• 26

    Jul

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Tempus Fugit

Photo by kobiz7

It seems the more we age the faster time passes or maybe it’s because we place more tasks into our daily lives. As I post this blog, I realize the month of July 2011 ends this coming Sunday. How quickly the first seven months of the year passed? I reminisced on what has occurred in my life during this period year to date. I smiled, because several wonderful events have taken place. And, there was also one sad event. Last week my mentor and good friend Ralph McKnight, a husband, father, fastidious gentleman, intellect and a representation of everything good in the Pasadena community, passed away. Ralph’s death reminded me how important it is to pause and smell the roses, exercise, spend time with dear friends and family and most of all to be true to oneself by loving those who “really” look out for us. I will never be the same, because I met a selfless man named Ralph McKnight.

As I contemplate adding another meeting to my schedule, I plan on taking some time to spend a few quiet moments everyday with myself. I will close my office door (whenever I remember) and even turn off the lights to hopefully spend a few moments to rejuvenate the over-worked cells in my body.  Today, instead of driving to one of the neighborhood restaurants – which is about a mile from my office – to have lunch, I walked. It felt good walking on Lake Avenue in Pasadena while I checked out the cars speeding by. Everyone seemed to be in a rush to get to their next appointment. It’s amazing how many of us are rushing through daily activities without regard for the wear and tear on our bodies.

I know that I’m not alone in thinking “Tempus Fugit,” the Latin words for “Time Flies,” because most of my colleagues complain insistently about where time has gone. It’s easier said than done, but I’ll say it anyway, “slow down even if it’s only for a few moments.”

 

  • 19

    Jul

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/The Beautiful Game

I was elated to observe the pride, joy and pain the USA Women’s Soccer Team provided their American fans throughout the 2011 Women Soccer World Cup. They played “The Beautiful Game” with grit, determination, skill and grace. As a young man who grew up playing soccer in my native country, Guyana, South America, I was disappointed when I arrived in America and found my two favorite sports, Soccer and Rugby, were not popular in the USA. I was a talented Rugby player and was looking forward to continuing my growth in the sport in America.
Fast forward to the present, more than 30 years later, and Soccer, Women’s Soccer, is front and center on America’s sport consciousness. The USA Women’s Soccer Team has won the Women World Cup twice and was on the verge of making history by becoming the only women’s team to win the coveted cup three times. It was not to be, because the Japanese Women’s Team won the 2011 World Cup against the USA women on penalty kicks. The Japanese were destined to be crowned champions.

Chatting before the game with my childhood friend, Carl Andrews, an architect at John Hopkins Hospital and a Women’s Soccer Coach , we shared some insightful thoughts. It was not until the USA Soccer Federation decided to focus its resources on training and supporting women’s soccer that the game blossomed in America. Their plan to encourage young women to play soccer in the youth and amateur leagues was a brilliant idea. Also, the tactic to recruit international soccer coaches  to work in America was a smart strategy. The USA Soccer Federation’s changed behavior allowing women the same opportunities as men propelled Women’s Soccer to its powerhouse place internationally in the sport. It also helped that the 1972 Title IX legislation which mandated gender equity in education  in America was enacted.

I am also happy to report my friend Carl works in tandem with Clyde Watson, a fellow Guyanese and respected soccer coach, who has mentored and coached the USA Women’s Soccer Team star player, Abby Wambach. These gentlemen are contributing to the marketing and growth of Women’s Soccer in America. I am proud of them. Today, as we celebrate the USA Women’s Soccer Team accomplishments, let us remember it was when a change in behavior was forged with a commitment to support soccer in America, the game (Soccer), which the Brazilians called “The Beautiful Game,” emerged to become a fan favorite of an enthusiastic American audience.

Even though the USA Women Soccer Team lost the championship game to their Japanese competitors, we should applaud these young women for displaying professionalism, pride and grace in defeat. They are one of the best teams in Women’s Soccer….their journey continues.

  • 12

    Jul

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/The Marketing Budget

During my career, I had the opportunity to work with several amazing, talented and generous individuals. While having a discussion recently with a few of my colleagues, our conversation prompted me to write this blog. We all agreed as entrepreneurs sharing our talents to help each other is a blessing. As we conversed about our contracting experiences, the notion of branding and marketing were essential to the discourse. We all had met a potential client who was brimming with ideas, but had no funds to execute a marketing campaign for the invaluable product/service he/she had created.
Their (potential client) pitch to recruit a marketer goes like this “Hey Joe/Judy (you can place any name here) I have this great project that I need your help marketing. You have a lot of contacts that could help create a big buzz for this project. After it’s successful, I’ll hook you up my friend. I spent all of my funds creating this amazing product and presently I have no money for marketing, but as soon as the funds start coming in, you’ll be the first to get paid.” Does this sound familiar?

Can you imagine Nike, McDonalds, Dell, Bonnie B’s Smokin’ BBQ Heaven, Burrito Express, The Salon at Hopkins Village creating a product with hopes for it to be successful sans a marketing budget? In today’s business environment, lots of businesses task themselves to conduct their own marketing. It could be a winning proposition for the entrepreneurs if they knew how to execute a marketing plan. Most of them don’t and thus their product/service doesn’t received the notoriety they seek. Below are a few suggestions for the potential “I’ll hook you up later” product creator.

  • Know Your Audience
  • Understand what you are marketing
  • Most successful products aren’t totally unique
  • Don’t lose sight of who you’re creating the product for
  • Tie into hot stories
  • Tie into seasons or holidays
  • Have a proper launch: you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression
  • Engage the media: know what they are covering
  • Take stock of your assets when going after the media
  • Use Swaps to grab attention (Guns for sneakers campaign)

And, don’t forget to follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.

  • 05

    Jul

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Step Back From The Precipice

As politicians in the United States of America’s (USA) Congress pontificate about the “debt ceiling” and their outlook for the 2012 elections, individuals who voted them into office are feeling anxious regarding the current financial climate of the USA. There is so much tension in the air that we, Americans, for the most part, cannot have a civil conversation, regarding politics, with someone whose opinion is different from ours. When are these ladies and gentlemen going to take heed and start behaving themselves? They should be leading the charge in forging civil discussions back into the Global Public Square.
I have noticed comments such as “we could end up like Greece,”  “the debt ceiling is not that important” and “our children will have less than us” are being bantered about in some of the debates. Individuals are even suggesting we allow the “debt ceiling” to explode without any regard for what will happen to “Main Street” Americans. Whatever happened to “bring me your tired, your weary”…you know the rest. I have also noticed more and more Americans are taking to the streets to protest one thing or the other. Some individuals are saying they have never seen this kind of animosity in their life time. The late, great songwriter and singer Marvin Gaye said it best “What’s Going On?”

America touted as being the greatest country on earth must set the example for civility in this world. Getting back on track conducting the American people’s business must begin with the Congress, Judicial and Executive branches of our government. Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come for you to soften your differences and make America great again. Your children, your families, your constituents and your country need you to behave with humility and common sense. You cannot allow the country to fail so that you can win a private battle. That is insanity!

We have examples throughout history of great societies that crumbled. Usually, the debacle occurred because of the behavior of individuals who influenced the policies of those societies. American politicians must step back from the precipice.