Friday, July 30, 2010

Female Brains: Marked for Greatness?

OK, I'll be up front with you and admit it.

As the author of the TSB blog, I am a man.

"Now hold it right there!"

Yes, a simple man about to make a valiant attempt to write about and explain ... the unique characteristics and economic advantages of the female brain.

"Have you gone mad"?!

"Do you realize the massive hole your are about to dig for yourself with each subsequent keystroke?!"

Crazy as this attempt may sound, or as uniquely unqualified as I may be, recent events dictate this biologically-based uphill battle needs to be fought somewhere.

And today's post is as good a place as any to start.

But, rather than oversimplify this issue in Mars-Venus fashion, we'll explore recent scientific research indicating women are more likely to succeed in a knowledge-based world based on the power of ideas instead of an industrial-based economy focused on production. In other words, whether we like it or not (guys are you listening?), women appear to be a biologically favored in understanding and applying the new language of commerce rapidly emerging in our 21st century Digital Economy. A language focused on the power of collaboration and community rather than one of conflict and confrontation.

We begin with Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen.

Simon is the director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University. He writes, "The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy; the male brain is geared for building systems and things. Men lean towards structure and order; women favor making and maintaining connections". In other words, men are at biological level more left-brained analytical, logical and linear while women are able to transfer data between the right and left hemisphere much faster and enjoy greater access to both sides.

In fact, a team researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine, headed by Dr. Joseph T. Lurito, has proven through the use of MRI's, women have four times as many connections between the two sides of the brain. It creates a “Naturally Ambidextrous Brain,” capable of enhanced perceptual speed, fine motor skills, and a higher degree of verbal fluency. Some doctors feel that this may explain why women often recover from strokes more quickly than men, with less damage to speech ability. It may also account for a woman's ability to multi-task at an extremely high level.

At times this ability has been referred to as the “Executive Brain".

In her book, "The Female Brain", Louann Brizendine M.D., reveals neurological explanations why:

- A woman uses about 20,000 words per day while a man uses about 7,000
- A woman remembers fights that a man insists never happened
- A teen girl is so obsessed with her looks and talking on the phone
- Sex thoughts enter a woman's brain once every couple of days but enter a man's brain about once every minute
- A woman knows what people are feeling, while a man can't spot an emotion unless somebody cries or threatens bodily harm

Dr. Brizendine explains this process actually begins at birth. She states, "Girls are born interested in emotional expression. They understand cues and constantly look for approval. Typical boys enjoy wrestling, mock fighting, and rough play with cars, trucks, swords, guns, tend to tend to threaten others, get into more conflict and are less likely to share toys and take turns. Meanwhile, studies show girls take turns twenty times more often than boys, and their pretend play is usually about interactions in nurturing or caregiving relationships".

So what is science telling us?

Especially us guys?

It would appear the evidence is indicating, where men have the gift of being able to focus on one thing at a time and see where it fits into a linear set of clues, women process the same clues as though they were a big puzzle – how does this piece fit in, and where, so that it reveals a “bigger picture”.

But, as a self-admitted man, my linear path today is leading me directly to my fellow man Mark for the final word on this subject.

Mark Gungor is one of the most sought-after speakers on marriage and family in North America. His take on relationship issues is refreshingly free of both churchy and psychological lingo. His book, "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage®" is about helping couples get it right, get along, have fun, and enjoy a successful relationship. He is also married to Debbie, his high school sweetheart for over 36 years and between the two Gungors and their very different brains, they have two grown children and four grandsons.

"Every brain begins as a female brain. It only becomes male eight weeks after conception, when excess testosterone shrinks the communication center, reduces the hearing cortex, and makes the part of the brain that processes sex twice as large"

Originally posted December 11, 2009

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Well Said Fred

When Fred was a brash 22-year old Marine, he thought it would be cool to puff himself up by wearing a mustache and smoking big cigars.

Then he bumped into Sergeant Jackson.

Before too long, Fred asked the more experienced Sergeant Jackson what he could do to improve his performance.

The response caught him off guard.

