Category Archives: Commentary

SURFING THE TRUMP DISRUPTION: 4 Keys to Success as America Changes in 2017

Whatever your opinion on Donald Trump, everyone can agree that there are huge changes coming to America and the world, starting January 20.

How can a business person or any other citizen adapt and prosper in this volatile time? Since the election November 8, I have come up with a few ideas. None of them involve Tweeting after awards shows.

KEY MOVE #1

BE READY TO LAUNCH NEW BUSINESSES TO PROFIT FROM BIG CHANGES

The US government is the largest organization in our nation. It is about to drastically transform. A multitude of new businesses will spring up to manage the intentional and unintentional results of this disruption. I believe people are going to prosper in new  enterprises arising to exploit or even to oppose this radical shift in government.

It’s not simply that we’ve moved from a Democratic to Republican administration. Mr. Trump seems determined to disrupt the way governing has been done for decades, just as he broke all the rules of campaigning. Whether you love or loath the incoming President, it’s obvious that the next four years will not be business as usual. Is Donald Trump the Amazon of politics, a profound game changer? Or is he closer to Bitcoin or Google Glass, a passing sideshow oddity? Either way there are big changes in store starting right away.

Some of the sectors where the new administration and Congress will make drastic changes include health care, national security, energy policy, international relations, tax rules, business regulations, laws over individuals, and conservation. As these changes are instituted, businesses and jobs will be created to manage new challenges and exploit new opportunities. I expect an explosion of innovation as our nation grapples with the new Administration’s game-changing approach to government.

These opportunities will not be for business owners only. If you don’t own your own company, be on the lookout for openings your employer can exploit, and suggest new moves. You could end up leading a new division of your company! And look for part time side business ideas as well.

There will be opportunities for Republicans and Democrats alike. Innovative enterprises aimed at fighting Mr. Trump and Republican control of government are already emerging.

The Trump Disruption will have no borders. There will be opportunities not only for Americans but people the world over. As America is disrupted from within, other nations will have new chances to excel and challenges to overcome. You could write a book about Russia alone.

I advise everyone to look at every upcoming change, and ask the question: “what’s my opportunity to help?” Particularly focus on areas relating to your experience and expertise. There will be many ways to add value, through businesses, government and non-profit civic causes. Opportunities are there whether you favor or oppose the Trump Administration.

KEY MOVE #2

BEWARE OF SCAMS

Government regulations of businesses are going to be loosened. That’s a sure thing with the new power structure. For my own businesses (hospitality, retail beverage marketing and event services), fewer regulations will be a catalyst for growth, innovation and profits. But while a more permissive regulatory environment will present opportunities, it also creates more openings for fraudulent operators. As regulations fall, new scams are sure to crop up. It will be increasingly important to read the fine print and do due diligence on every personal and business deal. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

KEY MOVE #3

DON’T IMITATE DONALD TRUMP!

The blunt, unfiltered approach that works for Mr. Trump is 99% likely to backfire for the rest of us in our daily lives. Even if you are a Trump fan, it’s important to avoid insulting, arrogant, thoughtless behavior in business and personal interactions. You are not a billionaire TV star.

The satirical magazine The Onion was on point with this spoof:

REPORT: It Is Still Nowhere Near OK to Act Like Donald Trump

ITHACA, NY—In the hours since the Republican nominee’s stunning election to the nation’s highest office, reports have confirmed that, regardless of circumstance, it is not even remotely close to okay to act like Donald Trump. “Just to be perfectly clear, speaking or behaving in a manner similar to President-elect Trump is just as unacceptable now as it has ever been,” the reports stated, adding that in zero percent of cases is it even borderline permissible to conduct oneself either personally or professionally in a fashion akin to Trump, and that has not changed in the past two days. “In fact, acting like Mr. Trump does for even a moment will result in a wide range of negative social—and in some cases, criminal—consequences for you personally.” – THE ONION satirical media site

KEY MOVE #4

FOLLOW THE MONEY (AS ALWAYS) ON ITS NEW PATHS

Eight years of divided government are over. Republicans are in control of all Federal branches and the majority of State Houses. Similar to the first term of President George W Bush in 2000, there will be a huge shift of resources toward Republican-preferred programs and away from those seen to benefit Democratic constituencies.

This shift will create two new sets of opportunities:

First and most obviously, Republican favored programs flush with new funds will offer new jobs and contract opportunities for businesses.
But also, Democratic favored programs losing funding will be searching for creative ways to continue their endeavors. This too is an opening for entrepreneurial minded people to step up with creative solutions.

Just don’t expect the government to shrink in total size and spending. Even Mr. Trump is not that radical. Rhetoric always comes in second to self interest, regardless of who rules! So count on plenty of ways to profit working with the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Our Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel famously said “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Whether you think Trump will “make America great” or be a “disaster,” unprecedented opportunities are on the way with the “huuuuuge” changes we’ll all be experiencing. Welcome to the uncharted territory of Trump’s America.

