Friday, May 29, 2009

Painting a Performance



“When I’m painting, it’s like I’m transported to this place. I call it ‘The Zone.’ It’s like Zen. Time stops” MICHAEL ISRAEL


You are standing in a crowd of two thousand people at a splashy hotel ballroom in Times Square.

Glittering lights suddenly fade to black ...

The haunting musical intro builds to a mighty crescendo.

And before you know it, art is transformed into a concert that unfolds before your disbelieving eyes.



Smashing stereotypes of the reclusive, introspective artist, Michael Israel allows audiences to witness the exhilaration of creativity in action. Michael's most intense works often focus on unsung heroes, with each of his paintings telling a passionate story.

You will want to watch this next video in its entirety.

Uninterrupted.



Picasso was once quoted as saying, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up". Isn't it remarkable how Michael has been able to achieve that, liberating art from the emotionless, stuffy confines of museums and galleries, and moved it into the lives of real people.

As a kid, Michael Israel lived aboard a Miami houseboat with his mother and spent his summers traveling America’s countryside with his father. As an 8-year old he took up Karate, eventually earning Grand National Champion status by the age of 17. Combining his love of painting, music and martial arts, Michael pioneered his own, unique style -- a performance/painting approach perhaps best described as “Art In Concert.”

What about you?

Is there an artist, yearning to perform?

A concert within your business or career waiting to be created?


"My mother said to me, "If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope." Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso"
PABLO PICASSO

http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Take the Pebble From This Blog




MASTER PO: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
YOUNG CAINE: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
PO: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
CAINE: No.
PO: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
CAINE: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
PO: Young man, how is it that you do not?


The seventies TV Series "Kung Fu" showed us how David Carradine's character was continuously inspired by his mentor, the blind Master Po. The zen guru's ability to uncover hidden truths became a recurring theme as Caine became one with his spiritual potential.

This story line has returned in the form of a clever re-branding initiative from a U.S. phone system company. The company (formerly gotvmail)has prophetically re-named itself "Grasshopper", positioning itself as a business of inspiration.



Grasshopper has also sent 5,000 bags of chocolate-covered grasshoppers to the most influential entrepreneurs and innovators in North America.

David Hauser is Grasshopper's co-founder and chief technology officer. Here's what he had to say about the re-branding effort: "We wanted something that spoke to our customers. We truly believe that entrepreneurs power this world. They are going to save our economy, and the more attention we bring to that, the better. We want people to see and share this video and feel one of two things. Either they are inspired to go out and do something they felt they couldn't do before, to create the job they've always wanted and go out and start that for themselves; or, they're reminded of why they're doing what they do every day. There are a lot of challenges, a lot of ups and downs, and sometimes it's just nice to remember what the larger impact is. Just go out there and do it. There are a lot of people saying no, saying it can't be done and it's a bad time in the economy. There are a lot of no's around. People don't go out there and do what they want because they're scared".

What do you make of this rebranding effort? Will it translate into more customers and increased profits? Is Grasshopper a more memorable or impactful brand than GotVMail?

And what about the message itself?

Does it make want to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit?

Release your inner child?

Live the dream and stimulate the economy?

Entrepreneurial thinking hinges on taking a massive leap of faith while embracing true uncertainty, particularly if you want to bring something new to the dance. Before the Internet, nobody knew there would be a market for businesses such as Amazon, e-Bay, YouTube, Expedia etc. It was only after the new technology emerged did people begin to see opportunities present themselves.

Opportunities are still presenting themselves each day, but just because a man can see does not mean he chooses to look. Or take the plunge.

If you are reading this and thinking about getting into business for yourself, ask yourself two questions:

Does a market exist for your idea?

And does it exist for a kid like you?


"When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave" MASTER KAN


http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dealing From Top of the Desk



"I know God put me in this world to make Dawna happy" JIM GILBERT


You won't find many strangers going out of their way to hug a used car dealer.

In Fredericton, NB it happens anywhere from 20 to 30 times a day.

But, there aren't many business owners like Jim Gilbert, who unabashedly credits his success in life and business to his wife of 30 years - and learning from motivational tapes and books.

The recession seems to have skipped right on by Jim Gilbert's Wheels & Deals as the Capital City dealership has hired seven more employees in the last several months. Sales have also climbed for nine consecutive years, ever since Jim experienced an epiphany of sorts when he realized he was spending more time talking, wishing and dreaming about what he was going to do than actually doing it.

Then he listened to a motivational tape from Zig Ziglar.

The message inspired Jim to make changes.

Big ones.

At both work and home.

Rather than playing the "blame game" when things didn't go his way, Jim became 100% accountable for himself and his business.

He started to eat better. Began exercising daily and shed 30 pounds. He also became a "learning sponge", soaking up everything he could get his hands on about being a successful entrepreneur.

Since September of 2006, Jim Gilbert has been known as "Canada's Huggable Car Dealer". Hugs are a part of the everyday culture at his Northside dealership and they come in many forms with free popcorn, branded teddy bears and bottled water Jim gives to his customers.

Some might say that Jim's business is an extension of the love affair he had enjoyed with Dawna since they first met in 1978. They were married eight months later.

Even today, they are rarely apart. Office desks are side by side. Their days start very early, with Jim and Dawna often rising before 5 a.m. to exercise and watch motivational DVDs. In some respects, it's only natural that Jim would want to create his own internet television show to share some of the good things that are happening all around us each day.

Today, on TSB, we go up close and personal with Canada's Huggable Car Dealer ... Jim Gilbert!



"Motorvationally Speaking", on CHCD TV, is a weekly, internet-based show focused on people who embrace the power of positive thinking. The guests may not always be famous, but they are always enlightening, and each one of them has an interesting story to tell. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome as we do what we can to inspire, educate and motivate.


"Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century"
MARK TWAIN


http://www.seamlessbrand.com/


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Brain Salad Surgery


The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes
WILIAM JAMES (1842-1910)


What if everything you think you know about the way your brain functions is flawed?

What if your brain is less like a computer or a machine and more like an extremely flexible piece of plastic?

What if the "power of positive thinking" has solid scientific relevance that connects to the metaphorical salad of thoughts you toss around each day?

And if those thoughts aren't getting you to where you want to be in your relationships or career, is it possible your brain can change itself?

