Tag Archive: US recession

Do you have a game plan that will navigate you to exponential success in 2011?

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.

In contrast, 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 2010 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 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 2011!


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.


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.


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?