Tag Archive: economic downturn


Just give yourself a little Fresh PASSION as the Foundation
for Your ‘Fresh Branded Mansion’

While I was in college, I articulated my methodology for creating a successful personal brand (though at that time I hadn’t classified it into this brilliant acronym). I call it Fresh PASSION, a convenient acronym that stands for Preparing yourself, Aspiring to reach your goals, Staying laser-focused, Selling your value, Invigorating yourself, Omitting the negative, and Nailing the brand.

And of course, all the passion in the world won’t enable you to achieve success if you employ an outdated, stale approach to your career, your business or your college matriculation, which is why I make sure to put “Fresh” first! In addition, success is hollow if you do not share some of your good fortune with others, so once you nail your brand, it is time to share your success with others.

Here is a brief look at each of the nine phases that comprise Fresh PASSION:

Fresh…

What exactly does each of these terms mean? “Fresh” means doing something every day to enhance your brand so that it stays fresh—keeping your skills sharpened, packaging yourself well.

Preparing…

Preparing yourself” means continuing your education through classes, professional development, building and contributing to formal and informal networks, and simply maintaining an active intellectual interest and knowledge capital in your career and your life.

Aspiring…

Aspiring to reach your goals” means having particular ambitions and then setting out to achieve your goals—aim at nothing and you’re guaranteed to hit it!

Staying laser-focused…

Staying laser-focused” means intently focusing on each area of Fresh PASSION, otherwise you’ll miss the mark and not deliver your brand.

Selling…

Selling your value” means understanding your return on investment (ROI), having confidence in your fullest potential, and constantly searching for new opportunities that will help you meet, or even exceed, that potential.

Invigorating…

Invigorating yourself” means having the tenacity and discipline to go the distance and secure your personal and professional success—fan the flame within and catch on fire!

Omitting…

Omitting the negative” means learning from the inevitable negative experiences you will encounter without dwelling on them or letting them consume the valuable real estate in your head—you have so much more ahead of you!

Nailing…

And last but surely not least, “Nailing the brand” means successfully packaging your substance (your core) up and putting a bow on it so that you become a fresh brand that can successfully compete and WIN internally and externally (even in this turbulent environment), which will enable you to achieve exponential personal and professional success.

Sharing Your Success…

The goal of exponential personal and professional success is not simply to give yourself a great life (though that is surely a key element!) but to help others enrich their lives and reach their potential as well. Once you have nailed your brand and are competing and winning regardless of the economic environment, it’s time to share some of your good fortune with family, friends and even strangers.

Fresh PASSION sounds great, Michael, but what if
I’m not 100% sure what I’m aiming for?

“Success” can be a vague concept. In general it means “doing well and getting what you want,” but unless you know what you want to do and toward what end, devising a success plan is a pointless endeavor. To help build a framework to support your Fresh PASSION activities, think of building a successful career as building a mansion (after all, buying a mansion is the ultimate symbol of success). What does your perfect mansion look like? What materials is it built from? Is there a solid foundation? How secure is the roof? How many acres is the lawn, and what type of landscaping is featured? Do you have carefully designed blueprints, or are you “winging” construction based on some general ideas and goals? Will you use classic architecture that never goes out of style, or something flashy and hip that will look dated in a few years? Do you warmly open your mansion to the company of others, or do you lock the doors tight and live like a hermit?

Achieving Your ‘Perfect Mansion’

Naturally, building your “perfect mansion” in this case is a metaphor for how you will build your perfect career. Your solid foundation is your passion for what you do, and your secure roof is the fresh approach you take that protects you from unpredictable changes in the economic “weather.” The size and landscaping of your lawn represents just how aggressive and widespread your goals are (“success” does not have to mean world domination!), and the phases of Fresh PASSION are solid building materials that ensure your mansion will not collapse under stress. Building a strong brand based on character and real value (rather than tailoring your brand to whatever is “hot” right now) is using classic architecture. And of course warmly opening your beautiful mansion to others represents sharing your success.

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If you came out of the “storm” today, what would/could you do?

For too long, too many of us have been captains of a vessel caught in fierce and unpredictable tsunami “storms” caused by unpredictable swings in the economy and general business environment. Depending on your particular situation, that vessel may be a yacht or merely a canoe, but in many cases even those fortunate enough to sail giant luxury cruise ships have found themselves just hoping to survive the storm and make it through. And all too often, we make it through one storm only to find ourselves ill-prepared to prevent or face the ensuing storm that’s barreling our way right behind it. And regardless of size, your boat can only withstand so many storms before it becomes incapacitated and or weaken which makes preventing and surviving the next storm a challenge.

