Tag Archive: Michael brown

When even the gaming industry feels a pinch, you know a recession is serious. And that’s what appears to be happening now, as recent news reports indicate casinos around the country have been experiencing significant revenue declines since the economy broke down last fall. Mohegan Sun, a major casino in Connecticut, is even considering cutting back the schedules of full-time employees to four days a week! Consumers who often turn to gambling as an escape mechanism during recessions are too busy saving their money for necessary purchases that offer real value to risk any money on games of chance.

What does this have to do with your career, assuming you don’t work in the casino industry? Everything! In this historically difficult environment, employers are just as cautious as consumers when it comes to parting with their hard-earned dollars. Businesses that may be willing to take a chance hiring a flashy employee with a less-than-stellar resume during good times are now only interested in the most qualified and capable candidates.

What type of professional candidate are you? Do you possess the most current and desirable skills in your field? Do you have impeccable educational professionals? Do you have a well-established network of distinguished professionals and academics ready to vouch for the value you can provide? Does your personal brand already speak for you even before you sit down for an interview?

If you can truly answer “Yes” to all these questions, congratulations! You have already been following the 6.5 steps of Fresh PASSION and are well-equipped to ride out the current recession. But if the answer to any of these questions is “No,” it’s time to put a little Fresh PASSION into your career! My 6.5-step process will enable you to turn yourself into a highly competitive and desirable brand that will stand out in even the worst of economic times. There’s nothing wrong with offering some sizzle, but make sure that sizzle is rising from a thick, juicy steak and not a thin, greasy hamburger!



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 ®


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.


Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, said on Wednesday that it would ration the amount of rice each customer can purchase at its Sam’s Club warehouse stores because of recent “supply and demand trends.”

“We are limiting the sale of Jasmine, Basmati and Long Grain White Rices to four bags per member visit,” the company said in a statement. “This is effective immediately in all of our U.S. clubs, where quantity restrictions are allowed by law.”

This was a shock to me, out of all commodities I assumed rice was a staple that was in high supply.

The reason giving for this ration and the alarm bells heard around the world: The price of rice rose to $894 a metric ton, compared to $327.25 a ton average price in the same month last year. In addition the rice harvest have been poor and countries are curbing exports.
With the price of fuel reaching $4 in San Francisco today, a rice shortage and a dollar that’s look more and more like a peso what are consumers to do?

Are you concerned about the implications that this can have on your pocketbook, on your dinner table and your overall welfare?