Sync & Swimm

Marketing, Stocks, Sales, Radio & Rants

Traditional Media’s Free Lunch

So, everyone is upsetfree-lunch-is-only-found-in-mousetraps (1) that Facebook has changed their policy and is suppressing media and business posts in favor of friend updates.  Keep in mind that for many people their Facebook feed is where they get ALL their news.  Crazy right?  Well, the media let it happen.   

Let’s go back about 10 years.  Before the great 2008 recession. Back when a hash tag was just a pound sign.  Let your mind drift back and imagine everything you seen and heard on mass media.   I’ll help you out a bit.  Most (at one point almost all) advertising had one central message…..”Like us on Facebook”.   DJ’s had contests to get the most fans and likes. The Facebook logo graced the end of every local newscast. Every major brand had one mission—Build their fans & likes.

It was as if overnight everyone forgot there is no such thing as a free lunch.  “A way to connect with our customers for free”  Wow!…Yea  wow.  The media spent ten years turning all the power over to Facebook and now are upset that their relevance has declined…..A lot.

Radio, television &  print all thought that Facebook put them closer to their audience, and traditional media would always be the first choice.  Instead of building databases, investing in new social media platforms and better websites, traditional media took  the easy way out…Connect for free on Facebook.

And Facebook, much like a drug dealer handing out free samples, kept giving and giving….Until they didn’t.

The easy path is rarely the best path.  So congratulations Facebook.  You got the entire world to help build a database over a billion strong…For free.  So maybe there really is a free lunch?






LeaderSHIT. 10 ways leaders screw things up

Some mmistake1anagers are great leaders and some aren’t.   The day-to-day of tactics of running a business are a lot different from the broad strategic vision needed to grow a business.

I won’t get into all the differences between managers and leaders.  That subject has been beat to death.  Instead I will give you my top 10 things leaders should strive NOT to do when responsible for tactics and strategies.  We all stumble into these bad habits at times.  Recognize them, and don’t make the same mistake twice.  Learning and growing is where the magic happens.

  1. Hoarding the information and having favorites. Be honest, reward results, and be transparent.  Your people can smell dishonesty and favoritism 10 miles away. HONEST!
  2. Think one size fits all.  You can’t teach a fish to fly (I know, I know—flying fish…Just stay with me please :-)  People have things they are good at.  Encourage and reward that.  Don’t try to make people something they aren’t.  Everyone has something to offer the team, or they wouldn’t be on the team.  Help enhance their strengths.
  3. Not being consistent. This is the absolutely hardest one to do. As leaders we have to try to be the same coach when we win as we are when we lose.  This is very tough, but the only way to let people feel comfortable enough to take the risks and chances needed to be the best.
  4. Taking the credit. All together now… It’s not about you anymore! It’s about the team.  Give the credit out to the troops and stop being so damn needy for approval.
  5. Being moody. We all can be moody, but nothing destroys trust faster. Not knowing if you will bite off their heads when they ask a question is a great way for you to be left in the dark on the REAL important things.
  6. Not listening. It’s the same with your significant other, your kids, or your best friend. Take a deep breath and REALLY listen.  I know your own voice has magical healing properties, but the next time someone wants to talk to you, don’t think about what you will say next, or that you need to pick up propane for a BBQ this weekend.
  7. Ego. There is some direct connection with the need to be wanted and loved and working your way up the ladder at work. Suck it up, let someone else have the credit, admit when you are wrong, and other smart people exist in the world.  Smarter than you believe it or not.
  8. Gossip. Being part of it, or allowing it to fester. Nothing will kill an organization faster than gossip. It’s negative, most of the time not accurate, and takes the focus off the mission of the team…To win.   Talk about ideas and ways to improve yourself, not if Sally is sleeping with Bob.
  9. Lack of growth/Education. We all should be enhancing our skills and growing daily. That means taking classes, reading books, and being open-minded. You don’t know it all, but you could get better every week. 2% educational growth a week makes you over 100% smarter in a year.
  10. Not taking action. Don’t over think the think, over do the do.  Stop talking about it, researching it, and thinking about it…Just do it!  Take an action and adjust along the way. Just like Patton told us (And kind of won a World War) “A good plan today is worth a perfect plan tomorrow”.

