Monday, January 30, 2012

How a $7 Hamburger Can Make You or Break You


Back in the 60s my grandfather owned one of the most successful restaurants in South Central Pennsylvania— "Hotty's Cottage." It was named for my grandfather's nickname Hotty ( a knickname he received for being Hot Stuff on the drums) and the fact that he made it appear to be a cottage in the middle of the woods although it was right on main street in Chambersburg.

The reason his restaurant was so successful was his obsession with one thing: the customer experience. I'm not kidding. Whenever my grandfather cooked something it was like art. And he would just stand over a steak exclaiming "Oh now that is gonna taste good." If he was alive today he could have been on one of those cooking shows.
Saturdays were pretty amazing at Hotty's. People would come from upwards of 200 miles to eat at his place. Crab soup was a specialty, along with an affordable surf and turf and of course, mountainous cheeseburgers with steak fries, and steaks that sizzled as they were carried to their tables.
One day when I was helping him at The Cottage, he pulled me aside to gave me a piece of advice that I use even to this day...

Bradley, you can charge $7 for a hamburger and fries. And guaranteed, you WILL get a lot of people in the door. But, and here's the big picture, after you add up the cost of your waitstaff, electricity, gas, printed menus and all the little pieces of overhead, you will go broke even though your restaurant is packed."
I was 10.

What I didn't know at the time was my grandfather was grooming me for business. Real business in the real world. At the end of the day, regardless of whether it is a New Economic Order, or in cyberspace, or you believe we are all in this economy together, EVERY business is in it to make a profit.

Here are a few companies that forgot that a customer experience is what drives sales: Pets.com, Kozmo.com and eToys. Great ideas that just didn't get traction.

We have a Digital Divide in most companies around the world. Gen Y, Gamers, Millennials all have a new way of doing business that leaves The Industrial Age methodologies in the dust. But at the end of the day, the one that makes a profit, is the winner. Google knows that. Netflix knows that. And so does Amazon.

And another piece of my grandfather's wisdom echos in these companies brand... "The customer's experience is what we care about Bradley."

And BTW: Hotty's Cottage is still there...it's just called The Cottage these days.

Thanks for reading,









Brad Szollose

Brad is the award winning, international bestselling author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia: Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing The Way We Run Things ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

As a Baby Boomer, Brad grew up watching the original Star Trek series, secretly wishing he would be commanding a Constitution Class Starship in the not too distant future. Since that would take a while, Brad became a technology driven, creative director who co-founded one of the very first Internet Development Agencies during the Dot Com Boom—K2 Design. As a Web Pioneer, Brad was forced to invent a new management model that engaged the first wave of Digital Workers. Today, Brad helps Fortune 500 Companies close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a cultural divide—created by a new tech-savvy worker...and customer.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind Newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.


"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York



Monday, January 23, 2012

When Leadership is
Out of Touch




The news this past week has been filled with quite a bit of controversy—war as usual, an attempt to figure out how an ocean liner could run aground in 200 feet of water, Newt Gingrich insulting inner city kids by telling them they should get a job mopping floors, and the death of Blues legend Etta James and football coach Joe Paterno. But the one news item that affects us all, is SOPA PIPA.

For those of you who may not know what SOPA PIPA is, I give you one of the best videos on the matter by Clay Shirky on TED Talks entitled Why SOPA is a Bad Idea:


If you are paying attention to the bigger picture, our leadership is a bit out of touch.

Let me explain. When I was in college the first thing that was drilled into my head was copyright law—what was acceptable and what was not. So I get it when a bill like SOPA PIPA winds up in Congress...it was pushed there by a few corporations that feel they are losing money. And for some that might be true. But for this article, let's take a trip down memory lane so we can fully grasp what this means.

Kiss Destroyer 1975 Casablanca Records
Original art is the property of
the Copyright holder.
If you are a Baby Boomer like me, (born from1946-1965) then you remember buying the latest record album by your favorite artist and running home to sit in the living room and listen to it. It was a big event.

One would sprawl out on the floor, rip open the clear plastic seal and pop the record onto your record player. Then, while the album was playing, absorb the cover art, the liner notes and the even more amazing artwork inside. My earliest memory of this teenage right of passage was for two albums: Kiss Destroyer and John Denver's An Evening with John Denver.

I know, some of you are saying "whhhhaaat?" (cue record scratch noise). Look, I have an eclectic taste in music — whether it is George Benson, Pat Metheny, Sting or even RUSH, I like the complexity of it all. But I digress.