We have been on this stormy path too long; it’s now time to turn the corner and navigate to shore. Coming out of the storm is not enough. Instead, we have to have a plan, passion, purpose and promise ready to put in place once we escape all this stormy weather and find some shelter on dry land. The absence of this will result in us experiencing a mental storm that will soon propel us back into a physical storm. And once on shore, we need to find fertile ground and prepare to build a “Fresh, World- Class Branded Mansion” (representing your personal brand) instead of trying to patch up a “local generic shack”.

The blueprint for building this Fresh Branded mansion is the proven process that has helped thousands- Fresh PASSION. This process takes you from being a generic to a world-class brand and helps you elevate your brand to the next level if you are one of the select few who already possess a winning brand. By following this laser-focused and disciplined winning plan of action, you will gain the ability to survive, prosper during, and even prevent storms. This ability will give you an edge over your competition and position you to experience exponential personal, professional and economic success.

Don’t think about riding out the storm
You could simply continue to “ride out” the storm in whatever vessel has taken you this far, but riding out the storm is not the best option. It has been tried and has not worked. Just sitting on your boat is not the answer, nor is inviting a lot of your negative friends on the ship and throwing a party. The answer is developing a laser-focused and disciplined navigation plan and moving forward at an accelerated pace. This will help you to successfully perform, deliver, and stay on course through any storm or adversity you encounter.

The best success navigation plan you can have is to turn yourself into a clear, compelling, and competitive personal brand. As such, you will be seen as someone who can add and deliver value in these turbulent times and the economic tsunami threatening to engulf all of us. This, my friend, puts you on the path to personal and professional success. Becoming a successful brand will work whether you are employed, underemployed, an entrepreneur, executive, middle manager, entry-level employee, college student, recent graduate, or at any other stage of your professional and/or educational career.

Becoming a brand always works for companies and organizations, as well. You have to provide a branded customer experience that your employees can execute and use to attract, retain, and grow your customer base.

Are you ready to turn the corner and build your Fresh Branded Mansion in 2012?
As I said earlier, you want to take shelter from the storm in a Fresh, Branded Mansion. Not a generic shack, and not one of those cookie-cutter “McMansions” which were so popular during the doctom boom – they cost a lot of money and attract a lot of attention, but offer little in the way of real architectural value and tend to lose most of their worth in difficult times like now. No, you want a genuine mansion – classy, well-built, tastefully impressive, something that offers an intrinsic value which remains high even during the worst housing markets.

How do you build a Fresh, Branded Mansion? Well, it’s not easy or everyone would be doing it, but through hard work and following the nine phases of Fresh PASSION, you can construct a “dream house” that will lead to the life and career you want and deserve. These phases include Fresh – a mansion that is well-built, represents who you are, and retains its sale value at all times, Preparation – only using the freshest and highest-quality materials for your mansion’s foundation, roof, furniture, landscaping, nails, blueprint, etc., Aspiration – when you design your mansion, do you go for something typical and safe or something eye-catching and bold that puts it ahead of other mansions, Stay laser-focused – using levels and inspections to make sure your mansion’s structural integrity is sound and that the physical results match the aspirations of your design, Sell like you are crazy – becoming a real estate expert so that when it’s time to put your mansion on the market, you know exactly who to sell it to and what features to accentuate to get the maximum bids, Invigorate – taking the effort to maintain your mansion’s “curb appeal” through landscaping, additions, renovations, etc., Omitting the negative – pushing comments from any naysayers or incidents of self-doubt that pop up along the way to building the home of your dreams, Nailing the brand – really “nailing” your mansion together and ensuring everything is ready for you to move in and show it off to others, and serving others – using your mansion to host holiday meals and celebrations, ensuring that it benefits friends, family, coworkers, customers and clients, and not just you.

You can brand your way to success
My staff and I were able to grow and prosper during the 2011 global recession/downturn/out of control economy. My secret was (and still is) the consistent development and fresh and flawless execution of my personal brand through my trademarked and signature process Fresh PASSION (Get a Brand or Die a Generic)®. I have used this process in 2011 to help thousands of individuals, entrepreneurs, executives, and students achieve exponential personal and professional success.