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Millennials Really Do Have It Rough

It’s fashionable to make fun of America’s 75 million Millennials, but I think they have it rougher than Boomers and Gen X. They may have more digital toys, but they also have a lot more student debt, a lot less job security, and zero privacy.

Older people who criticize the “selfishness” and other irresponsible traits of Millennials are forgetting how they acted in their 20s. Youthful obnoxious foolishness is common in every generation.

I remember in the 80’s we were called the “Me Generation.” Sounds familiar.

“Millennials” is just the latest name for young people. The complaining is just older people bitching about the young. Same as it ever was.

For those of us in the hospitality industry, there are more Millennials than Boomers or Gen X, and they are in the peak years of dining out and nightlife. So better understand them rather than attack them.

Here’s some relevant facts on Millennials. Contact us for much more help for bars and restaurants in building a loyal following of Millennials and other desirable customers.

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Happy Birthday Neil

Rust Never Sleeps, still one of the top 10 concerts I’ve seen in my lifetime. Happy Birthday Neil Young – a bottomless talent of amazing, deep risk-taking music. One of the longest relevant careers in rock history and the wildest range of styles. 60s to 2010’s he never coasted or took the easy way out artistically. Not for everyone I guess, but that’s one of my favorite things about him.

Check out some of his lesser known music.

 

Not Everyone Should Vote

It’s nearly election day, and we’re told the most important thing is to just get out and vote, and the more voters the better.  Rock the Vote! Right?

But I don’t see how it helps for uninformed people to vote, if they don’t take the time to study issues, seek out facts and varied perspectives, and try to make an intelligent decision as you would about a business issue.  As in business, quality is more important than quantity.

People who don’t take time to understand issues and civics should not cast a random, uninformed vote.  I think for our society, quality decision making is going to help our nation more than just a high quantity of people checking a box without really thinking things through.

I am not saying that any adult should be prevented from voting – no one deserves the power to be in charge of “who’s qualified.”  Everyone needs equal voting rights.  In fact, I think it should be made more convenient to vote with longer hours and easy absentee voting, though I do believe some fair, free and easy voter ID should be required.

So should you vote?  If you answer yes to any of the questions below, I’d encourage you to stay home this election, spend some time getting better qualified, and make your vote count next time around.

  1. Do I not know the names of all my representatives and cannot pick them out of a lineup on sight?
  2. Do I rarely pay attention to news or political analysis?
  3. If I do pay attention to politics, do I listen mostly to sensationalist or “opinion” media from one perspective (right or left)?
  4. Do I just vote a party line without evaluating each candidate?
  5. Do I seldom pay attention to how elected officials are doing their jobs and personally behaving between election seasons?
  6. Is there nothing a representative from my preferred party could possibly do to cause me to vote for the other party, or do I give them a “free pass” on bad behavior out of party loyalty?
  7. Am I obsessed with particular politicians (positive or negative) and pay little attention to nuts and bolts policies?

If you answered yes to any of these, please just stay home and don’t vote. That’s the best thing you can do for America.

Of course, it’s your choice and that’s how it needs to be.

Vote with Care – and God Bless America!

If banks were restaurants they’d all go out of business.

Dear banks,

We’ve noticed as you merge and grow your customer service goes down the drain.

You replace most of the experienced people we’ve gotten to know with barely trained robotic staff.

You make up rules that don’t exist and aren’t consistent branch to branch.

You use fraud protection as an excuse for bad service and no common sense.

You’d really prefer not to have lobbies or provide any services other than selling us stuff.

The only way for a business owner like myself to efficiently and pleasantly do business with a bank to pick one branch and only go to that one branch. Get to know the people so they can make “exceptions” that shouldn’t have to be exceptions. It’s like having to know the doorman at a nightclub!

When you merge, your original shareholders tend to get short-changed unless they are bank management.

If an independent restaurant grew into a chain the way banks do, they’d go out of business.

Then again, restaurants aren’t bailed out by taxpayers when they make bad decisions!

 

 

 

The world’s highest paid #DJs – reason for all DJs to celebrate.

In my opinion every DJ should celebrate that the highest paid DJs make up to $66 million. When the top end is this high there are so many more opportunities to make money in the middle. I agree with many of the complaints I hear from DJs, that skills have really deteriorated (mixing and programming both), that PR/promotion and looks have become too important, and that you don’t have a shot at the big bucks unless you are also a Producer. But still, when I was a DJ in those ancient late 20th century days, I’m not sure if there was even one DJ making a million a year. An entire industry has been created. There’s a game to be played that was never there back in the day.

Then again, a lot of things have changed for DJs.

Here’s the list of the world’s highest paid DJs for 2015.