Now remember taking all you favorite tunes of those albums—and only your favorites—and recording them onto a cassette tape to hand out to friends? Nobody gave you permission for this, and even if they told you this was illegal, you would still do it. In part because we all want to share the very things that made us happy. You weren't stealing, because no one was charging money, just sharing.

Under SOPA PIPA, sharing anything would become illegal

But here is the bigger picture...yes there are people out there who are actually crazy, believing everything should be free and in the public domain to be used by all of us. These are usually artistic types oblivious that that very idea is why they are broke all the time. Value must be placed on ones output. Period.

If you do not place a value on what you do, you will become slaves to those who do.


Taking someone's product, reverse engineering it and re-manufacturing it for resell it for one's financial gain is theft of intellectual property. The Fashion Industry is rife with this, yet the customer doesn't care as long as they can get a Louis Vuitton knockoff at half price.

So what is all the controversy on Internet Sharing. Isn't that stealing as well?

When someone on a blog such as this one writes a little about a subject and happens to use a photo from the front page of the Huffington Post, and links that picture, this creates cross-traffic, bringing that article to the top of webpage searches on the subject. The more people share the link and the photo on their sites the more people get interested in it as well. This creates a buzz and drives popularity. And creates traffic...which influences someone to buy.

The Internet also creates commerce for sectors and subjects that might not see the light of day. While companies that have been a around for years now get a chance to sell their stuff on another media channel. But the biggest game changer from the Internet is that it eliminates the middle man...bringing prices down. Try and shove another layer of handling fees and you will not be able to compete in Cyberspace. Just look at the low-low prices on Amazon. Why would anyone pay full price at a brick & mortar bookstore?

The Information Age is destroying old entrenched business models that have no place in a modern world. Imagine a hundred years ago the horse & buggy manufacturers going to Congress begging them to pass a law that would make anyone who bought one of those newfangled automobiles a criminal...punishable by 5 yrs in prison. That is what is at the heart of SOPA PIPA: control of an old, outdated business model. 

On SOPA PIPA: What we have is 20th Century Industrial Age
trained leadership attempting to pass legislation that
controls 21st Century Information Age habits...
out of touch with what is really going on.

The greatest influencer of sales is word of mouth conversations. These conversations were ALWAYS there since before recorded history. We shared our likes and dislikes before the "like" button existed.

e-Commerce is driven by word of mouth. If I click on the "like" button letting the world know that I really enjoy this certain something, hopefully enough people will click "like" as well...and suddenly we have a market of people who want to purchase the same product. The Internet drives traditional sales and marketing professionals crazy. WHY?

Well, for almost 100 years, marketing, sales and advertising was a one way conversation that many companies believed they controlled through marketing. The Internet revealed that people do whatever they feel like doing regardless of marketing. In other words, the illusion of control over a marketplace has been broken. And the biggest secret...that control never really existed in the first place.

I wonder how many albums were sold because of those mix tapes back in the 70s? People saying to another friend, "this is awesome!" Or how many of us emailed a few friends asking questions before we bought that first camcorder? Or shared a favorite recipe?

The Internet culture seems elusive the The Digital Immigrant...and well it should be: how can you sell to people you can't control? Stop trying to force people to buy and instead get them to "like" your stuff. If we like your stuff, we'll tell our "friends."

THAT is what drives sales in the Digital Age:
word of mouth.

Sure, there are people out there trying to resell stuff, getting rich by taking another persons property and reselling it as their own. THAT is what a redraft of SOPA PIPA should be targeting. But let's not lump those people in with citizens who want to share a picture or a cover story...or put their kids drawing of Mickey Mouse on a birthday cake. If SOPA PIPA had gone through as is this past week, it would have criminalized normal human behavior.

Thank you Napster for changing an entire industry by letting me pick the music, and only the music I like. I no longer have to be tortured by a record company who insists I buy an entire album of horrible songs just so I can get that one I like. But they didn't really give me that power, they created a technology to let me do what humans do all the time. iTunes, Sony etc...now serve up the content we want without forcing us to buy a bunch of junk we don't...no wonder Columbia House disappeared into the background (remember you could order 12 albums for a penny?). The market was changing and they didn't keep up.

Staying in touch with the habits of the marketplace is incredibly important in the Digital Age because things change fast. Just look at how many business sectors, government sectors and science have shifted completely...yet those working within those sectors may not be aware of it. The best example is our school system: we are using 20th Century teaching methods on 21st Century Learners who have been immersed in interactive educational platforms a.k.a. video games.