Over the coming months, I will share the nine phases of the proven Fresh PASSION (Get a Brand or Die a Generic)® process with you. It is my hope, strong belief, and personal desire that you, too, can develop and flawlessly execute your powerful and competitive personal brand that will yield consistent and exponential personal and professional success, even in this environment!

So with all hands on deck and overtime on the construction site, we will build a Fresh Branded Mansion and achieve and experience exponential personal, economic and professional success in 2012!

Ready to turn the corner and build your Fresh Branded Mansion and leave the “shacks” to the generics?

http://www.themichaeldbrown.com

Who will you become?

Imagine you are the captain of a luxury ship suddenly caught in the middle of a fierce and unpredictable storm. Your first concern is most likely to save the ship – but saving the ship alone will not necessarily save you. When the storm begins to settle down, you don’t want to look up and discover that you have shifted way off course.

With a laser-focused and disciplined plan of action, you can survive and prosper in any storm. This ability will give you an edge over your competition and position you to successfully ride through the many storms that will inevitably come your way. Regardless of whatever storm you find yourself heading into, entangled in, or coming out of, stay laser-focused. You don’t want to be blown so far off course that you can’t properly function, prosper, and maximize your personal and professional success.

Don’t jump off the ship
You could simply jump ship, but this is not the best option. Just sitting on the ship is not the answer either, nor is inviting a lot of your negative friends on the ship and throwing a party. The answer is to develop a laser-focused and disciplined navigation plan and move forward at an accelerated pace. This will help you to successfully perform, deliver, and stay on course through any storm or adversity you encounter.

The best “success” navigation plan you can have is to turn yourself into a clear, compelling, and competitive personal brand. As such, you will be seen as someone who can add and deliver value in these turbulent times and the economic tsunami threatening to engulf all of us. This, my friend, puts you on the path to personal and professional success. Becoming a successful brand will work if you are employed, underemployed, an entrepreneur, executive, middle manager, entry-level employee, college student, recent graduate, etc.

Becoming a brand always works for companies and organizations, as well. You have to provide a branded customer experience that your employees can execute and use to attract, retain, and grow your customer base.

Follow the Example of Successful Sports Franchises
Or to use another metaphor many of you may be familiar with, use the same kind of success navigation plan employed by the most successful professional sports franchises. Even if you are not a sports fan, surely you are aware of certain legendary teams like the New York Yankees in baseball, Dallas Cowboys in football, and Boston Celtics in basketball. All of these franchises have experienced their ups and downs through their many years of existence, but all are noted for winning numerous championships and have a dedicated fan base that extends beyond their geographic area and sticks by them, win or lose.

How do these teams do it? By realizing their brand, first and foremost, is built on winning. Memories of past glories carry them through the difficult seasons, but they are aware that you cannot rest on your laurels. They all take what could be considered a ruthless approach to their players and coaches, replacing even popular personalities when they realize those personalities no longer contribute to the ultimate goal of winning. For example, the Cowboys replaced their legendary coach Tom Landry in the late 1980s after 29 years (and multiple Super Bowl wins), realizing his time had passed and a fresh approach was needed to coaching. The result was the hiring of extremely successful new coach Jimmy Johnson, which led to a phenomenal run of success in the 1990s.

Or in a negative example, the Celtics fell away from this philosophy in the early 1990s and let several aging superstars stay on with the team in a decision that Celtics tradition outweighed winning. The result was a long period of mediocre performance that damaged the Celtics brand. Only when the Celtics engaged in an intense series of major personnel shifts did they produce a long-awaited championship that restored their esteemed brand in the sports world. And the Yankees clearly are willing to spend the money needed to bring in high-profile free agents who help sell tickets and win World Series.

By remaining laser focused on their core brand attribute, winning, and being willing to tinker with other aspects of their brand, such as individual players on the team, these franchises have become leaders in their respective sports who can weather the storms of losing that even the greatest teams inevitably encounter.

You can brand your way to success
I know becoming a brand works because I have been in all of the above positions and used the creation and execution of my competitive brand as my navigation plan to continually achieve exponential personal and professional success.