"Well, the first thing, shave off that ridiculous mustache, and quite smoking the cigars -- because you look absurd -- and be yourself."

Fred readily admits he never forgot the lesson and instantly gave up being a smooth-faced kid trying to be something he wasn't.

That lesson in personal grounding would come in handy the day Fred experienced a vision of how he might change the world from what he learned in the military. And Fred has been more than happy since then to share some of what he has learned with others who hope to change their world.

In retrospect, Fred realized his military experience allowed him to view risk with a different perspective since the currency of exchange in business is just money - not people's arms and legs, or lives. He may have been more willing to take chances because losing money wasn't the worst thing in the world that could happen.

And he believes his military background taught him other valuable lessons that have come in handy at FedEx:

"When I was in the Marine Corps as a lieutenant, I had come up from a good background, went to a fine university at Yale. I wasn't exactly exposed to folks that were in the blue collar professions and occupations. And then here I was in the Marine Corps, and became a platoon leader, and I was surrounded by kids like that. I maybe was three years older than they were. I was 21, they were 18. But these were youngsters from very different backgrounds than I was. You know, blue collar backgrounds, steelworkers, and truck drivers, and gas station folks. And there we were, out in the countryside in Vietnam, living together, eating together and obviously going through all sorts of things. I think I came up with a very, very different perspective than most people that end up in senior management positions about what people who wear blue collars think about things and how they react to things, and what you should do to try to be fair to those folks. So in that regard it was an invaluable experience. And a great deal of what FedEx has been able to accomplish was built on those lessons I learned in the Marine Corps. The fundamental principle behind fast cycle or express transportation is that you are substituting your services for other processes. If an electronics manufacturer is going to operate without inventory, or field service engineers are not going to have the parts and pieces to fix things rat-holed in the trunk of their car, then when they need the part or piece, or they need the item delivered to the customer, you've got to perform. You've got to be able to let them know where this item is all the time.It's not like we're carrying sand and gravel. You know, we're carrying chemotherapy drugs, and important manuscripts, and electronic parts, and pieces for airplanes that are grounded. So when we pick it up and say, "We're going to have it there early the next morning," I mean we have to deliver. There's nothing else to it".

"The most important piece of advice that I could give is to take advantage of the tremendous reservoir of knowledge that's out there today. Spend some time learning how the world has evolved. There are a lot of good lessons in history, and other peoples' experiences in the past, that could be exactly the solution to the problem you're looking for".

Without the pursuit of money as a prime motivator and a military-influenced work ethic and leadership style, Fred Smith could be accused of being overly zealous in his focus on an idea far beyond what any ordinary person should be.

Maybe that's why people like Fred are referred to as "extraordinary".

Today, Fred's vision has created jobs for 290,000 employees and $16 billion in revenues. While Fred may shrug it off and say he had the good fortune to be on the rising tide of history and being in the right place at the right time, Fred was still the one rolling the dice and willing to step up to the plate and be accountable for his vision.

Rarely, if ever, will the pursuit of a vision that matters go in a straight line. The zigging and zagging, the winning and losing will only be paid by the strength of a double-sided coin marked with "conviction" and "persistence". In other words, absolute faith in your vision coupled with the perseverance to bring it to fruition.

Is there something you dream of accomplishing that borders on the extraordinary?

Would any of Fred's experiences and insights come in handy the day you decide to roll the dice and place vision ahead of money?

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and those who have met them in battle. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion"

Originally posted September 24, 2009

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Where There is a Will

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

Each day, you carry a dream within you.

Each day, there are symbols, signs and omens reminding you of that dream.

Each day, you make decisions to either follow that dream.

Or avoid your destiny.

For TSB readers in at least 74 countries, that decision often hinges on whether to hit the button marked "DELETE" or listen to the voice of intuition.

And follow a post such as this one.

Just to see if it speaks to what you have been dreaming about.

This mornings post was inspired by nothing more than taking time to be still enough to notice an omen that appeared over the weekend. Another hour or so of "research" through the magic of Google and we arrive at this precise place in time.

When it's time to press the button marked "PUBLISH POST" and see where this leads.