For more than four centuries, mainstream medicine and science has maintained brain anatomy was fixed. We are who we are because of 'hardwiring' that took place in childhood, shaping our future thoughts, actions and habitual behaviours. Based on assumptions that the brain could not change, you could then conclude human nature was also fixed and 'hardwired'.

A Canadian doctor has emerged to challenge these assumptions.

"We used to see the brain as functioning like a machine with parts," says Toronto psychiatrist Dr. Norman Doidge.

"We thought each part performed one function, in one part of the brain, and if a part was damaged there was nothing you could do about it. The brain could not grow new parts, circuits were hard-wired and brain function was genetically predetermined, so we were all stuck with the mental performance we had".

Dr. Doidge has simplified complex science into clear, vivid stories that reveal remarkable changes the brain can make and in turn, transform the people who carry them around. His book, "The Brain That Changes Itself", offers great insight not only to those with neurological disorders, but for anyone intrigued to discover how to learn, change and reach their full potential.



In his book, Dr. Doidge reveals how the plastic nature of the mind affects not only mental mind maps in trauma but in daily thoughts and activities. But, your brain is so malleable it is also quite vulnerable to its surroundings and toxic messages from media, parents, peers and other people who feel compelled to dump misery into your mind. According to Doidge, "The brain is like a snowy hill and if you keep skiing down the same route you can create ruts - precisely because snow is pliable. Worrying is a rut. When you catch yourself worrying, change the channel to a healthier activity. Eventually those worry paths will diminish".

The implications of these discoveries about a more plasticized, malleable brain are profound.

What if the motivational speakers and new age spiritualists have been right all along?

That apart from a neurological disorder, the only real disability in life is attitudinal?

In other words, if every thought is a seed, planting crab apples makes it scientifically impossible to harvest orchards brimming with the juicy, red McIntosh.

Will you take care to sow only those thoughts you want to take root?

Could you allow your brain to blossom in a new way?


"In bookstores, the science aisle generally lies well away from the self-help section, with hard reality on one set of shelves and wishful thinking on the other. But Norman Doidge's fascinating synopsis of the current revolution in neuroscience straddles this gap: the age-old distinction between the brain and the mind is crumbling fast as the power of positive thinking finally gains scientific credibility ... Mind-bending, miracle-making, reality-busting stuff with implications for all human beings, not to mention human culture, human learning and human history"
ABIGAIL ZUGER, M.D.



Monday, May 25, 2009

Digging Into Twitter

"It's one of the fastest-growing phenomena on the Internet"
NEW YORK TIMES
"Twitter is on its way to becoming the next killer app"
TIME
"Suddenly, it seems as though all the world's a-twitter"
NEWSWEEK


Will Twitter fly?

And, if so, how high will it soar?

These are questions TSB is hearing more and more lately as reports indicate new Tweeters sign up at amazing rates, but many leave the microblogging nest just as quickly.

According to Nielsen vice-president of primary research David Martin, Twitter’s retention rate is only about 40%. And while Twitter is still just a “fledgling,” Martin also points out that when both Facebook and Myspace were emerging like Twitter is now, “their retention rates were twice as high” with retention rates at almost 70%.

Perhaps, the low retention rates are a reflection of older users wondering what the fuss is all about, signing up and then flocking off.

The 35-and-over crowd represents a very different demographic from the one personified by Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht when they were discussing Twitter on Diggnation back in April of 2008.



Do Kevin and Alex look like guys with a lot of time on their hands?

You may or may not Digg what they have to say about Twitter, but there is no disputing Tweeting can't be beat when it comes to communicating breaking news or personal emergencies.

Another perspective on Twitter that might be worthy of closer inspection comes from personal branding superstar Marina of http://www.hotforwords.com/.



What do you think?

Is Twitter flying on sad wings of destiny?

Or landing in a soft spot on your blackberry heart?


"Letting users control your site can be terrifying at first. From day one we were asking ourselves, 'What is going to be on the front page today?' You have no idea what the system will produce. But stepping back and giving consumers control is what brought more and more people to the site. They have a sense of ownership and discovery at the same time. If you give users the tools to spread and share their interests with others, they will use them to promote what is important to them"
KEVIN ROSE, Founder, Digg.com


http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Friday, May 22, 2009

Standing in Johnny's Light


"And so it has come to this: I, uh... am one of the lucky people in the world; I found something I always wanted to do, and I have enjoyed every single minute of it. I can only tell you that it has been an honor and a privilege to come into your homes all these years and entertain you—and I hope when I find something that I want to do, and I think you would like, and come back, that you'll be as gracious in inviting me into your home as you have been. I bid you a very heartfelt good night"


John was the kind of kid who marveled at the work of Groucho Marx, Jack Benny and Bob Hope.

Never forgetting what he learned from those legends, John set about to influence the careers of Steve Martin, Joan Rivers, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Ellen DeGeneres and Jerry Seinfeld, among others.

Decades later, John's success as a performer was in some respects, only rivalled by his skill as a mentor. He was fond of saying, "Talent alone won't make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: "Are your ready?"

John was always willing to lend a hand to those who had proven themselves ready.

Right up until May 22, 1992.

It was 17 years ago today, that the King of Late Night delivered his final performance as host of "The Tonight Show".

Johnny Carson's impact on television and pop culture is still being felt today.



Jerry was one of 22,000 guests who appeared at Carson's side over a 30-year run, hosting a show that at one point, accounted for 17 percent of NBC's total profits.

While Carson may have retired from "The Tonight Show" in 1992, he made one more surprise appearance when he walked on to the Letterman set in May of '94.



How many entertainers do you know can generate that type of ovation without uttering a single word?

There has never been another one like him.

Here is how it unfolded on May 22, 1992.



David Letterman once said that for 30 years no matter what was going on in the world, no matter whether people had a good or bad day, they wanted to end the day by being "tucked in by Johnny". Letterman credits his career to Carson's generosity, claiming his mentor's talent was unparalleled. "All of us who came after, are pretenders."

Evidently, Dave was one of those who had proven himself ready to be guided by his mentor's wisdom.

If mentoring is offering a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction, few have been able to supply it like John.

Hopefully, the brightest lights of top-notch mentoring will flicker in your future, providing the encouragement and guidance any top performer needs to make it.

Will you be ready to shine when it does?


"Never continue in a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined" JOHNNY CARSON


http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Guest Post: Firing Real Estate Rockets


Mark is a rocket scientist.

