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storm cloud prarieWhat makes the environment in which we operate so dynamic is the constant interaction of a set of environmental forces. They can be totally independent of each other or they can influence one another, so they have quite an impact. In any case, they’re worth knowing about. So, what are the categories of environmental forces?

Different authors use different labels for the categories of forces, but because I like things that are simple and memorable, I’ve always preferred the PEST model. PEST stands for Political/Legal, Economic, Socio-cultural, and Technological forces. Here are some examples:

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Is Time Money?

By Dr. Burt Smith October 22nd, 2014

Short answer: Yep, Time is money. If you’re busy, you can just stop reading right here and get on with your day.

Not only is time money, but time is the new measure of wealth.

There is most definitely a correlation between time and money! On the expense side, it’s time = money. On the revenue side, money = time! Time is kind of the currency we’re all working for, if you think about it.

I know a lot of “successful” professionals who are constantly hopping on a plane and gallivanting here or there, sometimes to exotic locales. They make excellent money, but they’re always on someone else’s schedule. And “someone else” often doesn’t care that it’s their kid’s birthday or a death in the family or even if they’re ill. Their attitude is, “We’re paying you to be here. We’ve got an audience who expects YOU to show up and perform. We have a contract and we expect you to honor it.” The higher up the ladder you go, the higher the stakes, and the higher the consequences.

We ought to all ditch our wall clocks and digital smartphones in favor of hourglasses because the hourglass shows how time really runs out, one grain at a time.

Time is the most important thing you have, so invest it wisely. And count that time you have to spend with whom you want and/or doing what you want as a blessing of immeasurable value. You may find you’re even wealthier than you thought!

 Dost thou love live? Then do not squander time for that is the stuff life’s made of.” – Benjamin Franklin


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For almost as long as I’ve been blogging, one huge message I’ve tried to impart is that you do NOT want to get caught competing strictly on price. You can read those old musings here if you need convincing of what a disastrous, slippery slope that can turn out to be.

Otherwise, here’s a nice little quote from Persuasive Brands that gives the pros and cons:

Competing on price can also be an effective way to gain market share particularly if your competitors have high cost structures or you believe they will be slow to recognize your actions or react to your more aggressive prices. Note that there are also ways to mask your lower prices through one-time discounts, coupons, promotions, etc competing on price alone leads to disloyal customers, low margins and many sleepless nights for business managers. Price competition can work. But once you start leading with price, you better be prepared to be the lowest cost producer and offer the lowest prices in the market – bar none.” – http://www.persuasivebrands.com/Topics_Competing_On_Price.aspx


Nicely said, though I still like the way Jack Trout put it:

Every one of your competitors has access to a pencil. And with it, each of them can mark down prices any time it wants to. And there goes your advantage.” – Jack Trout, Repositioning


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I guess I can pretty much forget about getting hired as a photographer at VI, huh?

Thursday may be just another AMA meeting for some, but for me it’ll mark my 20th straight year to darken the doors of an AMA meeting. I have not missed a luncheon meeting since attending my first one way back in October of 1994. I’ll be attending meeting number 199 that day (it would be and even 200, but we cancelled a meeting in 2001 right after 9.11).

There won’t be any balloons drop from the ceiling,  there won’t be any fireworks go off, and there won’t be one of those flash mobs break out that the young people today or so fond of doing or anything like that. In fact, it probably won’t even be mentioned because folks just pretty much expect to see me at the AMA any time the doors are opened, and that’s cool, too.

In a way, I kind of feel like I’ve already had a celebration, though, because Friday I was one of a select few hundred or so to attend the 25th anniversary of VI Marketing and Branding. My relationships with the stars at VI are one of the many benefits I can count as a result of my AMA involvement, and it’s been a genuine pleasure to See Tim Berney and the gang enjoy such success over our 20 years together. Way to go, guys!


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The chief architect of this shindig, Jacquelyn Lamar (AMA Past-President and marketing legend)

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“We cooked a pig in the ground…”









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Looking back to the West…























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