Outside the TSB offices on Sunshine, the sky is turning tangerine orange.

Another omen, perhaps?

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you”

Originally posted November 9, 2009

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Go For Soda

"We sow our thoughts and reap our actions. We sow our actions and reap our habits. We sow our habits and reap our character. We sow our character, and we reap our destiny"

John loves soda pop.

REEEAAALLY loves soda pop.

John Nese has dedicated his life to soda.

And has the courage to live it out loud.

You might call him the "Sultan of Soda".

Or the "Crown Prince of Pop".

The owner of Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles sells more than 500 varieties of these bubbly beverages. He has been described as "obsessive" about his his customers - and his suppliers. So much so, this connoisseur of carbonated beverages deliberately avoids big name brands like Pepsi. Instead, John seeks out smaller producers with unique, high-quality products. He figures why not support other small businesses such as his own?

It might be worth your while to invest time with John and see how many of his ideas on business could be applied to your brand.

Galco's began as a small Italian grocery store in Los Angeles,over a century ago, defying the odds as a family owned and operated business. John's passion for soda began when, as a child in the 50's, he would visit a soda pop bottling plant owned by his father's best friend.

John's story has been featured on PBS, the Food Channel, the Tokyo Times, the BBC, CBC and his hometown Los Angeles Times, among others.

But in some ways, John's "story" is similar to yours.

When we were young, we all had a clear idea of what we wanted to be and do when we grew up. But somewhere along the way, those dreams were buried under an avalanche of reality and practicality. The focus shifted from 'living the dream' to 'finding a good job with a stable income.

What's different about people like John Nese is that they show us another way. They becoming living, breathing examples of how to follow a career path marked by passion - without becoming an economic slave.

It's a simple choice.

You have the option of trading in your dreams and destiny in exchange for a life of comfort and conformity.

You know the choice John made.

What about you?

"It' in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped"

p.s. ... Just can't resist throwing this in. Might as well.

Originally posted November 10, 2009

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Personal Branding: The Original Recipe

Some might say David had a tougher upbringing than most.

When David was five, his father passed away and since his mother worked, he was required to cook for the family. After dropping out in seventh grade, David ran away from home when his stepfather started beating him. A nomadic career path followed, with stints as a steamboat pilot, insurance salesman, railroad fireman, farmer and an Army tour that began at the age of 16 years when David lied about his age at the enlistment office.

A self-starter, David also tried his hand at law working in the Justice of the Peace courts in Little Rock, Arkansas. He ruined his legal career, however, by brawling with a client in the courtroom. Although found innocent, David was done as a lawyer. Trading in his legal robe for overalls and an apron, David opened a small gas station and restaurant in the small town of Corbin, Kentucky, specializing in Southern cooking such as pan fried chicken, ham, vegetables, and biscuits. And when the café with the homey atmosphere and good food was singled out by restaurant critic, Duncan Hines, its popularity increased. Eventually, Governor Laffoon was so impressed he made David an honorary Kentucky colonel for his contribution to state cuisine.

Rather than rest on his laurels, David kept working on an original recipe, devising a method to cook chicken quickly because customers wouldn't wait 45 minutes for a batch to be fried up in an iron pan. Instead, David discovered a pressure cooker could do the job in just nine minutes.

Throw in eleven herbs and spices and voila!

But, if there was one recipe David knew better than making a quick and mean fried chicken, it was how to sell himself. In the early days, he knew needed something different. Something nobody else could possibly have.

The answer?


David became a master of personal branding early on in his culinary career. In 1949 he began dressing in a white suit, white shirt, black string tie, black shoes, white mustache and goatee, complete with a cane while using the title of "Colonel". Ignoring sideways glances and voices of naysayers, David believed his unusual appearance would not only give customers something to identify the company with, but also bring greater legitimacy to it. After all, who would know more about what represented quality in fried chicken than a southern colonel? In this case, "Colonel"Harland David Sanders.