For real.

The youngest chief engineer to ever work on the NASA space shuttle project, Mark now travels all over North America, using his unique problem-solving methods to help organizations solve ten million dollar problems.

For a small fee, of course.

Mark has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. Some of his unique accomplishments include increasing e-business sales 600% in one year. He builds his own airplanes and hot air balloons and his book, "Da Vinci and the 40 Answers" is based on his original, always sold out, workshop hosted at Wizard Academy in Austin, Texas.

Several months ago, Mark stumbled on to this blog and has kept coming back. Today, author, speaker and rocket scientist Mark L. Fox is sharing with fellow TSB readers this guest post from his personal blog, Tangent Time:

DEATH OF THE REALTOR
Headline - April 17th, 2013 - RE/MAX Grounded

RE/Max International based in Denver, Colorado closed its doors today. The real estate giant, who once boasted a workforce of 100,000 agents spanning 65 countries, is calling it quits.

“It is with great regret that we have elected to close the last 43 offices today and file for bankruptcy” said CEO Charles Monterey.

“After months of reviewing our options, this is unfortunately our most logical choice.”

RE/MAX follows on the coattails of several recent real estate corporate failures; ERA, GMAC and Progressive. The only major player remaining; Century21 was unavailable for comment.

You won’t read this in the newspaper in 2013. Not because it is didn’t happen, but because you can’t put your hands on a pulp and ink print anymore. You’ll read the headline on your PDD (Personal Data Device) feed from the ABN (Associated Bloggers Network).

You see it all around us. Not a week goes by without another local newspaper throwing in the towel.

So to it goes with the Yellow Pages. Three weeks ago some bone-head penetrated the gated community where I live to rudely hurl a 2000 page yellow book into my yard. I picked mine up and threw it in the trash like everyone else. If I need a phone number, I’ll Google it.

If the Home Owners Association (HOA) would spend more time stopping these solicitors from getting through the gate instead of worrying about the dimensions, color, hue, and tone of my shrubs, the world would be a better place. HOA Nazis are a peculiar breed and may be so far gone that rehab may no longer be an option. But I digress; HOA abuse deserves its own posting.

• The railroads never opened their eyes to see that they were in the transportation business. Theodore Levitt is still right after 50 years.

• Dell Computer figured out how to get rid of the middleman.

• The Music industry never did get it that the world was changing…until it did.

• The Associated Press (AP) is the latest victim of complete arrogance. Just Google “AP Struggle” or any similar term for a hefty dose of insanity.

You always knew that paying your realtor 6% commission should be considered rape. It is the same thing as rape; loss of control. You just can’t pinpoint the proper statute to prosecute them.

Realtors are facing the same guillotine as the Santa Fe Railroad, Dell, and Sony.

Their entire model is based on sticking their nose into the home selling process when neither the buyer nor seller wants them there. They want you to believe that you are not smart enough to sell you own home. Like the 6:00 news, they use as many scare tactics as possible to convince you that “going it on your own” will be disastrous.

Their model is based on the monsters under your bed.

“Let’s see ….I managed to tie my own shoes this morning, so I think I can show my own kitchen and master bedroom without adult supervision.”

The current real estate model is based on hiding information from buyers and sellers so that they can’t complete the sale on their own. In today’s wired world, how can a model be sustained that relies solely on sequestering information?

It can’t.

In the age of speed and transparency, PropertyGuys.com is a Canadian Franchise that gets it. They have essentially taken out the middleman. They help coach you in selling your home without an agent and at a fraction of the cost. The model works in part because they don’t hide information like the old MLS dinosaur model. All the information any buyer or seller could ever need is right there on your computer. They show you that there really are no monsters under your bed.

Watch out America realtors, the Canadians are coming.

What about your business? Is it operating on a dinosaur model? Are you concentrating on selling products or on meeting your customer’s needs?

Take a close look because one thing is for certain: unlike Detroit, you will not be given a stack of get out of jail free cards!

Mark L. Fox
http://www.slyasafox.com/
321-626-4786
SKYPE: marklfox


Mark's post has already rattled some rusty chains in the real estate world, but unless you have been hiding in a cave somewhere, traditional industries everywhere are struggling to solve problems that never existed even three years ago. Ask the people at the Yellow Pages or any of North America's daily newspapers. To understand where Mark is coming from, you need to know how he views the business world through the lens of "Da Vinci and the 40 Answers". In his book, Mark reveals there are only 40 solutions to any problem in the world and they can be solved through the power of TRIZ - The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. If earth is like a spaceship, this might be one of its better operating manuals.

It is not a “_______ for Dummies” book.

But neither do you need to be a rocket scientist to grasp the ideas and put them into practice. What's remarkable is the way Mark discovered connections between the genius of Leonardo Da Vinci, Buckminster Fuller, Walt Disney and an obscure Russian scientist who languished for far too long behind Stalin's Iron Curtain.

Thanks, to Mark, the curtains have been pulled back and you can see a logical methodology for creative problem-solving.



"What usually happens in the educational process is that the faculties are dulled, overloaded, stuffed and paralyzed so that by the time most people are mature they have lost their innate capabilities"
R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Motorvationally Speaking" - Rogers On Television


Recessionary times often produce extraordinary business measures.

Some companies gasp, choke and drown when markets contract, but some see opportunity - take a deep breath and swim even farther from shore.

It's not as reckless as it sounds.

Not if you have a business model focused on the person paying the bills - your customer.

One such example is featured today on TSB as we profile Steve Rogers of Walkaway Canada ...



"Motorvationally Speaking", on CHCD TV, is a weekly, internet-based show focused on people who embrace the power of positive thinking. The guests may not always be famous, but they are always enlightening, and each one of them has an interesting story to tell. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome as we do what we can to inspire, educate and motivate.


"Everyone of us gets through the tough times because somebody is there, standing in the gap to close it for us"
OPRAH WINFREY

http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Will Your Telephone Ring Tomorrow?



Tomorrow just might be your day.

Tomorrow could be the day when a prospect calls or e-mails you and for some reason or another wants to buy the product or service you sell. When that day comes, the odds are close to 96.2% in your favour that you can make a first sale and perhaps create a long-term customer.

The reason?

There was something your customer heard, saw or read about you that piqued sufficient interest that you might be the one to turn to solve their current problem. In other words, your "brand" registered as being tops in their mind.