Listen to young people more to discover those changes. The Gen Y, Millennial, Gamer is on the cutting edge of technology and the habits it creates. Create opportunities for communication instead of confrontation. Gamers just do not think, operate or do things in the same way as let's say Boomers.

Now I wonder when lawmakers will realize they can't make people do anything just because there is a law?

Thanks for reading,









Brad Szollose

Brad is the award winning, international bestselling author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia: Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing The Way We Run Things ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

As a Baby Boomer, Brad grew up watching the original Star Trek series, secretly wishing he would be commanding a Constitution Class Starship in the not too distant future. Since that would take a while, Brad became a technology driven, creative director who co-founded one of the very first Internet Development Agencies during the Dot Com Boom—K2 Design. As a Web Pioneer, Brad was forced to invent a new management model that engaged the first wave of Digital Workers. Today, Brad helps Fortune 500 Companies close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a cultural divide—created by a new tech-savvy worker...and customer.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind Newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.


"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York



Monday, January 16, 2012

Reinvention or Renovation?




Bill Gates said many years ago that he had 4,000 jobs he needed to fill. Unfortunately, those jobs will not go to Americans. Specifically stated, he is not hiring anyone from the United States.

Why you may asked? Because in the country that invented The Internet—The United States—we have 90 million people who were never prepared for the Digital Age. mainly, baby Boomers.

I have this problem all the time. Especially since I am a Baby Boomer as well. Many simply cannot comprehend how much has changed business wise. Very shortly we will be facing a new world where 30 years of business experience becomes meaningless when technology is brand new. And 20th Century thinkers apply models, law and structure to 21st Century people.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot
read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

                                   - Alvin Toffler
Go back over 130 yrs ago. What could a farmer tell his son as he was leaving the farm to head off to the big city? How could that farmer, who never learned to read or write give advice to a son who was educated and went to college and was heading off to the big city to get a newfangled job as a Stock Broker?

The only advice he could give was "remember where you come from, stay true to the values we taught you and don't forget to write your mother."
Now let's face today's world.

Baby Boomers were raised to work hard, study, respect authority, obey the rules, and when you pass the test, you can move up in the world. We took that model out into the real world and applied it to our careers.

At one point, through hard work, we were going to get the corner office, a good salary and young people would look up to us and respect us for our knowledge and experience.

So, how's that working out for you so far?

It doesn't. That's because the world has changed around us. Something came along that Boomers didn't pay attention to in the slightest...and that was video games.

This has created a Digital Native, prepared to work in a virtualized work environment, or a Cloud Network, or even work from their laptop anywhere in the world.

To keep pace with today's work environment and methodologies will require something that Baby Boomers need to take seriously: reinvention.

Right now there is a race. A race you may not know is happening. And that race is to create the very first Information Age Business Model that works consistently.

Time for reinvention and a complete over hall of what we are clinging to...like hierarchy.  
“At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that
they all come from the top – I’m afraid that’s not quite right.”

                                          – Bill Gates
You can't micromanage innovation.

Thanks for reading,









Brad Szollose

Brad is the award winning, international bestselling author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia: Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing The Way We Run Things ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Mr. Szollose writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind Newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.


"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York



Monday, January 9, 2012

Is Your Marketing
Gen Y Compliant?

Marketing to a Generation That is Immune to Marketing



© 2012 Jeopardy Productions, Inc. "JEOPARDY!"
and "America's Favorite Quiz Show" are registered
trademarks of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

First appeared in A Captured Mind monthly newsletter


A little over a month ago, my wife and I sat down for a small break at the end of our day to watch America’s favorite quiz show—Jeopardy. It’s one of the few shows we enjoy simply because it challenges our brains. If you haven’t guessed by now, we are not big fans of passive entertainment. It is also a chance to exercise my inner geek.

But on this particular evening, something happened that fell smack dab right into my area of expertise: the generational divide. Three college seniors faced off in a battle of wits during the College showdown, yet one particular category stumped them all.

Let me explain. The category in questions was simple—match the actors with the television show. Here’s an example: Tom Wellington and Kristin Kreuk. The answer should have been “What is Smallville?” The TV series based on the teen years of Superman. You know, before
he decides to fly around in stretchy pants and a cape.

One question after another went unanswered — Gossip Girl, 90210, Supernatural, One Tree Hill,
etc… What was going on? These shows were designed for a Generation Y audience, so why could no one answer a single question in an otherwise easy category?