Soon, everything from eight-foot billboards to Kentucky Fried Chicken take-out buckets began to be plastered with the Colonel's likeness. Sanders understood the power of this image and which is why it has only been changed once each decade. Harland Sanders was one of the first successful businessmen to teach the world about personal branding and how it could add more credibility to a company. And, who better to be the "face" than the most passionate person behind it?

Colonel Sanders’ undeniable love for his product (and his secret recipe) was not the only reason he put himself front and centre. Time and again, the results would speak for themselves. For instance, whenever Sanders personally appeared on television company-wide sales would jump by about ten percent. That success is why the Colonel's image continues to be an integral part of the KFC brand long after his passing. In fact, the Colonel became the world’s first brand to be visible from outer space with a 2006 "astrovertisement" in the Nevada desert.

Humans have been addicted to stories since we first started to use the cave as our canvas before moving on to plays, novels, movies and TV programs. And taking a cue from the pages of history, your story could be the foundation of a great personal brand when you distinguish its not about what you do; it's about what you do differently from everyone else. And in today's Digital Economy you either tell stories that spread, or you brand becomes irrelevant.

Martha Stewart, Mike Holmes and Madonna. Donald Trump and Dave Thomas. Paris Hilton and Prince. Is there a chance there are others in their fields just as talented, but not as well known? Like a self-styled Kentucky Colonel before them, the dreamers and achievers behind these personal brands know that when you buy their product, you first buy their story.

Back in the 40's, Colonel Sanders developed a personal brand strong enough to survive the closing of his original location when the construction of Interstate 75 reduced customer traffic. Undeterred, 66-year old Harland hit the road, using $105 from his first Social Security check to fund visits to share his story with potential Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisees.

The Colonel's personal brand is still going strong today, serving more than 12 million customers at more than 15,000 KFC restaurants in 109 countries around the world. And how many personal brands are you aware of, that are worthy of a giant, 87,000-square foot version of it, identifiable from outer space.

Critics and skeptics were quick to dismiss Harland David Sanders as a crazy chicken for having the bravado to wear a white suit and call himself "Colonel". But, if you want your personal brand to be 'finger lickin' good' do you dare follow Sanders example? Will you march to the beat of your own drumstick?

Is there a Colonel of Truth in this story that could serve as a launching pad to take your brand out of this world?

"You’ve got to like your work. You have got to like what you are doing, you have got to be doing something worthwhile so you can like it. There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business from there"

Originally posted October 13, 2009

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Monday, July 19, 2010

A Portal For Your Thoughts

At the precise second you read this, you could become Alice, about to leap into a rabbit hole that leads to Wonderland.

Or you might feel like a latter-day Bruce Wayne, ready to dash from the office to the secret door and fireman's pole that descends to the Bat Cave.

A third option would be to imagine yourself as Neo, confronted by Morpheus and faced with a stark choice.

Will you choose the red pill and read further?

Your current position at this mental crossroad will be determined by the way you decipher an abstract concept through the 10,000 billion synaptic connections flowing through your brain space. But a lifetime of experiences inside traditional work environments compounded by factory models of education may leave you at a disadvantage.

In other words, will your neural pathways be sufficiently open to navigating the emotional barrier erected by two words.

Wizard Academy.

Well over 80% of any reading population will recoil at the thought of seriously exploring a non-traditional business school carrying such a cryptic and controversial handle. Only a minority will dare venture beyond their current box and follow a whisper of intuition, hinting of this unconventional and strangely exciting world.

You just never know who you will bump into at Wizard Academy.

One day, it might be the guy with a PhD who left a seven-figure lobbying job to follow his true passion for helping business people fling open doors to the corridors of power in Washington. Or you might wind up sitting for three days next to a classmate who just happens to be one of the most influential people in the world for setting the daily price of diamonds. Or it could be you cross paths with senior executives from perennial Fortune 500 companies such as Procter & Gamble, Best Buy, Hewlett-Packard, Kellogg's, Yahoo or others.

And perhaps one day you will wind up in a class taught by a Nobel Prize winner, NASA engineer or a million-selling author who make up just part of the eclectic faculty at a 30-acre campus located 20 minutes outside Austin, TX. For example, John Spoelstra, the man behind many blockbuster marketing campaigns in the NBA and NHL dropped by to teach a class last month and had a chance to describe the experience with Wizard of Ads blogmeister Dave Young.