But, tomorrow may have to wait as you pound away at your desk today, making your required 50 cold calls. Odds are that 96.2% of them will end up somewhere between a polite “I'm not interested” or the harsh "click" of hanging up in your ear. And of the select few that displayed even the mildest form of interest, one may eventually end up buying. But not before you walk them through a sales cycle that includes relationship building, needs analysis, product demonstration, proposal writing, follow-up cartwheels and hopeful handstands.

See if this makes sense.

You make the sale 96.2% of the time when a prospect calls you.

You lose the sale 96.2% of the time when you call them.

A "brand" is a story embedded in the mind of the market and your brand is among the thousands competing for that mindspace each day. That being said, what "story" is surfacing in conversations about you that take place when you are not there? And has your brand attracted enough attention to even warrant being discussed?

Few understand "brand" the way Bolivar does.

Several years ago, Bolivar noticed common patterns emerge from observing Harley-Davidson rallies, Star Trek conventions and Jimmy Buffett concerts. He then got together with his pal Matt Ragas and wrote a book offering razor sharp insight into the underlying triggers of human emotion to help frame successful brands in the 21st Century. Through meticulous research and scores of interviews Ragas and Bolivar "BJ" Bueno uncovered the remarkable and oft-untold stories behind nine very successful cult brands, including Oprah Winfrey, World Wrestling Entertainment, Apple and the Volkswagen Beetle.

Today on TSB, the co-author of "The Power of Cult Branding" offers these insights to help strike a new deal for tomorrow when prospects start calling you. In these videos, BJ Bueno set out to educate the Newspaper Association of America, but feel free to scrape off that label and see how his message applies to your business.





In a cluttered marketplace, fully stocked with plain as vanilla brands, occupying top shelf space in the mind of a customer is extremely challenging. Fear will prevent most of your category from doing anything remarkable enough to attract attention since it is much safer to do what everyone else is doing. But, in the world of branding, you often discover the only fear is fear itself.

The future of your brand is in your hands.

Whether you built it by design or default, it will either grow or die.

There’s no in-between.

Have you crafted a brand story so compelling that prospective customers want to call you or are you just another cold-caller begging for business?

What will you do today to make your phone ring tomorrow?



"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today"
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT

http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Friday, May 15, 2009

The New Zeppelin?



Sammy has reportedly said that Chickenfoot could 'rival Led Zeppelin'.

Hold on a second Sammy.

What the hell is a Chickenfoot?

"When people hear the music, it's Led Zeppelin, I know that's a bold statement, but it's as good as that."

Sammy could be considered an authority on the subject. A successful artist in his own right, he went on to front what was often referred to as the "American Zeppelin" during his ten-year stint with Van Halen. But, now Sammy Hagar has a new gig as the voice of Chickenfoot, a rock supergroup featuring bassist Michael Anthony (also ex-Van Halen), virtuso guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Chad Smith (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Chickenfoot has completed a record set to be released on June 5, 2009 in Europe, and June 9 in the United States.

Chickenfoot.

The new Zeppelin?

See for yourself.



Chickenfoot has already hit the road with a string of sold-out shows and will also headline the first Canadian Forces Halifax Rock Fest on Citadel Hill in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Sunday, August 2.

Led Zeppelin was one of the first rock supergroups, formed out of the ashes of the Yardbirds in 1968 when Jimmy Page brought Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones together to form a band that withn two years would take over the world. The English quartet quickly soared to unimaginable heights and it could be argued are primarily responsible for defining an entire genre called "classic rock".

Will history repeat itself with Chickenfoot?

Here is how it unfolded back in 1970, when Led Zeppelin was seen for the first time on British television.



Sammy Hagar has set a high bar with the Zeppelin comparison.

Will the "Red Rocker" and his crazy chicken pals be able to get the Led out? Squeeze fresh lemon from some proven vets and climb a new stairway to rock and roll heaven?

Or will this newest rock supergroup be trampled underfoot, buried in a whole lotta hype?

As an old VH/Zep fan and friend of mine named JD once said ... "time will tell".


"Old men do it better. We're not so sensitive in certain areas"
ROBERT PLANT

p.s... The Intelligent Community Forum’s annual summit continues today in New York City with the ICF website (www.intelligentcommunity.org) hosting free live web streaming of the awards luncheon, starting at 2:30 p.m. New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham and delegations from both the City of Moncton and the City of Fredericton are on hand, hoping to bring the title of the world's Most Intelligent Community back to the picture province.

p.s.s. ... With a long weekend upon us, TSB resumes regular posting when business returns to normal on Tuesday.


http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Batching It



"Ernie is a friend ...da-da-da-da-duh
Yeah, I know he's been
a good friend of mine.

But lately something's changed
that ain't hard to define
Ernie's in an auction and he is about to lose his mind"



Ernie is one of a about a dozen dudes who are going to feel a tad like Rick Springfield tonight as they go up on the auction block.

Having known this guy for the past two decades or so, it's been interesting to watch him overcome jitters and butterflies anyone would experience if they were subject to the kind of attention about to be directed his way tonight. Sure it's a charity event, but someone still has to go out there and strut his stuff, trying to raise cash from the catwalk.

Eye candy for the highest bidder.

Handsome hunks for hire.

Working class dogs about to be leashed by a lady.

The Moncton Women's Progress Club inaugural Bachelor Auction has already been a fascinating study in how much people will depart the safety of personal and professional comfort zones. We all have a comfort zone where everything feels safe and familiar. We tend not to venture beyond it. However, staying there ensures we will not be challenged, experience growth, or learn anything new.

Ernie, the rest of the bachelors and the attendees will all experience something new tonight at the Delta Beausejour Hotel. The cause being supported tonight is worthy of any community's best effort and kudos are in store for Moncton's progressive women who have rallied together to make this happen.

All in the name of progress.


"Nobody ever died of discomfort, yet living in the name of comfort has killed more ideas, more opportunities, more actions, and more growth than everything else combined. Comfort kills!" T. HARV ECKER


p.s... Proceeds from this fundraiser will support Crossroads for Women, and other charitable organizations supported by the Canadian Progress Club, a national organization of professional-minded individuals with the goal of helping in their communities. Tickets can be purchased online at: http://www.facebook.com/l/;http://www.gifttool.com/registrar/ShowEventDetails?ID=1883&EID=4754 using your VISA/MC/AMEX.