There are a lot more, but those are my top 10.  I struggle with some daily, but I know what to look for, and how to adjust and learn from my mistakes.  Lack of leadership is the top cause in EVERY poor and average team.  Our teams get better when we get better

You can’t save time, you can only spend it better.


  1. To be successful you have to get rid of low value areas, and add in high value areas.
  2. Some things are worth 10 times the value but take the same amount of time as the low priority stuff…. FOCUS on the big ticket items!
  3. Your actions tell everyone what you truly value.
  4. We all find time to do the things we like. The secret is to find the time to do the things that will make you successful.
  5. Do the things most people refuse to do so you can have things most people don’t have.
  6. GO to bed AFTER you plan out the next day.
  7. Get up a half hour earlier and review your day & your goals.
  8. Do you love what you do? If not, sales isn’t for you. Don’t waste your time. Everyone knows when you don’t like your job—And they won’t buy from you.
  9. If you don’t schedule it out, it will never happen.
  10. Touch something once—Finish it or file it!
  11. Discipline yourself to work on the most valuable thing at any given time.
  12. FOCUS on the things that matter and that you can control.

(For my Sales Friends)–Feel the Fear


  1. Pick up the phone to make a new cold call—-Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  2. Making a big presentation to a board of twenty skeptical bankers….Feel the Fear—Do it Anyway.
  3. Pulling over and walking into a brand new prospect…Feel the Fear…Do it Anyway.
  4. Giving yourself a goal to beat your budget by 20%…Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  5. Giving yourself a goal to call on 100 new prospects this Qtr….Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  6. Giving yourself a goal to send out 80 new marketing pieces this month…Feel the Fear—-Do it Anyway.
  7. Hitting $200,000 in earnings in 2016….Feel the Fear…Do it Anyway.
  8. Asking for a million dollars of business this Qtr….Feel the Fear—Do it Anyway.
  9. Making one more call EVERYDAY before you go home…Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  10. Doing something outside your comfort zone…. Feel the Fear ….Do it Anyway.

It All Adds Up……

       Do numbers really mean anything?  Is there more to them than just a mathematical numbersequation?  My best friend was my Grandfather.  He died in 1998 and it was the worst day of my life.  He inspired me, and was the voice of reason in everything  I did or encountered.  He gave me advice  that I still follow today, like the principal of small steps, and compound interest.   Life isn’t about one great act, but a multitude of tiny steps  that lead to the goal.  On how dollars only multiply by watching pennies.  He also told me when he died he would always be with me..(And I thought, he would  never die!)

      This is where things take a strange turn. He lived at 606 Prospect Street. Without fail everyday that number comes into my life.  On my phone, car, watch…EVERYDAY!  Am I searching it out, or is he searching me out? 606 has become part of my life.  I like to think that it’s him keeping his promise.  I’m the  person I am because of a great man….Daniel Ross.   I know he comes into my life everyday.

The Art of Competiton

everybattlebefore Nothing in this world fails quite as well as success. You see it all the time.  A company starts to feel, for lack of a better word, entitled, thinking that they actually earned the success. When that mindset creeps into the organization the battle is lost. There is always someone who is hungrier, faster, and smarter. A competitor who is just waiting for you to put your sword down, so they can make their move and take the top spot.

Think about it for a second.  When you are hungry, being in second place is a pretty good area to be.  Every victory rallies the troops and puts you closer to that number one slot. The top company is SUPPOSED to win.  It is expected of the best, so every loss demoralizes the team more and more. As the hungry organization tally’s up wins and increases morale, the entitled one loses a little more control until they are looking though the windshield instead of the rear view mirror.

It’s a double edge sword. A team works their tails off and expects a little R & R, which is fine.  The problem is a reward and a break are two different animals.  I believe in celebrating all victories, no matter how small. However, as soon as the champagne glasses stop clinking, its back to work with the mindset that even one down day could be the difference between winning and losing.

Perception is Reality…Woody The Internet Pecker

ImageWow…..I haven’t posted anything on WordPress for a long time. So, to get myself back in the saddle, I’ll throw the word “pecker” in the title..that should work.  

Perception problems are marketing problems. Don’t believe this?  Pop quiz…Who developed one of the first touch screen computers?  Well, the perception is that Apple started it all………and if that was your guess, you couldn’t be more wrong…But before you Google the answer,  the original touch screen was the most bizarre marketing blunder of all time and actually involves Panasonic naming it after a penis.