The man you don't see on camera is Dave Young, the author of "Why We Blog" and his much anticipated next class at Wizard Academy is scheduled for late October. Another class to consider for your calendar is "Da Vinci and the 40 Answers", facilitated by Roy H. Williams and Mark Fox, (who knows a thing or two about space shuttles) and how some principles of rocket science can be applied to your business or brand.

Your business or brand will only ever grow and prosper relative to the size and scope of your imagination. And you will be hard-pressed to find a better place to give your imagination a blast and detonate real or perceived obstacles than Wizard Academy.

TSB first made the plunge in April of 2006, tumbling into a learning environment that allowed us to help clients and friends achieve substantial results in business and in life. Since then, the circle of Wizard Academy graduates from New Brunswick, Canada has steadily expanded with dozens or more making a 3,000 mile trek to Austin to get their world rocked. Some have even reported that learning what Alice in Wonderland, Batman and The Matrix share in common has allowed them to be much more creative when it comes to practicing the communication arts.

Granted, Wizard Academy is not for everyone.

It doesn't pretend to be.

But, it just might be the place for you.

"A portal is a transitionary device of sight or sound that functions as a sort of third gravitating body between the this and the that, pulling us toward itself, allowing us to bridge into the unknown from the known"

Originally posted October 20, 2009

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Hot For Teacher

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

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"

p.s... If you have a craving for more learning of a linguistic nature, Marina can be found on YouTube at and her website
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.

Originally posted May 5, 2009

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Adapting Your Brand. Seamlessly.

Do I have an original thought in my head? Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I'm a walking cliché. If I stop putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn't fat, I would be happier. I should start jogging again. Five miles a day. I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more and prove myself"

What if you approached brand building the same way a Hollywood screenwriter approaches a movie project?

Would it surprise you to know the process is remarkably similar?

RHETT BUTLER: No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.

Instinctively it makes sense that your brand should be dynamic and evolve over time to continually surprise the people you want to engage, much like a film. But, how do you apply this principle to crafting your brand?

TSB was introduced to this concept several years ago by Hollywood script guru David Freeman. He is the creator of Beyond Structure, a seminar that helps writers create emotionally riveting characters and dialog through concepts such as "Character Diamonds". The way David teaches it, each point on the diamond (at least three, maybe four) represents a distinct trait that defines the essence of the character. Those unique traits determine a character's actions and dialogue. Is he a roguish sort of Southern gentleman? Then his words should reflect it. Is she a spoiled, manipulative drama queen? Then, perhaps, she finally gets what's coming to her.

SCARLETT: Rhett, Rhett... Rhett, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?

While David intended his Character Diamond as a tool for screenwriters, some branding experts recognize the connection this technique has with defining the sharper edges that separate your brand from bland.

To help you understand the impact this approach can have on your brand, imagine for a moment you are the leading man in a Hollywood production.

For the next 1:26, you are a slightly neurotic, socially phobic chap named Charlie, struggling with writers block. But, as you watch this clip, picture Charlie not as a screenwriter, but as someone who owns his own business. Instead of sitting in on a screenwriting workshop, imagine Charlie is attending a branding seminar where the speaker (based on screenwriting legend Robert McKee) is referring to your business or career.

How much would your brand benefit from what Hollywood can teach us about drama, conflict, plot, story arc, narrative and character development?

Are there scripts you can study and adapt for your own business?

After all, for your brand ... tomorrow is another day.

In 1996, a small Calgary airline with three planes and 200 people studied and learned from a Texas-based upstart, who dared to challenge the status quo. Following a "David and Goliath" story arc, Southwest Airlines posted more than 30 consecutive years of profitability, thanks to a branding strategy that had the courage to embrace "irreverence" as part of its character. From the CEO, to senior management, external marketing, all the way down to the front line.