Or you can e-mail monctonwomensprogress@gmail.com.

p.s.s... TSB has never been to a Bachelor Auction before. This is the only known experience, achieved vicariously through the eyes of Seinfeld.



http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Motorvationally Speaking" - Kurt's Angle


At one time, Kurt was one of Atlantic Canada's top two-sport athletes.

Like a Deion Sanders on skates, Kurt tore it up on ball diamonds and hockey rinks throughout the eighties and nineties, so much so that he was inducted into his hometown's hall-of-fame.

A slugger with the Fredericton Royals, Kurt also played hockey with the FHS Black Kats and St. Thomas Tommies before he discovered a new angle. Coaching. He spent a dozen or so years in St. Stephen, followed by launching the Leo Hayes hockey program, leading the Lions to their first Championship in 2004.

Today, on TSB, we get up-close-and-personal with a guy who has taken what he has learned from the athletic field, transferring it to the stadium of life. Here he is ... the athletic director at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton, NB ... Kurt Allen!



Kurt's son, St. Louis Blues draft pick Jake Allen was recently honored as Fredericton's 2008 athlete of the year at the 18th annual Sports Wall of Fame dinner and induction. Jake signed a three-year, entry-level contract with St. Louis back in October as he continues to climb the ranks in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

"Motorvationally Speaking", on CHCD TV, is a weekly, internet-based show focused on people who embrace the power of positive thinking. The guests may not always be famous, but they are always enlightening, and each one of them has an interesting story to tell. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome as we do what we can to inspire, educate and motivate.


"I don't care what they say about me when I'm through with sports. I don't want to be known as anything else in life but a great father"
DEION SANDERS

www.seamlessbrand.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Could America Learn From Moncton?


"It's my responsibility as a singer-songwriter to report the news"
JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP


In some respects, the economic struggle America is fighting today is no different than the challenge a modest Maritime city faced in the mid 1980’s.

About thirty years ago, the small town of Moncton, New Brunswick was far different from what we see today. When the CNR Shops closed for good in the late 80s, things looked mighty bleak for a community that staked it's brand on being the "Hub of the Maritimes".

Moncton's downtown took on the appearance of a deserted Montana mining town with saloon doors blowing in the wind and tumbleweed dancing in the streets. There was more plywood than windows on Main Street storefronts. The heart of the city was boarded up in such a way that Moncton resembled Berlin after the bombing. CFB Moncton was also closed, after defence cutbacks resulting from the end of the Cold War. Rock bottom may have been reached in the form of a lacklustre promotional slogan from the city: "Greater Moncton - We're OK".

But, it wasn't before long a small group of Moncton's movers and shakers started doing their thing. Personal and political interests were placed on the shelf. An economic summit sparked a steady upward climb in civic spirit.

What followed is known nationwide as the "Moncton Miracle," one of Canada’s best examples of how a community can overcome economic disaster and rise again by building on its strengths. Frank McKenna's government lured key players in the call centre industry as the city transitioned from the old economy to a more modern one. Since then, this bilingual community has become a major Canadian customer contact and back office center, powering the creation of 20,000 new jobs, largely in management, finance, health services, technology and education.

Meanwhile, south of the border, our red-white-and blue friends find themselves in a money mess the likes of which you and I have never witnessed in our lifetime. The sub-prime mortgage crisis. Hedge funds built on flimsy foundations of mortgage-backed quicksand. Little pink houses foreclosing by the bushel. Trillion dollar deficits and the paper in fire infusion of billions in tax dollars to rescue private corporations.

An American-made fantasy economy where profits are private and losses are public.

How did this happen?

Running low on cash, America tells the shopkeeper to put it on her charge account. He gladly complies making a tidy profit on the interest. But she still hungers for more and as time passes, less goes to buying groceries and more is needed to pay down the credit cards. Eventually, she can't make the payments on the interest she owes. The walls come crumblin' down and America collapses in an economic earthquake, sending shock waves around the world.

The city of Moncton, NB can relate.

The scale and circumstances might be different, but the patterns for recovery are probably quite similar. Specifically, in reference to the intangible elements required to turn things around.

Back in the Eighties, many a Monctonian was screaming for financial gifts from Ottawa to replace the CN Shops and other traditional industries. Instead of dollars to create dead-end jobs, the feds offered the City infrastructure money to rebuild sidewalks and renew streetscapes. It was this refusal to underwrite any type of bailout, that forced Moncton's hand to make lemonade out of federal funding lemons.

When the squeeze was on, Moncton developed a juiced attitude towards self directed economic growth.

And has been savoring the benefits ever since:

- In 2009, the City of Moncton has been named one of the World's Top 7 Intelligent Cities by the Intelligent Community Forum, an international think tank that monitors job creation and economic development in the broadband economy.

- In 2008, KPMG ranked Moncton as the lowest cost location for business among urban centers in Atlantic Canada and New England for the second consecutive time.

- In 2008, the Economic Development Association of Canada (EDAC)awarded the City of Moncton with its Canada Marketing Award in 2008 for its new Corporate Brand.

- In 2004, Canadian Business Magazine ranked Moncton “The Best Place to do Business in Canada”. Since then, Moncton has remained on CBM's Top-10 list for five consecutive years.

There have been many other accolades and endorsements, but perhaps none greater than when the Mick, Keith & the Stones rolled into town on the "Bigger Bang" tour in September of 2005 to a crowd of more than 80,000 at the Magnetic Hill concert site. The same venue that will feature acts such as Bon Jovi and AC/DC later this summer.

Moncton, it would appear, is rocking harder than ever.

Is there something America could learn from this story?

A way for the home of the brave to regain the swagger and spirit of R.O.C.K. in the USA?

The City of Moncton's Director of Economic Development, Ben Champoux offers this perspective:

"In short, it's about culture. Moncton is more 'socialist' but in the positive sense of the term, where all players are still capable of efficiently working together for the greater good of the community. It's the realization that each of us can be strong by ourselves, but exponentially more powerful as a group. In the USA, generally speaking, an addiction to 'capitalism' (more in the negative sense)would not have allowed them to have to wisdom to approach Moncton's challenges 20 years ago, and find a solution. It is that same addiction to 'capitalism' that has led them to the financial mess they are in now".

