s almost a no-brainer considering the havoc that will be wreaked on the economy if the big three went under.

As each day passes, the lame-duck congress is becoming more sharply divided on whether to give or not to give a $25 billion loan.

With thousands of people losing their jobs every week and retail sales hitting an all time decline, this could be the nail in the coffin if these three automakers have to shut their doors and lay people off.

This will not only affect the people who work at the big three, but the companies that depend on the spending that is derived from these employees.

Do you think the government should bailout the three automakers?

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?

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.

What a sad site at the Lehman Brothers’ headquarters on Sunday night. You could see scores of employees entering and exiting the building with boxes, bags, personal items and suitcases. Lehman Brothers announced that it is filing for bankruptcy after all potential buyers declined to participate in a buyout.

We have seen three powerhouses : Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch crumble as a result of their shaky home lending portfolio.

Though I am concerned about the distress that this will cause to the overall economy; I am equally concerned about what will happen with the 26,000 employees at Lehman Brothers who had to walk away Sunday.

Do you think the government should offer assistance to these employees?

Will Breakfast save Starbucks?

In an effort to get more people to walk through the doors- Starbucks offered five new breakfast items this Wednesday.

Chewy fruit and nut bar
Apple bran muffin
Berry Stella (multigrain pastry)
Protein Plate (hard-boiled egg, whole wheat bagel, peanut butter, cheese and fruit)

All of these items are touted as having no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or corn syrup.

I am just not sure if these items will make we want to visit Starbucks more, what about you?

The ban on offshore drilling and oil shale has to be renewed each year (did you know this?). When the fiscal year for the US begins on October 01 congress has to vote to extend or remove the ban.

Now that gas prices have fallen for several consecutive days should we continue the ban or lift the ban?

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an interesting story about Starbucks…

Now that Starbucks Corp. has disclosed the 600 locations it wants to shutter, a phenomenon is taking hold: the Save Our Starbucks campaign. Customers are writing and calling the Starbucks headquarters to petition the closings.

In towns as small as Bloomfield, N.M., and metropolises as large as New York, customers and city officials are starting to write letters, place phone calls, circulate petitions and otherwise plead with the coffee giant to change its mind.

Not so long ago Starbucks gained negative attention when a town didn’t welcome it. Independent coffee shops complained about the big-muscled competition, and residents screamed that their local culture was been destroyed.

Will you petition to keep your local Starbucks from closing or just find another location/brand?

Check out the article at