Calgary-based WestJet paid close attention to the script being written at Southwest. It helps explain why their consumer experience is seamlessly connected from the moment you check in, to what you feel from WestJetters in the cabin, to what you watch on TV with the language CEO Sean Durfy uses in a recent Microsoft commercial.

A brand is a "story" embedded in the mind of the market.

But, what makes your "story" better than the next guy?

What are the sharp edges that define the character of your brand?

Does your brand possess a character - revealed through actions - which clearly defines what it stands for and stands against?

And, frankly, why should your customer give a damn?

“The things a man has to have are hope and confidence in himself against odds, and sometimes he needs somebody, his pal or his mother or his wife or God, to give him that confidence. He's got to have some inner standards worth fighting for or there won't be any way to bring him into conflict. And he must be ready to choose death before dishonor without making too much song and dance about it. That's all there is to it"

p.s... "Gone With The Wind" is often considered the most beloved, enduring and popular film of all time. Released in 1939, it received ten Academy Awards and is considered a prototype of a Hollywood blockbuster. When adjusted for inflation, "Gone With The Wind" is the highest-ticket selling film of all time in North America.

Sidney Howard's script was derived from Margaret Mitchell's first and only published novel, which took her more than a decade to write.

Originally posted June 2, 2009

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Standing on the Cliff of Belief

"All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination, Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth"

For centuries, top achievers have known we are the sum total of what we believe.

Logically, you tend to nod and agree with that statement.

Except when you are teetering on a cliff called Belief.

Faced with the "no going back" consequences of a Decision, you struggle with the weight of self-doubt. You begin to seriously question if you "have what it takes".

Alone, you finding yourself staring into over that cliff and wondering what lies in the canyon below.

Here is a powerful story "Chicken Soup" co-author Jack Canfield likes to share whenever a Decision is put to the test by Belief.

If you think Jack's story about Cliff is mere motivational mythology, think again.

Cliff Young ran more than 20,000 kilometres during his running career. The "Young Shuffle" has been adopted by many ultra-marathon runners because it expends less energy. At least three winners of the Sydney to Melbourne race credit the "Young shuffle" for their victories.

Cliff may have been too busy with his craft to read the work of Napoleon Hill who advised, "Do not wait; the time will never be ''just right.'' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. Action is the real measure of intelligence".

The definitive work that Canfield, Anthony Robbins, Bob Procter, Norman Vincent Peale and countless others in the motivational/success industry point to as their inspiration is a book written back in the 1930's. A journey through Napoleon Hill's masterpiece, "Think and Grow Rich" will reveal this book is the secret that launched "The Secret".

Published in the 1930's, Hill maintained, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve". However, indecision will often prove to be a seedling of fear, forcing you to retreat from that which you dream about.

In 1983, a 61-year old Australian potato farmer proved Nature cannot be tricked or cheated. She will only reward you with the object of your desires only after you have paid her price.

As you begin this week, what Decision is forcing you to stand on the Cliff of Belief?

Is your big opportunity staring right back at you?

Do you have what it takes to jump?

"Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it"

Originally posted July 6, 2009

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Groovin' With G-Force

The world you live in often tells you that you should be chasing success.

That being said, any definition of success is a personal one.

Very personal.

So to, is any decision to pursue what you would consider to be success.

But, if you have made a decision that success matters, you are probably aware your outcomes are a byproduct of what many refer to as the "Law of Attraction".

For centuries, LOA has had hundreds of teachers, including Dr. Deepak Chopra who uncovered the "secret" in 1995 with "The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success". In it, Chopra explains achieving success is governed by the same laws that govern all of nature; which is to judge nothing and be grateful for everything. As Chopra puts it, "I tell friends to just put your attention in your heart and think of all the things you're grateful for. If you just do that, you can't have ego and gratitude at the same time".

Could success be that simple?

The ability to be grateful.

And feel a deep sense of gratitude.

Does finding success go hand-in-hand with your level of G-Force?

If nothing else, a feeling of gratitude beats the hell out of feeling lousy. If you want to split hairs and get academic about it, there is no shortage of data to dig into. Research shows grateful people have, “higher reported levels of positive states of enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy ”. Psychologist Alice Isen of Cornell University adds, expressing gratitude triggers a release of dopamine, the chemical in the brain associated with happiness. “It activates the parts of the brain in which complex thinking and conflict resolution are thought to be headquartered.”