And my entire theory about Generation Y was right there in living color—they do not watch television in the traditional sense.
And I know what you are thinking: “but Brad, these are college students who probably didn’t have time to watch TV.” And under normal circumstances I would agree with you, but, the actors and the shows in question were at their peak when these students were in high school. It should have been an easy category. It’s the equivalent of a Baby Boomer answering questions about Gilligan’s Island, I Dream of Jeannie or The Andy Griffith Show. Piece of cake.

So I ask you a simple question: Is your marketing on target with Generation Y? Are you assuming you are hitting the platforms they are using? Or are you completely off target by assuming?

Look, anyone born after 1977 has been indoctrinated into a world of digital possibilities that most Boomers are unaware of. To market to a generation that is immune to marketing, you have to understand how they think, work and buy.

Time for what Tony Rubleski in his Mindcapture series calls layering…the blending of several platforms of marketing. The BIG companies do it. Just look at the different types of marketing messages you see from Nationwide Insurance, GEICO, and McDonald’s. Blended layering of fun-based Gen Y commercials with more serious Baby Boomer commercials. A strong Internet presence for one, while a stronger in store image for another.

Here is a few from my playbook:

1) Try a Little Romance

Generation Y is anyone under 35. Day in and day out since childhood every single movie, TV show or commercial they watched was trying to sell them something. Think Transformers or G.I. Joe cartoons. Were they just cartoons or cartoons designed to sell action figures?

So now that they are adults, marketing is just ambient noise. And guess what? They ignore it. All of it. Case in point: banner ads now get less than a 4% click through rate.

To gain trust with young adults, you must build trust through a long-term friendship not a short-term sale. In the Social Media marketplace we call this Romance. Gain trust as a trusted brand that just so happens to sell great products, while creating relevance. If you can’t tell why I need you, your service or your products, don’t bother.

2) Make It Interactive

Baby Boomers were trained to sit and watch TV while passive sit-back and relax while the Boob Tube was telling them what to buy and when to buy. If you are a Boomer like me, I guarantee you that you have over 15 television commercial jingles stuck in your head.

I’ll prove it to you. Finish this classic: “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz,...”
And as you finish the jingle in your head “Oh what a relief it is,” —I rest my case. Boomers are brand loyal.

But anyone born after 1977 expects media to be interactive. These are the generations raised on video games, portable devices and CD ROM hybrids that took you to an interactive Website experience. They have been bombarded by one software update after another. To them “what have you done for me lately” is how they view most brands.

If you are lame and old in your message or the latest cool app, you are getting lost in all the new stuff that is competing for market space inside those digital native brains. Generation Y is not brand loyal but they are brand driven.
In other words they will only stay loyal to a top-tiered brand if that brand keeps creating great products. Stop making great stuff, and they leave.

So if you want to get Gen Y onboard, give them something to do. Keep updating your content and keep giving something innovative. Look how many TV shows are reality based and require the audience at home to vote on the outcome.

Gen Y expects to be involved. They expect constant updates. So give ‘em something to do. I know, this is exhausting to Baby Boomers, but hey, that is life in the 21st Century.

3) Create Events that Drive Your Brand

I was recently called in to consult on a new Social Media site that is part Facebook and part Spike TV. It is called ManWall and exploding with new users everyday. It is an interactive site for guys. It does not exclude women, but it prides itself on being a digital man cave. So the main content is user driven—funny videos, hot girls, UFC fight videos, etc… A fun resource for guy stuff and the 18-24 year old Holy Grail of marketing.

The first thing I told them to do was get involved in some sort of event. Sponsor a contest where the payoff is worth it. Here’s the example I proposed: the top 5 winners of Best Man Cave, get a free Las Vegas trip, tickets to the next UFC fight and backstage passes to meet UFC founder Dana White and the ladies of the Octagon.

So what if you don’t have a budget like ManWall? Try small regional events.

Why not sponsor a chili cook-off during the summer? Best recipe gets a prize and 20% of the proceeds go to a local charity. Film it and photograph it all. Invite everyone in your network, and post the footage on your website or Facebook event wall. This creates influence and event envy and gives us all an inside look into your brand.

Gen Y is an event driven group. They like concerts, fight nights, poker championships and Rock Band video game battle of the band parties. And, they like bragging about the events they go to.

So give ‘em an event and let us know about it. It will also make your brand more human.

4) Stay Focused on What You Are Offering

I love to talk about Starbucks in my presentations because they are as focused as a brand can get. First of all what is Starbucks known for? Coffee. Nothing more, nothing less.

