Electric Impulse Communications, Inc. Newsletter

June 2005

  1. A Most Memorable Person
  2. Mishmash of Value:
    1. Lessons from The Apprentice
  3. Live and On TV
  4. Summer Reading

I. A Most Memorable Person

Do you remember when Sonny died?
In Cher's eulogy she said he was the most memorable person she had ever met. Well, I would like to tell you about my most recent memorable person.

First you have to picture Los Cabos San Lucas, Mexico.
Better known as Cabo: once a quaint Mexican fishing village now a stucco paradise. On our first day in Cabo we found ourselves walking the promenade. Nestled in the new marina was a shop called
Senor Sweet.  And here is where my most memorable character and the lessons we can learn, begin.

The half off promotional banner invited us in. Life introduced us to the memorable David Wexler. Until May 20, Mr. Wexler had been a partner in a Beverly hills law practice. At 66 he decided there was more to life and he was going to look for it . . . in Cabo. So he invested in an ice cream/gelato/pastry/coffee/liquor/breakfast/dessert/ establishment . We met him on the fourth day he was open for business, and again on the fifth day, the sixth day, the seventh, and the eighth day!

Forty years as an attorney, 36 years as a partner, one year as a managing partner. He said he has never worked as hard as he had in the last week. Nothing prepared him for 16 hours days, busing tables, and the hole he would wear in his shoe in less than a week. Groucho Marx had been a client as well as Marlon Brando, a lovely man by the way. He had lunched with David Geffen and served as counsel toGeneral Omar Bradley, his most memorable person (because of his presence!).
Now the company he held included the dishwasher and the mop!

On day six I asked him what had surprised him most about being an entrepreneur? Here are five lessons in business and life learned from the other side of the ice cream scoop:

1. More marketing, better planned and executed
As a partner in a Beverly Hills law practice I'm going to guess that he wasn't designing opening week promotions. As he reflected on his first week in business, he said he should have been more aggressive in their marketing. And in how he marketed to tourists, who don't traditionally read the local paper. Build it and they may come, but they may not come fast enough. When I asked him what he had done as an attorney to market, he said, "Beverly Hills attorney's don't market." Then he quickly
added that he spent alot of time in charitable work where he met many of his future clients. Marketing by any other name is still creating a magnetic force to bring business to you.

What are you doing to continually bring business to you?

2. Learn the language
Whatever profession you are in, you have a lingo. When you want to enter another industry, you have to become familiar with their lingo. As an attorney he lived in a world with a finite language. Now he was learning a new one, with infinite interpretations:

a. Manana which literally means tomorrow, doesn't mean tomorrow. Senor Sweet learned that it meant, I'll tell you it will be tomorrow so you're not disappointed, but who knows when it will be done?

b. Si which traditionally means YES, doesn't mean YES. Senor Sweet learned that it meant, I will say yes so as not to disappoint you. Who knows when it will really be finished?

c. No problemo doesn't mean no problem, it means BIG PROBLEM!

Do you know the language of the world within which you
want to have influence?

3. Hire the best
Whatever your field, hire the best available. Cabo is growing and hotels are hiring chefs and cooks and paying them to relocate to this town. Wexler and his partner went out and hired the best pastry chef they could find. In Cabo they found a great pastry chef. French trained no less!! She made the most beautiful and delicious desserts that you could see anywhere in the world. Sometimes the diamonds really are in your backyard.

Hire or train the best. Then invest in your people.

4. Know what you need to know and do what you need to do.
Esquire David Wexler decides to invest in a glorified ice cream shop. Buy some ice cream and scoop….right? No! His business partner (who produced Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere) went to Ice Cream University, a three day course in making ice cream, sorbet, and gelato. David and his partner didn't expect to be drying dishes and putting away silverware. But they stepped in when it needed to be done.

Whatever your field, find a source to learn everything you
have to know in order to be successful.

5. Market, Market, Market
The first day we went through the doors of Senor Sweet it was simply because the banner hanging across the front said 50% off everything. The next day the offer was different, and less of a promotion. The third day the promotional banner had been taken down, yet Senor Sweet was wall-to-wall people. The fourth day there were almost no customers. The sixth day the promotional banner was back up.

The moral of this story, market when you think you don't need
to market.
If you wait until you know you need to market, it's too late for an immediate response. Being proactive will even out the valleys and peaks in your career or business.

And a bonus sixth lesson from Senor Sweet: if your favorite client who likes you so much has not paid your invoice in thirty years, he isn't going to pay you. Take it off the books!

If you are in Cabo, stop by Senor Sweet!


Return to Index

II. Mishmash of Value:

1.The Apprentice Re-visited

I can't say good-bye to this season without a quick analysis.
It wasn't my favorite season because I didn't care about most of the candidates. And you have to care about them before you care what happens to them. But I loved the role that their executive and leadership skills played in this year's challenges and boardrooms. So let's take a quick look back at
Book smart versus street smart.

Angie was fired solely because she froze during a presentation to the American Eagle buyers.
Do you take steps so that you don't freeze during a presentation?

Alex was fired mostly because he tried to fudge facts in the Boardroom. Have you ever fudged on a resume or sales call?

Brent was fired because he was an attorney and could not think like an entrepreneur. Can you think bigger?

Chris was fired much later than he should have been simply because there was always someone worse. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Chris had difficulty in identifying his bad habits as bad.  Do you?

Craig was fired because he conducted himself poorly in interviews.  Presentation skills again. Do you practice for questions that you might be asked?

Audrey could not lead her team. Under her leadership it was like herding cats. Can you keep everyone on the same page?

And then there was the final two. The new apprentice, Kendra had a plan. Lie low for the first 10 weeks, then come on strong. It could have backfired, but she had a plan.

Weeks before the final episode Donald Trump told his team that Tana didn't fit in to his Trump team.
Do you fit into the place you want to be, not the place you are?
What can we learn from The Apprentice that we can apply in our lives?

Return to Index



IV. Live and On TV

A. Brecksville Chamber of Commerce
June 16 noon - Brecksville Community Center     

B. Akron PRSA   July 14 - Martin Center                                         
Standout Presentations: Giving Presentations that Increase
Your Professional Velocity

C. Time/Warner Civic Forum of the Air
Week of Monday June 5 NFL Draft:
Akron's Charlie Frye                                                                      
Airs: Sunday 6:00 pm & 9:00 am  
Other days 6 pm/ Channel 23
Guests: Coach J.D. Brookhart, Charlie Frye

Look for Upcoming Civic Forums:                    

Who moved my cheese: Consequences of Corporate Change
Tammy Reckman, PHR
Vice President, Internal Services

Jeffrey O. Evans
            CEO, Chairman & President
            The Will-Burt Company

Stuart Glauberman-CEO Malco Products

Return to Index

V. Summer Reading

Why business people speak like idiots-Fugere, Hardaway, Warshawsky
Now, Discover Your Strengths-Buckingham & Clifton On Bullshit-Frankfurt


Return to Index