Today on TSB we are grateful to share another perspective on the G-Force with Matt and Brad who have taken this message to heart.

And out on the street.

With their feet.

Their high-energy, powerful teachings of “Living the GratiDude Way” have been sweeping the planet like wildfire. Matthew Ashdown and Brad Morris, otherwise known as, “The GratiDudes" believe G-Force is the key to unlocking SOUL-utions to many of our challenges.

The GratiDudes have toured North America speaking to thousands of people, in classrooms and conferences. They’ve also appeared on "Good Morning America" and hosted one of the top online radio shows on Voice America in 2008, called “Manifesting Awesomeness”.

They made the video in the summer of 2007 in Victoria, B.C. How did they find the dancers? As Brad explains, “We told them it was International Gratitude Day so they would feel obligated”.

As it turned out, only half those asked felt “obligated.”

Millions are grateful that they did.

What is the source of your grattitude today?

“You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices"

Originally posted April 3, 2009

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The "Braduate" of Business

"Work should be fun. If its not you're doing the wrong type of work!"

Brad got the entrepreneurial spark at the age of ten.

By eleven, he was dreaming big.

Because he was the kind of kid who wanted to have what he wanted when he wanted it, Brad realized it took money to do that. His first job was at a restaurant near his parents summer cottage in Caissie Cape, NB. Patrons had no idea that a ten-year old was back in the sweatshop of a kitchen, cooking up fries and chicken wings; baking pizzas and preparing nachos.

The summer of '99 is when Brad experienced his first revelation in business:

"I realized then and there that I would be working far too hard, making somebody else rich. And that's when I decided a life of minimum wage stress was not the path I was ever going to follow".

Knowing he much preferred music and entertaining people, Brad opened his first business at the age of 11. With a single karaoke machine and a dozen CD's for inventory Brad was in business with a paid gig at the Riverview Kinsmen Club for 20 dollars.

More than 600 clients, three attempted businesses and two car accidents later, this Moncton-based mogul currently owns three companies; an entertainment and promotions business, a weekend flea market and a consulting group.

The 21-year old son of a federal bureaucrat and a bank teller, his type of "Bradittude" has been on the radar of mainstream media for the past couple of years as he works toward his goal of becoming a millionaire before the age of 30.

Wearing a power suit right out of "The Apprentice", Brad sips on a latte while explaining his entrepreneurial success at such an early age. For example, he recalls learning a lot more outside the classroom than in it at the Bachelor of Commerce program at St. Mary's University. In the midst of completing his thesis for the SMU Diploma in Management Program, (the youngest to do so in university history) this business "Braduate" has found the "real world" school of entrepreneurship has been of much more value.

"You've got to pay attention to what you're pretending not to notice".

OK Brad, what do you mean by that?

"As humans we like to deflect the stuff we don't want to do. We pretend not to notice the things that create stress or unpleasant or things we would rather not do or face. If we can learn to pay attention to those things, take them on and get them done, there is nothing we can't do. There is no limit to what we can accomplish".

Brad is taking his own words seriously.

On June 24, 2010, he unveiled plans for the Atlantic Dream Fesitval, highlighted by a keynote from one of the world's great entrepreneurs, Richard Branson. The billionaire creator of the Virgin brand and owner of more than 360 companies, Branson will be the main drawing card at the festival, slated to run from Oct. 28-31 at the Moncton Coliseum Complex.

Brad has admitted to calling Branson's office every day for four months to convince him to say "yes" to attending the Atlantic Dream Festival. Besides Branson, other speakers include former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna, venture capitalist and TV host Kevin O'Leary, Olympian Clara Hughes, former Canadian Idol judge Farley Flex, bestselling author and inspirational speaker Martin Latulippe, and Stupid, Ugly, Unlucky and Rich author Richard St. John among others. The event will have two distinct elements - the ticketed speaking event and the dream show, expected to attract 15,000 spectators and more than 200 exhibitors.