Champoux will be among a civic delegation to the Intelligent Community Forum 2009 Conference later this week in New York City. Premier Shawn Graham and Minister Greg Byrne will also be on hand with Mayor George LeBlanc and the rest of the Moncton contingent.

A bunch of small town guys who dream big.

Who never forget where they came from.


“Everything will be all right. We do have the greatest economic machine that man has ever created. We started with 4 million people back in 1790 and look where we’ve come. And it wasn’t because we were smarter than other people. It wasn’t because our land was more fertile or we had more minerals or our climate was more favorable. We had a system that worked. It unleashed the human potential. It didn’t work every year. We had 6 ‘panics’ in the 19th century. In the 20th century we had the Great Depression, World Wars, all kinds of things. But we have a system – largely free market, rule of law, equality of opportunity – all of those things that cause the potential of humans to get unleashed. And we’re far from done. Your kids will live better than mine. Your grandchildren will live better than your kids. There’s no question about that. But the machine gets gummed up from time to time. If you take the bulk of those centuries, probably 15 years were bad years. But we go forward.”
WARREN BUFFETT


P.S. If you want to vote and help a small town's chances here is the official web site: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/ – once there, you can cast your vote by clicking on the link on the upper right side of your screen.

Moncton, New Brunswick.

John Cougar Mellencamp would like it here.



http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Grandest Illusion


"So if you think your life is complete confusion 'cause your neighbor's got it made. Just remember that it's a grand illusion and deep inside we're all the same" STYX

Words are bursts of electrical energy.

Consciously directed into our brains, they become the audio track of our subconscious, determining what we want to be or achieve.

According to Dr. Lee Pulos,within a single second of time, your conscious mind processes information using 2 thousand available neurons. Conversely, within that same single second of time, your subconscious mind will process information utilizing 4 billion available neurons.

Dr. Pulos is currently Clinical Assistant Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. But don't mistake Lee for just another academic stuffed shirt. He has a proven track record in the real world, with a successful career as an entrepreneur, helping launch "The Old Spaghetti Factory". That venture became a 23-million dollar, 22-location operation in Canada, the US and Australia before Lee and his partners sold out to "The Keg" restaurant chain. Lee has also worked with dozens of Olympic and world class athletes and NHL teams such as the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks.

"In modern times we call the power of the word affirmations. Every minute of our waking life we are creating affirmations through our self-talk, at the rate of 150-300 words per minute, or between 45,000 and 51,000 thoughts per day. Positive self-talk has been referred to as nutrition for the mind, like planting flowers in the garden of our subconscious, whereas a negative inner dialogue is analogous to planting weeds" DR. LEE PULOS


For quite some time now, Vince has been harvesting what Dr. Pulos has discovered.

During the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France, Vince raced to a Canadian national record of 135 miles per hour (216.7 km/hr) on skis. Remarkable when you consider Vince went from being a recreational skier to competing in the Olympics in just four years.

Now a best selling author with "The Age of Speed", Vince Poscente offers his perspective on the power that daily self talk keeps reinforcing information in our subconscious, creating our reputation - good, bad or indifferent - with ourselves.



High-performance people are very conscious of the stream of self talk and how it impacts the subconscious. In a recent interview, Dr. Pulos explains, "When you blame someone, or even take on a martyr role, which is part of our Judaeo-Christian ethic - you know, having to work hard and suffer and struggle; a nothing-comes-easy sort of thing - again, that really detracts from one's sense of potency or empowerment and self-esteem. So with high performers, there is no blaming, and there is no martyrhood or struggle. These people view life as something to be lived joyously, impeccably, and to go through it having fun".

Enough about Lee and his theories. Let's talk about you.

Are toxic words and thoughts seepng to the surface, laying waste to your dreams and aspirations?

If so, is now the time to start humming a different tune?

Divorce your inner critics?

Dismiss the "The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee" that huddles inside your head?

That's the delegation of detractors, directing the energy flow of 45-to-51 thousand daily thoughts affecting every aspect of your behaviours and interactions with others. Have you allowed crapola from the "I.B.S. Committee" to restrict entry to your version of paradise theatre far too long and keep you from doing what you have really wanted to accomplish both personally and professionally?

Seeing is achieving.

Visualize to actualize.

Picture self esteem as an immune system for your crystal ball mind and renegade spirit.

Can you keep your eyes on the prize? Refuse to let family pressures or business bullshit suck creative energy from you? The most important conversation you have each day is the one you either enjoy, tolerate or suffer with yourself. It's what makes you, me and everyone around us tick and determines the moment-by-moment way we tock.

Is there something great you would attempt if you knew you couldn't fail?



"You're fooling yourself if you don't believe it. You're kidding yourself if you don't believe it. Get up, get back on your feet. You're the one they can't beat and you know it. Come on, let's see what you've got. Just take your best shot and don't blow it" TOMMY SHAW

p.s... 1977's "Grand Illusion" became the breakthrough album for STYX, reaching Triple Platinum certification thanks to hits such as the Dennis DeYoung-penned "Come Sail Away," as well as Tommy Shaw's "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)".



http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Friday, May 8, 2009

Victory Day


The year is 1945 BT.

(Before Twitter)

You are anxious to hear if the rumors are true.

Without aid of Google, YouTube, Facebook or a BlackBerry, you are forced to fiddle with knobs on a thing called a radio to hear the news for yourself.

Within minutes, you find yourself among crowds of delirious people; running through the streets, dancing with joy, shouting the news.

For the first and only time in your life, you kiss a complete stranger.

Never forgetting how you felt on that 8th day of May.

Later that week, you will head to a movie house and see with your own eyes, that after six long years, the war in Europe is finally over.




As news of the German surrender sinks in, you reflect on how the world was a much different place in May of 1940.

You vividly recall how it was five years ago when Britain was standing alone in the face of a Nazi juggernaut that had overrun much of Europe. And how a newly appointed Prime Minister Winston Churchill stood before a microphone to deliver the words the free world needed to hear.

With the Allied defeat in France and the evacuation of British forces from the wreckage of Dunkirk, words were all Winston had to offer.

Words.

The extent of the arsenal of democracy at that moment in time.




In a shrinking, time-compressed planet, increasingly dominated by text messages with less than 140 characters, powerful words can still rock our world.

Lest we forget.