In 1996 Panasonic thought the mouse was too hard to use, and the internet was going to be the biggest development of the 20th century…They were right, but it didn’t  matter…The name of their touch screen computer was the Woody…Pretty bad right?  But  it gets a lot worse……They decided Woody Wood Pecker would be a great mascot to bring in the youth market  (In 1996??!) So before you connect the dots, yes,  the computer was named….Touch Woody……And if  it couldn’t get any worse,  Panasonic introduced  a new internet support feature called….wait for it…The internet pecker.

A touch screen in 1996!  Steve Jobs was just coming back to Apple and the IPad was over ten years away.  A touch screen was WAY ahead of its time.  But alas, you can have the best product in the world, but if people don’t know about it, (or laugh like 12 year old boys when they say the name) you will fail—-Just ask A. Wang, the creator of Wang Computer 

The Company That Will Bring It To You…..

captain-kirk-communicatorAs I type this my daughter is on Face Time with her friend on her IPOD Touch.  My ten year old has been using Face Time for about a week and a half. In that time she has become more proficient than Capt Kirk with his communicator. Who could have ever imagined us getting to the point where kids could communicate with their friends in HD quality on a device smaller than a deck of cards—-Wireless! When I was ten I had to share a party line with 5 other families at my grandmother’s house in Maine (I’ll save this for another story). My pointer finger is now about five sizes bigger than the rest of my hand from using the giant rotary dial phone…Tough times.

The funny thing is, growing up we were always told of flying cars and Dick Tracy video wristwatches. It just never seemed to happen, until it did..Slowly but surely most of the Sy-Fy predictions have caught up to us. (Well, except the flying car thing). I remember back in the early 90’s Tom Selleck used to talk about all the great things AT & T was going to do for us. Sending a fax from the beach, attending a meeting in your pajamas, borrowing a book from around the world. As Tom was pontificating about all the futuristic wonders AT& T was about to lay on us, I was still getting used to the AOL guy saying “You’ve got Mail.”   Apparently Steve Jobs watched those commercials too, and he became the guy who brought us a bunch of it. I’m sure AT & T is the infrastructure behind much of the technology, but Apple has a better marketing department

So I hopped on YouTube (the Irony of using Google to look up a commercial about A T & T technology was not lost on me) and went on a quest to find those commercials from the early 90’s. I found them, and they were even more accurate than I remembered..Scary precise. Check out the touch screen on the EBook. This was 1993 when people didn’t know what an EBook, or an Email even was..

So like a crystal ball peering into the future, I present to you a montage of those commercials telling us how great life would be for us very soon. Listening to my daughter giggle with her friends on her $100 IPOD makes me realize we haven’t seen anything yet….Kirk out!




The Confidence of Preparation

You’ve heard it so many times that it’s become a cliché–Be prepared! Normally we think in these terms when it comes to a disaster, much like the east coast did as it prepared for Hurricane Sandy. Generators…water… batteries….those sorts of things. When you have time to prepare for something in advance it builds a sense of confidence. You can take a deep breath and say “come what may, I’ve did all I can.” You can’t put a price tag on that kind of confidence.

Today as certain neighborhoods are humming with the sounds of generators, others bask in sunlight unaffected by the ravages of the storm. You never know when all the preparation will pay off, but that’s the point. Don’t take that generator back to Home Depot because you didn’t use it–Have it ready for next time. Plan out the next step before you have to take it.

What if you  prepared like a storm was coming in all areas of your life? Retirement, a promotion at work, your relationship with your friends and family, your health? Don’t wait until your broke to start saving, don’t wait until you have a heart attack before you start getting healthy. Don’t wait until the storm hits, besides being too late, you lose twice…All the worry about the storm, and the actual storm itself.

Mr. Sunshine

Rainy days are the best time to see clients. People seem to be a little less jubliant when mother nature turns on the waterworks. So if the sun won’t shine, you need to.

Stop by Dunkin Donuts, grab a dozen of the fancies and a few coffees, and drop them off at your best clients. For less than $10 you just lit up a room. Those are the things that separate the good reps from the great ones.  Don’t ask your company to reimburse you.  Just do it. Invest in your own growth

Do these type things  a few times and you will become someone people look forward to seeing. A rainmaker who brings the sunshine.

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