The economic tsunami that we are experiencing now, where personal and professional success seems to be sinking to anemic levels, doesn’t have to determine the outcome of your life and/or career. Using the techniques described above, I have navigated and survived over 11 corporate restructurings, downsizings, rightsizings, and reorganizations. After each event, I ended up with a promotion or a lateral move that helped me add value to my brand, which in turn positioned me to capture more personal and professional success. I thus prevented myself from graduating into poverty.

More recently, I was able to grow and prosper during the 2009 global recession/downturn/spiraling out of control economy. My secret was (and still is) the consistent development and fresh and flawless execution of my personal brand through my trademarked and signature process Fresh Passion (Get a Brand or Die a Generic)®. I have used this process to help thousands of individuals, entrepreneurs , executives, and students achieve exponential personal and professional success.

Over the coming months, I will share the nine phases of the proven Fresh Passion (Get a Brand or Die a Generic)® process with you. It is my hope, strong belief, and personal desire that you, too, can develop and flawlessly execute your powerful and competitive personal brand that will yield consistent and exponential personal and professional success, even in this environment!

So with all hands on deck and overtime on the bridge, we will achieve and experience exponential personal and professional success in 2010!

http://www.themichaeldbrown.com

Only the Toughest Brands Thrive in the Toughest Times

According to the pundits, the recession is officially over. As I look at my own situation and the situation of every single person I know, I can only think of two possible explanations for this pronouncement. One, the pundits live in a secret part of America none of the rest of us knows anything about. Two, the pundits are full of hot air.

Either way, the odds are pretty high that “end” of the recession notwithstanding, you are still not in an optimal place as far as your career, brand and life are concerned. When the economy gets as bad as it has been for the past year or so, everybody and everything suffers.

And I hate to be the bearer of more bad news, but the most recent unemployment figures show that 10.2% of Americans are unemployed. This is the highest rate in more than 25 years. Keep in mind that official unemployment figures only count people who have actively looked for work in the past four weeks, and also do not take into account people who are forced to settle for temporary, part-time, or underpaying jobs just to make ends meet.

What does this mean for you? It means that unless you have the secret password to enter the magical realm of the pundits where there is no more recession, you must double your branding efforts. Not to double your results, but to keep them from completely disappearing.

Demand for the vast majority of products and services is down. No matter what line of work you are in, and whether you work for yourself or someone else, most likely there is less need for what you have to offer and more competition to provide it. Being good is simply not enough to achieve success in times like these. You must be exceptional, and not be shy about proving it through your actions and words.

Now more than ever, you brand must be a well-oiled, highly functioning machine. When you are given a job to do, finish it early and provide more value than you are paid for or is expected. When you meet a potential client, customer, contact or job lead, have a 30-second “elevator pitch” explaining why you can provide them unparalleled value ready to deliver. Get off the couch, TiVo that favorite show of yours, and get out to a class, networking event, or other activity that can help you build your brand.

Some people look at times like the ones we are currently enduring, shrug their shoulders, and figure there’s no point in making extra effort since there is so little obvious reward for doing so. Trust me; these people don’t experience maximum personal and professional success when times are good, either. So roll up your sleeves and start doubling your branding efforts today. There are no direct flights to “Pundit-Land” that I’m aware of!

http://www.themichaeldbrown.com

What extra steps are you taking to promote your brand in these tough times? Take a minute and share them!

How Flexible is Your Brand?

Adaptability is Key to Surviving and Thriving When Times Are Tough

Some people pride themselves on having always provided the same services and/or products the same way, at the same price, for years on end. They think this inflexibility in how they serve their customers, bosses and clients is a sign of brand strength, proof that they can provide something constant in a chaotic and ever-changing world.

Hooey. The people you provide products and services to, the connoisseurs of your brand, if you will, are not looking for a constant. They’re looking for the best deal or best advantage they can get today. What works best today may not be what worked best yesterday and probably won’t be what works best tomorrow. In this difficult environment when nobody wants to spend a penny they don’t have to, the only unchanging constant associated with your brand should be that you provide a top quality brand experience. Everything else should be open for negotiation.

Let me give you an example from my own brand-building experience to illustrate exactly what I mean. When I first left my career as a top executive at a Fortune 5 company to become a full-time motivational speaker, career coach and business author, I was surprised by the need to quickly and effectively change my operating model in a seamless manner.