"Words start wars and end them, create love and choke it, bring us to laughter and joy and tears. Words cause men and women to willingly risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Our world, as we know it, revolves on the power of words"
ROY H. WILLIAMS


http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mobile Branding


"This campaign allows us to let people learn a bit more about us as a company on a more emotional level, whilst showing how our products and services are always on hand to enable sharing"
LYSA HARDY, T-Mobile


You are in London.

Standing in the middle of Trafalgar Square.

And some stranger hands you a microphone.

So you can accompany PINK in a karaoke version of "Hey Jude".



This is what went down last Friday as T-Mobile looks to repeat the success of their Liverpool Street Station mob dance. They handed out 2000 microphones in Trafalgar Square for this giant sing-a-long, all part of the "Life is Sharing" campaign.

PINK herself described the experience this way on her website:

"Hey Everyone:

Last night I got the chance to do a massive karaoke sing-a-long in Trafalgar Square as part of T-Mobile’s new advert. You might remember their ‘Dance’ advert filmed at Liverpool Street station. Anyhow, this is going to be just as cool, if not cooler.

What a fantastic experience! Everyone singing along together in the middle of London – it was incredible! I was thrilled to be a part of such an amazing event, and to share it with so many people.

Love,
Pink"


Earlier this year, T-Mobile planted ten hidden cameras at London's Liverpool Street Station with 350 dancers, disguised as commuters. Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, the video captured spontaneous reactions as the dance troupe performed their number.


"I'm not sure how I feel about the campaign as a whole.. but I was there.. waiting for a train! It was absolutely hilarious!! The music started up from no where then one guy started dancing in the middle of the room..then all of sudden I was in the middle of it! Some how I managed to start dancing with one of the pros shouting the moves to me.. I think the Ad's angle is 'Life is for Sharing' and I know it's a publicity thing... but it certainly made my day!" AMY FILMER 16/01/2009

T-Mobile is a group of mobile phone corporate subsidiaries (all under the ownership of Deutsche Telekom) that operate networks in Europe and the United States. The "T" stands for "Telekom." Globally, T-Mobile has 128.3 million subscribers, making it the world's eighth largest mobile phone service provider.

It’s rare when a commercial can make you feel good, and rarer still when the spot is generated by an otherwise faceless, impersonal conglomerate. T-Mobile has actually been able to use technology as a community enhancer which connects seamlessly to the whole idea behind the "Life is Sharing" campaign.

In much the same fashion as Barack Obama, the T-Mobile campaign looks to be a textbook example of emotional branding at the highest level.

What do customers know about your brand on an emotional level? How much are you willing to reveal?

Is there a genuine spirit about your brand you can share by using technology?


"In an emotional economy, success is judged by a profound and indelible connection with people through sensory experiences. If your brand doesn’t connect emotionally, you will have to rely on media or advertising hype, a short-term and risky proposition" MARC GOBE




Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Motorvationally Speaking": No Regrets


Once in a while someone does a splendid job of describing a Canadian.

You may have missed it, but there was a report that someone in Pakistan had advertised in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed a Canadian.

Any Canadian.

An Australian dentist wrote the following editorial to help define what a Canadian is, so the bounty collectors would know one when they found one.

"A Canadian can be English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. A Canadian can be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, Arab, Pakistani or Afghan. A Canadian may also be a Cree, M├ętis, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Sioux, or one of the many other tribes known as native Canadians. A Canadian's religious beliefs range from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or none. In fact, there are more Muslims in Canada than in Afghanistan. The key difference is that in Canada they are free to worship as each of them chooses. Whether they have a religion or no religion, each Canadian ultimately answers only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

A Canadian lives in one of the most prosperous lands in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which recognize the right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

A Canadian is generous and Canadians have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return. Canadians welcome the best of everything, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services and the best minds.

But they also welcome the least - the oppressed, the outcast and the rejected.

These are the people who built Canada. You can try to kill a Canadian if you must as other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world have tried but in doing so you could just be killing a relative or a neighbour. This is because Canadians are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, can be a Canadian".


This Dentist from Down Under and his passion for the True North Strong and Free may help explain why Canadians are called on to do a lot of heavy lifting in remote sections of this mad, mad world. Canada's military has developed a big league reputation for being a force that can be counted on; stabilizing some of the world's political hot spots while protecting civilians from the wrath of lunatic fringes.

Today, on TSB, we go one-on-one with an otherwise ordinary guy who has been there done that - without any regrets. If life is a highway, the Canadian Forces has been his vehicle to ride in this human race.

From CFB Gagetown, we welcome another one of those extraordinary Canadians who have helped make the world a better place ... Ken Lunsden.



"Motorvationally Speaking", on CHCD TV, is a weekly, internet-based show focused on people who embrace the power of positive thinking. The guests may not always be famous, but they are always enlightening, and each one of them has an interesting story to tell. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome as we do what we can to inspire, educate and motivate.


"Australia and Canada were settled by adventurers, they had to break new ground. I think that is indelibly etched on our cultural spirit"
TOM COCHRANE

p.s... The boy inside the man thanks P.C. for supplying additional insight this morning.


http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hot for Teacher

"I think of all the education that I missed. But then my homework was never quite like this"
VAN HALEN


Marina is a philologist with not one, but two university degrees.

What's philology you ask?

Phi·lol·o·gy: Derived from the Greek terms 'philos', meaning love and 'logos', meaning words. Ability to recognize the words of one language from the roots of another. Study of human speech especially as the vehicle of literature that sheds light on cultural history.

As a philologist, Marina studies linguistics and etymology, specializing in the origins of words and their meanings. After graduating in 2002, she taught high school English for two years in her native Russia. But at the age of 28, Marina has taken her academic brilliance to a new level, making the entire planet her classroom.

Connecting her passion for words along with other attributes, Marina has crafted one of THE most watched channels on ALL of YouTube. Her instructional videos are seen a few million times each week. She recently hosted a bi-weekly radio show on Maxim Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio and is currently writing a book for HarperCollins on fun word origins.

She believes "intelligence is sexy".

Today on TSB ... something to spice up your morning coffee.

Direct from “The Capital of the Republic of Lexticon” , "The City of Etymologia” ... the girl known as the “Sexiest Philologist in the world” ... Marina Orlova!



Marina seems intent on proving that being brainy and sexy are not mutually exclusive. In other words, why can't one be both? Her "brand" certainly contradicts the cultural stereotype of the "dumb blonde". Marina is anything but, learning how to "brand" the study of words and her strategy seems to be paying off. Wired magazine has voted her "World's Sexiest Geek".

