Archive for February, 2009

Where Are You In the Food Chain?

Friday, February 27th, 2009

I am getting sick of the press comparing our current economy to the Great depression. My mother and father grew up in the Great Depression. I have known many people who grew up in the great Depression. I have spoken to all of them at length about that time and have read quite a bit about that period as well. The one thing I am positive about is that our current recession is not even remotely comparable to the Great Depression. Maybe by some stroke of bad luck that will occur but I really doubt it. The comparison of today’s economy to the Great Depression is an insult to the people who lived in that era.

Last weekend, I took my son to Dave and Buster’s. For those of you that have never been to a Dave & Buster’s, it’s a huge indoor game and entertainment emporium. Parking was hard to find. It was an hour and a half to eat in the rather large restaurant and all the games were packed with lines at least three deep on each one. We had to go to the restaurant at the mall down the road to eat and it took forty five minutes to even eat in the bar area. The mall was packed and all the stores around it were packed as well. Folks, I think I am safe in saying there was nothing like that in the Great Depression. The weekend before, I went to the movies and it was packed. Last night I watched the University of Cincinnati and West Virginia Basketball game and it was sold out. None of these places and entertainment are cheap. Somehow images of Oklahoma and the dustbowl don’t come to mind from this economy. I understand people and companies have been hurt. However, most of this has come about becasue of living in a cocoon of comfort and largesse.

The one thing I am sure of is that in down economies more opportunity and seeds of wealth are planted and created than at any other time. All businesses large and small will have to act small. When I say small, I mean they will have to be nimble and adjust to the market. Surviors will create new products and services and add on or delete others. The old style of creating a successful business and living with one static model is over. It was never a good way to do business and now it’s virtually impossible. Improvise, educate and motivate yourself and all those around you.

True wealth in business is the ability to recreate business and wealth at will. Can you do that? If not, you had better get busy or you will not make it. My son’s third grade class class is learning about food chains in science. Where are you in the food chain? You must work everyday to run faster, be stronger and have so much value that you cannot be eaten. You must rise up in the food chain. The world of business has it’s own food chain and it’s just as deadly and fair as nature’s food chain.

Mark Tewart, author of “How To Be A Sales Superstar – Break All the Rules and Succeed While Doing It”

Report From the National Auto Dealers Convention

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

I recently returned from the National Auto Dealers Convention in New Orleans and thought I would update the world on the state of the auto biz. At the convention I spoke on four different days and also had an exhibit there as well. The association reported attendance was down by 30% but I don’t believe that to be true. My guess was that it was down 75%. I have spoken at NADA many times and it is always to standing room only. This convention my engagements were only 1/2 to 3/4 full and it was the same for the other speakers as well. The convention hall was down quite a few exhibitors but there were still a ton of exhibitors and massive money was spent on exhibiting. However, the traffic in the expo hall was dramatically down with a couple of days being almost non-existent.This was true even on the days that President Bush and Clinton spoke at the convention.

There was a lot of good news though. The people at the convention were serious about not only surviving but thriving. The people who attended the convention were not there to party as sometimes is the case. Between 25-50% of attendees at my speaking engagements and the traffic at my exhibit were international. The last few years has shown a huge interest from other countries in learning more about the auto industry. My workshops had attendees from the following: Italy, UK, France, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Spain and Countries throughout Asia to name a few. I guess I better start learning other languages.

On a personal note, the weather was roughly 70 degrees in the day and low 50’s at night. Perfect considering Ohio was having a blizzard while I was gone. That always makes my wife mad when my timing is great. I ate more than my fair share of Gumbo, Boudin, Etoufee, Jambalaya and Red Beans and Rice. Being a lover of Blues, R&B, Zydeco and Jazz music I was in heaven in New Orleans. I always love to visit there and the music alone makes me feel awesome.

It was a great trip and I have already had a lot of business come from the convention. Many people felt like it was not a good year to go and I felt just the opposite. This was THE year I wanted to be there. That brings us to a great point. Don’t look to the masses for direction. They are almost always wrong. Don’t look to quit when others do. In fact double your efforts, your marketing and be very nimble. Be willing to add to, delete from or change your business model on a dime.

Le Bon Ton Roulez! (Let the good times roll!)

Mark Tewart, author of the best seller “How To Be A Sales Superstar” – go to to get f*ree bonuses / / / /