Doesn’t matter what Starbucks you walk into, the coffee aroma bombards you. There at eye level are donuts, cookies and muffins. All of which are aligned with coffee, in reach at eye level for a quick sale, supportive of their coffee image. That is a focused brand.

Anything that steps away from coffee—sandwiches, salads, bottled water or juice—is on the bottom shelf below eye level. The cost on these items is higher but the margins lower, therefore not a primary focus. It steps away from their brand. So why have these items on the menu? They are necessary items to attract a customer to Starbucks during lunch and dinnertime. Brilliant.

Now at one time Starbucks lost their brand focus and attempted to build a series of restaurants. No one wants to go to a Starbucks for a delicious cheeseburger so naturally the restaurants failed. When a brand is focused and owns their category like Starbucks owns the coffee category, they have to stay focused in that arena, and not disappoint their customer base.

Once your brand is known for something, stick to it and try not to change lanes.

Would you buy tires from McDonald’s? Probably not. Stay in your lane of expertise when it comes to marketing.


5) Your Network is Your Customer

In Social Media land like-minded individuals gather together for fun, intense conversation and commonality. To sell to a group, pick a group that seriously needs what you are selling.

By using Romance as I pointed out before, someone will step forward to ask for more of you. They will challenge you. Pick your brain, and try to stump you. Let them know, you are here to stay, with integrity. A trusted partner offering your services.

This also means you must choose your network wisely. No duds, or high school sweethearts.

A CEO of a major IT company told me he refused to let his daughter join his network on LinkedIn. Everyone was astounded. He made it simple… “she has no business experience, nor is there anyone in her network that can help me business wise.”
Oh snap!

Cold or smart? After all he sees his daughter everyday. But if you start having every family member in your network, guess what? People wonder what your network is made up of…real business people or friends and family members.

Choose that network wisely.
 
I hope that helps. The generational divide is actually a cultural divide. How would you communicate, sell or market to someone in another country? Learn how they do things. And stay open for a few happy accidents that might just surprise you. Like a video that goes viral.

Thanks for reading,









Brad Szollose

Brad is the award winning, international bestselling author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia: Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing The Way We Run Things ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Mr. Szollose writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind Newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.


"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York



Sunday, January 1, 2012

What's Your Intention This Year?




Happy New Year everyone!
It has been an amazing year hasn't it? Bumpy? Yes. It seems as if the world is coming apart at the seams and now we have lost Sean Connery.

But, it is clear to me, if you analyze the news—real news from international sources, not the news we get here in The U.S.A.—we will not be facing an economic recovery any time soon. How can I predict such things? Well The United States is no longer independent of the worlds problems. We are a finely woven tapestry of nations strung together by various socioeconomic and political tides that affect all of us.

If there is an economic problem in Europe, it is just a matter of time before it lands on our shores as well. Article: Europe leaders warn of a difficult 2012

Government austerity has undermined growth
and caused a great deal of anger around Europe.
Photo belongs to AP and BBC.
The riots in Greece over food prices and austerity measures from government pensions will be happening here as well...just a matter of time. More war will break out so we'll need to send more troops. Gold prices will rise even higher along with copper, silver and other raw and precious materials, unemployment will continue to get worse and housing prices will drop.

These predictions are possibilities based on the available facts and events at hand, not theories.

"But Brad, how can you be so sure?"

It is how Keynesian Economics works. Just in case you do not know this, Keynesian Economics is the basis of our economic system here in the United States. More taxes, more printing of money and injecting it into the economy and...sadly, more war. We use a blended version here in the USA, but either way, the rest of the Industrialized Nations have adopted our fiat money system. And when the system has reached critical mass, chaos becomes the norm as government officials sit with economists and try to figure out how to stop the financial meltdown. Prices fluctuate. Hyper-Inflation and deflation go hand in hand as Velocity can no longer be predicted. Banks fail. Businesses fail. Police start ticketing people for little things. Tolls go up. Real estate taxes go up. And good money withdrawals from the system waiting for it to stabilize.

As the Fed prints, prints, prints and spends, spends, spends, it's way out of this mess, your dollars, especially the one you have saved in your 401Ks, pensions and mutual funds will become worth-less, less, and less. Why else do you think people who make over $150,000 a year are struggling? Now imagine how hard it is for people making $8 an hour? It is IMPOSSIBLE to live when the value of every dollar you save gets destroyed. It is a form of stealing.