I mean the whole enchilda: marketing, branding, client support and customer services. I no longer had the resources of a global organization to fall back upon; I had me: Michael D. Brown. If Michael D. Brown did not complete a task, no matter how small or menial, there were no support staffers to complete it for me.

On top of this drastic change in resources and responsibilities, the economy decided to start tanking right around the time I made my career switch. As the economy proves it can change drastically without warning, you need to have robust contingency plans in place that allow you to quickly reduce your operating cost while increasing the level of service and value you provide to your customers.

When the economy struggles, consumers start to look for low-cost, quality solutions and will pay little attention to a business that isn’t adjusting their pricing without sacrificing quality. This meant I had to be willing to accept less for doing the same or even more work. After all, collecting 50% of my previous fee is a lot better than collecting 0%!

By being flexible, by being willing to alter every aspect of my brand proposition except for the top-level products and services I provide, I have been able to survive and yes, even thrive as I grow my young business during one of the worst recessions in living memory. I may not be making quite as much as I would have had I stayed in my executive position, but the freedom of being my own boss and satisfaction of helping others to earn my living more than make up for any lost pay. At the end of the day, flexibility can help you obtain the most valuable brand asset of all: peace of mind.

Have you found yourself taking a more flexible approach to building your brand, either by choice or necessity, during this recession? Let me know your story!

http://www.themichaeldbrown.com

This is Scary

Four in Five College Grads Who Apply Can’t Get a Job!

In one of the most sobering statistics related to the current economic recession I’ve seen in a while, CNN is reporting that four in five 2009 college graduates who have applied for a job have not gotten one. That means 80% of this year’s college graduates who have applied for work are “graduating into poverty” – moving back home with their parents in horrified disbelief that they are still eating Ramen noodles and unable find a job that requires a high school diploma, let alone a college diploma.

One of the main reasons students experience this unfortunate introduction to the “real world” is because they are among the millions of generic college graduates who have done little or nothing to distinguish themselves during the Dash Period – the time they have between freshman and senior year to brand themselves. Generic people fare no better in the marketplace than generic products – companies will only invest limited dollars and resources in them because they only perceive limited value and opportunity or return on their investment.

Today’s college students are facing the prospect of graduating into a hotbed of economic uncertainty with layoffs and hiring freezes all around. If you are currently in this situation, you can shrug your shoulders and graduate into poverty, using the down economy as an excuse for accepting a menial, unrewarding job with no future prospects after working so hard for four (or more!) years to earn your degree. Or you can roll up your sleeves and do what it takes to be that fifth of every five graduates who gets the job they apply for.

Hopefully, you spent your college career earning good grades, taking leadership positions in extracurricular activities, participating in internships and co-ops, and generally building a name for yourself as a top student and overall performer. If so, now is the time to cash in on all the goodwill you built up in the past four years. Get references from deans and professors, see if a company you once interned for may have an unadvertised opening they’re saving for a proven prospect, let potential employers know about your extracurricular successes that occurred outside of the classroom.

Maybe your college career wasn’t quite so colorful. That’s OK- it’s never too late to start building your brand! Volunteer your skills for a non-profit group and go “above and beyond” to show the heights you’re capable of achieving. If an employer who interests you does not have any openings, ask if you can come on board as an unpaid intern for the summer and then knock their socks off with your effort and talent.

Also, don’t forget to network, network, network. Anyone and everyone is a potential lead for a job. Treat everyone you meet as the key to the launch of your career. Eventually you will be correct, and in the meantime you will build a personal reputation as a friendly, energetic person. Personal branding is just as important as professional branding. Even if you have good professional skills, a negative or dull personality can scare off potential employers.

Stay positive, try your hardest, and take every opportunity possible to prove your worth, even if in the short term it doesn’t offer financial gain. Build your brand the right way today, and the job (and money) you desire will surely come tomorrow!

www.themichaeldbrown.com

Make Sure Your Brand is “Shovel Ready” for Opportunities That Come Your Way

Economic stimulus is all over the news these days, with CEOs of major corporations coming to Washington to beg Congress for money to get their corporations back on the right track. Well you are the CEO of your brand, which is your very own individual corporation. And the federal government may not be likely to stimulate your brand (unless you’ve managed to lose billions of dollars in the last year or so), but nobody’s stopping you from stimulating it yourself.