The organizing, planning and delivery of the Atlantic Dream Festival is a tall order for anyone, but Brad has been taking care of business with the short orders since he was ten. Since announcing the Atlantic Dream Festival, Brad's phone has been ringing off the hook for tickets, but a 24-hour pre-sale is being launched this week for those eager to land good seats before the general public. To obtain pre-sale tickets, visit and complete the form. A code will be e-mailed to purchase tickets through the Greater Moncton ticketing network.

And if you want to plug into what goes on inside the mind of a real-life business "Braduate", you can follow Brad at

"I like thinking big. If you're going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big"

Originally posted September 16, 2009

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Gladwellian Thinking

In the mid-eighties, when hair bands ruled the world, a young Canadian named Malcolm heads south to the U.S. to give journalism his best shot. Thanks to an uncommonly clear writing style and keen eye for a good story, Malcolm quickly climbs the career ladder, landing a gig at The Washington Post. After less than a decade at The Post, he reaches the pinnacle of literary journalism, The New Yorker. There, he becomes a writing rock star, composing articles full of big ideas about the hidden patterns of ordinary life, which then become centre stage for not one, not two, but three #1 best-selling books.

Is it random chance or designed circumstance that helped place Malcolm in the spotlight?

The author of "The Tipping Point" and Blink" has taken the study of successful people to a new level with his latest book, "Outliers". In it, Malcolm Gladwell opines how people like Bill Gates get to rule Microsoft, explains the "Ethnic History of Plane Crashes", and why NHL players tend to be born in the first quarter of every year. In other words, what other factors besides passion, hard work and persistence explain why a chosen few in any profession or discipline achieve uncommon levels of success while many others fail to achieve their potential or worse, crash and burn.

Gladwell’s wildly popular and provocative theories about modern life have turned his name into an adjective. "Gladwellian" is used to describe concepts and catchphrases such as "thinslicing", "connectors" and "mavens" that originated with his widely read earlier work.

Today, in true Gladwellian fashion, Malcolm shares his thoughts on "Outliers" with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Several months ago, while addressing a business audience in London, the follically-endowed Gladwell expanded on what he discovered through the writing of "Outliers", by dispelling some "rumours" about a success path followed by some classic rock icons.

Does Gladwell's research on success make sense with respect to the 10,000 hour investment?

This topic has surfaced before on TSB, (Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Talent - October 16, 2008), however, Gladwell has taken it in a new and different direction with "Outliers".

Does Gladwell make you re-think what is required for you and the people around you to become truly remarkable?

"When you're rich and famous you are the dominant force in a relationship, even if you try hard not to be. I've talked of sacrificing everything for Fleetwood Mac, but I realize now that it is simply the only thing I've ever wanted to do"

Originally posted February 17, 2009

Friday, July 2, 2010

Never Mind the Bollocks ... Here is the Blog Pistol

It was called "the punk shot heard 'round the world".

The Ramones may have fired it first.

The Sex Pistols may have fired it loudest.

The Clash may have fired it best.

Arriving at a time in history (1976) when the rock music industry was at its most bloated and uninteresting, the punks delivered a swift kick in the ass and a much needed infusion of energy and excitement back to the genre.

They also showed you could do it too.

Is Social Media the new Punk Rock?

In many ways, the movement sparked by the likes of Joey Ramone, Johnny Rotten and Joe Strummer can be compared to the way social media artists Kevin Rose, Gary Vaynerchuk and Amber MacArthur are communicating with their fans. As a result, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are eating the lunch once reserved for the lumbering dinosaurs of "traditional marketing", Radio, Television and Newspaper.

An Australian-based firm, EngageORM, may be on to something, drawing parallels that brings back memories of the mid-to-late 1970s.

This is how Johnny Rotten and his Sex Pistol mates grabbed attention the very first time they appeared on television ...

and this is Johnny Rotten, more than 30 years later, still doing things his way.

"Punk has always been about doing things your own way. What it represents for me is ultimate freedom and a sense of individuality"

Originally posted September 17, 2009