John Maynard Keynes himself ABANDONED his own work at the end of his life stating that it would cause the economic collapse of any nation that adopted his ideas. But as Richard Maybury pointed out in his newsletters and books, a recession is actually a sustained depression, CAUSED by government intervention and meddling.

So until we get leaders in office that get this, our future will be incredibly bumpy for the next 5 to 10 years.

So what do you do? I say use the spiritual story of Trust in God, BUT Tie Up Your Camel...which is about taking as much responsibility as you can and let the rest go so you can enjoy life. In other worlds, after you prepare for life, stop worrying.

Ups and downs are a part of life. It is how we learn. Why else are you alive, living in a physical body, in the country you are in and the family you have been born into? You think that is some sort of accident? You are here to learn. And I hate to say it, stop with New Years Resolutions...it's like trying to fix symptoms instead of tackling the problem head on.

Instead, prepare for the worst, fix what you can, pay off all debts and stock up on what you think you will need. THEN take a look at my list of cool ideas it just might be time to do.


Brad's Cool List of Things To Do in 2012:

1) Start a Business on a shoe string budget
A friend of mine started a company with $50...he now bills out
over $5 million a year!!!

2) Save Money by moving in with Family
Suck it up, your family loves you despite what your therapist has you believe.

3) Spend some time with that friend you've been meaning to visit
Don't be cheap...bring a bottle of wine, or a DVD of some movie they said they loved but never bought.

4) Commit to volunteering once a week
Nothing makes you feel like you are alive like giving back to life like serving those less fortunate.

BTW: That goes for those of you who are volunteering too much.
Ask yourself "from what you are trying to escape?"

5) Cook a big dinner and invite neighbors over
Even the ones you don't like.

6) Take in a seminar on something you have always wanted to do
Like how to write a book or public speaking or how to start a business in your home.

7) Forgive your enemies ...but more importantly, forgive yourself

8) Get off the computer and go outside...
If missing your "friends" status update will traumatize you, you may need to get a life. They aren't going anywhere. IF you miss someone's updated status, I am sure your life will be fulfilled without it.
Look, there are people in wheelchairs and laying in hospital beds who rely on the Internet and their Social Network for a sense of connection to real people. They cannot go outside. Some operate the internet with voice commands because they cannot move from the neck down. Without it, they would truly be alone.

If you are not one of these people, shut the computer off and get some fresh air.

9) Watch less Television
Want to kill productivity and add to your procrastination?
(Note to Self: Stop watching The Twilight Zone all day)

10) Laugh more
This may require you to actively seek out funny comedies, positive friends and choosing to smile instead of frowning. And remember, there are people out there who actually like being miserable. Ignore them.

11) Read a book on a subject you can't stand
Like economics. Or read my book. I read 30 books and interviewed hundreds so you don't have to.

12) Make a commitment to be more positive
This is about emotional control...do some research on Emotional IQ studies.
Tony Robbins has some great stuff on it in Awaken The Giant Within.(note to self: be more positive in 2012)

13) Try Reverse Mentorship
I tell people in my corporate programs to do this and I am passing it on to you. Whether you like it or not, younger generations are on the cutting edge of more than technology... they are on the cutting edge of methodologies, invention and thinking. Notice it is the youth who are at the forefront of those global protests?

Commit to having coffee once a month with someone younger than you to pick their brain and listen to trends and changes. Do it before you are out of a job. 

14) Make love more often
Notice I didn't say have more sex, although that will be the end result of your attempts at romance. Try it. It isn't always about you all the time.

And last but not least...

15) Spend more time with yourself communing with God
Whatever your belief —TM, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Jedi, or Ancient Aliens, do SOMETHING this year on a consistent basis that connects to your belief in God or a higher power. You will be richer in spirit for it, less angry and less of a jerk.

It's worked wonders on me;-) LOL. Although some people would disagree with that one.

And on a side note, people who meditate on a consistent basis age slower. Just an FYI for the ladies.

I hope that helps. I will commit this year to being more funny, less serious, and to blog more. We have some pretty cool things happening here at Brad Szollose Worldwide and I'll share those wins as much as I can.

Thank you all for following my blog, videos and meanderings on Facebook and Twitter. To a 2012 of personal prosperity and spiritual growth. Ignore the negative, accentuate the positive, listen to your inner nudges and take action.

The very best to all of you this year...









Brad Szollose

Brad is the award winning, international bestselling author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia: Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing The Way We Run Things ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York