Let’s assume you don’t have a pile of cash waiting to be infused into your brand-building efforts. What can you do to provide your brand some much-needed stimulus? Your options are almost limitless. Take a class to learn a new skill in your field, or even earn a degree to enhance your knowledge and mastery of your profession. Join a professional networking group, or take an active leadership role in a group to which you already belong. Attend a professional networking event and have at least five meaningful conversations with potential contacts. Volunteer to take on that orphaned project nobody wants to claim at your job and then produce a stunning success. Show up a little earlier in the morning and go home a little later in the afternoon. Call an old friend or colleague you’ve lost touch with and see if you can help each other build your personal brands. Smile at everyone you meet, you never know who is a potential client or customer.

When you stimulate your brand, you make it shovel-ready so that when an opportunity for career advancement comes along, you are ready to take advantage of it. It’s one thing to possess experience and knowledge, but it’s another thing to possess the right experience and knowledge. And even if you possess the right experience and knowledge, unless your brand clearly conveys that fact, you will probably get passed over in favor of somebody who did a better job stimulating their brand and is therefore more shovel ready for the opportunity.

The old saying goes “Opportunity knocks once.” But I’ll fill you in on a little secret: opportunity doesn’t knock. It silently passes to those who have positioned themselves to grab it the second it becomes available. By the time an opportunity is widely known, it is already long gone. Stimulate your brand today, and be shovel ready for that next big break tomorrow.

www.themichaeldbrown.com

We’ve Taken This Journey Before – And Fresh PASSION Got Us Through!

An unpopular president replaced by a charismatic visionary with strikingly different ideals. Russia and Iran creating havoc on the world stage. Unemployment figures reaching levels unseen for a generation and food prices shooting upward. Yes, early 1981 was an uncertain time in U.S. history!

Despite all the talk of “historic” unemployment, economic recession, security threats, etc., the fact is we’ve been here before, folks. Russia was a larger nation known as the U.S.S.R. and the country was politically moving left to right instead of right to left, but overall we’re looking at a scenario today very similar to the one we were looking at in 1981.

As anyone who remembers the early 1980s knows, the tough times lasted quite a while. But anyone who remembers that era also knows that when those tough times ended, they were followed by an historic boom period that lasted for the rest of the decade, followed by a recession in the early 1990s, followed by another historic boom period, followed another recession….you get the idea!

By no means am I making light of the hardships so many people are suffering due to the current recession, which is at least as bad as any the country has faced since the 1930s. What I am trying to do is remind everyone that unfortunately, history tends to move in cycles. We alternate between bad times and good times, with occasional mediocre stretches in-between. The people of this country have faced tremendous hardships in the last few hundred years and always survived them, coming out better and stronger than ever.

And they have survived, and even thrived, in the lean years by following the principles upon which I have built the concept of Fresh PASSION – dedicating themselves to achieving their personal best and making their dreams a reality despite any adversities that come their way. Fresh PASSION followers know they cannot control the larger world events which unfold during their lifetimes. But they can control how they react to outside events, or better yet, act in the face of them. So maintain your laser focus on your aspirations during the challenging days that lay ahead. Even if you do not achieve all your aspirations now, you’ll be far ahead of the victims and whiners who choose to sit back and complain while times are tough when the inevitable recovery finally occurs.

www.TheMichaelDBrown.com

What about my 401(k)?

The Dow has been a roller coaster ride over the last few weeks. Many of us have seen our investment portfolios PLUMMET! I am certain we are all crossing our fingers/toes/arms and rubbing our rabbits’ feet to see if this upward move can sustain for a few days.

I have to admit, I began to panic a little on last week, though I didn’t make any drastic moves. I am surprised at the number of people who decided to withdraw their funds completely-despite the huge penalties and the future damage caused to their long-term investment strategies.

I even considered the withdrawal options, but during my contemplation I reached out to my financial advisor, here was his reply:

With regard to your investment strategy, our firms approach to investing is that of a ‘long-term, buy-and-hold’ strategy, particularly when there are many years between now and retirement.

I have reviewed your holdings and while we have seen significant drops in value consistent with the overall market decline, I do not recommend any changes at this time. History has consistently shown that major market declines and recessions are followed by periods of economic expansion and market growth. Only by staying invested and avoiding market-timing decisions can the real long-term average returns of the market be realized.

Did you make any major changes to your portfolio?

Are you considering more changes?

http://www.TheMichaelDBrown.com

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
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121642002363666365.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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