Marina Orlova is the quintessential, branded, on-line journalist who has learned how the spicy, playful use of technology can work to her advantage. She launched her YouTube channel in 2007 and releases 5-7 videos each week, displaying her cunning approach to linguistics. As a brand, there is no denying Marina has discovered a market space G-Spot; straddling the intersection of soft porn and hard core learning.

What about your brand?

Is it occupying a unique spot only you can claim as your own? Is your brand remarkable to the point where customers are constantly calling you, begging you to take their money and their long-term business? Or is your brand the kind of girl always sitting home on Friday nights, waiting for the phone to ring?

Are there areas in the mind of the market that you could seduce with thoughts, products and services more tempting than what your competitors are offering?

Have you determined what would make customers hot for you?


"The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live" OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES

p.s... If you have a craving for more learning of a linguistic nature, Marina can be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/hotforwords and her website www.hotforwords.com.
p.s.s. Could not resist throwing in the tune named earlier in 2009, as the 36th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.




http://www.seamlessbrand.com/

Monday, May 4, 2009

Turning the Page



You are 23 years of age and have one of those dreams that makes you sit up straight in the middle of the night.

A dream so vivid, you nearly knock over the clock radio that reads 2:54 a.m., as you scramble to grab the nearby pen and begin writing in a fast and furious fashion.

Because, you know if you don't write it down, it's gone faster than a one night stand leaving your dorm in the morning.

As a Michigan boy once crooned, aint it funny how the night moves?

Especially when you dont seem to have as much to lose.

You don't fully comprehend it at the time, but this is the precise moment when your world has changed.

Forever.

It is now 14 years later.

The self-made fortune that still flows from that middle-of-the-night dream is worth an estimated $12 billion dollars. You are the 6th richest person in the United States of America, have been on the cover of TIME Magazine and married your beloved at Richard Branson's private Caribbean hideaway in the British Virgin Islands.

Pinch yourself. Your name is Larry Page.

Along with your college buddy Sergey, you founded a company with a funny sounding name.

Google.

And you are sharing what you have learned about life and business with the graduating class from the University of Michigan, this past Saturday in Ann Arbor, MI.



NOTE: Google apologizes for the lack of sound between 0:43 and 2:28 - you’ll need to skip past that part. Search "News from Google" Click on the first link and find the entire text there at Google's Press Center.

Larry's fascination with computers started when he was a 6-year old. He was the first kid in his elementary school to turn in an assignment from a word processor. Intensely curious, Larry was the type of kid who liked to take apart everything in his house just to see how it worked. From the time he was 12, Larry knew that one day, he was going to start a company.

Today, graduating students from universities everywhere are being sent into a world facing unprecedented challenges. The headlines are everywhere: The economy is in the toilet. The auto industry is crumbling. Foreclosures are up. Job market is down.

Hopefully, more Larry's are graduating this spring.

As autumn closes in.

"Every now and then you'll nail one that's really, really special. And that's what you live for" BOB SEGER



http://www.seamlessbrand.com/


If you are receiving this via email and don’t see the video, then click on the article title at the top of the page which takes you to the blog.

Friday, May 1, 2009

No Doubting Thomas



Whether you are a sports fan or not, certain sports movies have a way of speaking to universal, human themes.

These are the type of films that capture the spirit of the struggle; overcoming impossible odds before eventual triumph or redemption. Classics such as “Rocky”, “The Rookie”, "Miracle” and “Rudy”, often leave many of us feeling "Invincible".

Tim's story is the stuff Hollywood movies are made of.

He has emerged as the Rocky Balboa, Rudy Ruettiger, Jim Morris and Vince Papale of today's NHL. An otherwise ordinary kid from Flint, Michigan who started living the American Dream when Herb Brooks inspired a bunch of U.S. College kids to capture Olympic glory at Lake Placid.

His path to the NHL has been a nomadic one. Since being drafted 217th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1994, Tim made minor league stops with teams like the Detroit Vipers, Birmingham Bulls, Houston Aeros, Hamilton Bulldogs as well as elite clubs in Finland with exotic names such as Karpat, AIK, HIFK and Jokerit. He became accustomed to packing bags and collecting new jerseys.

But, in 2004, Tim caught a break with the Boston Bruins and after a few false starts, took over the #1 job three seasons ago. After appearing in the last two NHL All-Star games, Tim's career hit another milestone Monday when the 35-year old was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top netminder. This one-time back-up journeyman is considered one of the main reasons the Boston Bruins are top contenders to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972.

No matter what unfolds through the course of these Stanley Cup playoffs, Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins has given Hollywood screenwriters plenty to work with.





"I'd rather look ugly making a save than look pretty being scored on"
TIM THOMAS

When it comes to puckstopping, Tim has his own "style". He is not what people in the hockey business would call a conventionally trained goal keeper. For example, part of his off season training program is focused on learning about the downward dog and warrior positions to enhance his "modified" butterfly. Twice a week, for about 75 minutes each day, Tim immerses himself in the centuries-old study of yoga, with workouts so vigorous they leave him covered in sweat after 5 minutes.

His work ethic has been contagious in the locker room and tonight Tim will be called upon to "bring it" once again as the Bruins host the Carolina Hurricanes in Round Two of the Stanley Cup playoffs tonite in Boston. The last time a Bruin won the Vezina Trophy was 26 years ago, when Pete Peeters took it back to Boston, but now Tim is considered the odds-on favorite to bring home that hardware when the winner is announced June 18th at the NHL awards gala. Meanwhile, Boston's management has no doubt any longer about Tim's ability, rewarding him in early April with a four-year extension worth an estimated $20 million dollars.

Tim Thomas experienced his share of hard knocks on the way to the top of his profession, but never lost faith in himself or his ability.

His story is an inspiration to underdogs everywhere. It's about anybody who had a dream and a goal; anybody who was told they weren't good enough, that they didn't have the right resume, that they didn't come from the right neighbourhood, that they were too young, they were too old or that it's never been done before.

Tim Thomas and his ride to the top of the NHL is about anybody that was told that they "couldn't".

The stuff great lives, careers and movies are made of.


"There's no such word as can't"
JEAN MAXWELL (1937-1998)

www.seamlessbrand.com