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Gary May

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Boy, things were really humming there for the longest time and then the train ran off the track, or maybe the wheels simply came off. No matter what, we got to find out what it would be like for the industry to have a brake test. But instead of 60 to 0 in 137.6 feet, it was more like 17 million to under 10 million in a blink (try that supercars!)

Add to that the fact that somewhere along the way, we got just a little more than complacent...ok, we got really frickin' complacent! Now we have the choice to do things over the way 'we' did, or go down the road less traveled.

So we have to ask ourselves collectively some tough questions. Do we advertise the same way we did? Do we communicate the same way that we did? Do we build the same way we did? Do we sell the same way we did? If so, how can we expect different results? And for those that want to wait, how can you expect anything doing that?

Many indicators seem to show that we're doing a lot of the old things and just a few new things, and neither incredibly well. To get the results we truly want, it is so important to be realistic, admit when we can't do what's expected, challenge ourselves to new ways of thinking and get out of the way when it's time. If this train is getting back on the track, it had best be a brand new track and the engine clearly needs replacement rather then modification.

No matter what you're doing, start thinking and acting like consumers and start believing that success is our only goal. I'd like to tell you that the latest ads on TV, spots on radio, full pages in the magazine and full-disclosure rant in the newspaper were absolutely effective. Since I don't do any of those activities, I can't. And none of the people I regularly hang out with or talk with do either.

If we start thinking and believing that we can, and it truly shows, it'll likely happen. It's not rocket science. It's not about ignoring other very related issues. If we are going to be successful, we have to do it by ourselves. We have to believe that the results will be there because we did everything we had to...not somethings, everything.

And I think we can, I think we can (insert favorite choo-choo noise now).

Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

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