Wednesday, May 28, 2014

No more Amazon

Dear Reader,

A rant is about to follow. read it at your own risk. Or if you'd like to do something about the trending economy, please read on.

I do not shop at Wal-Mart. I refuse to support their way of doing business. I refuse because what they have done is to drive small businesses out of small towns. This allows more people to buy more stuff and spend their days driving out to the Wal-Mart Mall on the outskirts of town. They do this instead of buying a hammer ot T-Shirt or prescriptions from their next door neighbor who then retires to Florida, leaving someone in his house with an upside down mortgage and no one to sponsor the little league team your kid plays on. Because Wal-Mart doesn't contribute like that. They contribute to the Walton family in Arkansas.

I told you it was a rant. I warned you.

Now it's Amazon. They have driven most of the independent bookstores out of business and it seems Jeff Bezos is on his way to doing the same to lots of other stores too. Please don't think I'm wild about the retail businesses that may disappear. They are vulnerable because they have relied on the manufacturers and sale prices to bring people to their stores. So they have failed to build their brands, so so so.

Phil Rosenthal wrote in today's Tribune about the dirty tricks Amazon is pulling on Hachette, publisher of perhaps many of your favorite authors: Scott Turow, James Patterson, Malcolm Gladwell and others. I am not pleading the case of Hachette, because they haven't done anything for me personally, but because they are a legitimate publisher. They work with authors to create quality books. The kind that have lots of readers and no split infinitives. What I mean is, they are publishers, with editors and designers and a history in the profession. They are not working for the lowest price tag. They are looking to create product that has merit first, followed by quality production and widely available distribution.

None of that comes at the lowest price! This is not a process which lends itself to automation beyond the mechanical parts.And Amazon has made it's business all about saving the consumer money. This is not a workable business model, because it only looks at one thing---efficiency.

Mr. Rosenthal refers to Scott Turow, one of our most popular and prolific authors. Even he doesn't crank out lots of books, relative to a product that can be made on an assembly line with robots. Even a cr company needs to make many, many times more items per year than Mr. Turow can possible make. Or Stephen King or anyone else. If we continue as a society to buy cheap, sooner or later what we are going to get will be cheap.

We are seeing it now in the manufacturing arena. If we don't want to buy a knock off product from a low cost provider overseas, or we can't squeeze a few more cents out of the hourly of our own citizens we can't find it. We have demeaned factory work to the point where employers are unable to find capable workers because they are going to more valued jobs.

Buy books from Barnes & Noble. Or from your local bookstore if you're lucky enough to have one. And find your shoes and clothes and electronics from someone else too. There are plenty of good buys out there. Keep someone in business for a change instead of going for a little cheaper. None of us needs much more stuff anyway. And Amazon will get us in the end, if we empower them.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

LIVE from Lincoln Square!

Now, for something completely different...

Okay, it's not Saturday Night Live and it's not Monty Python. It's not even comedy, although I'll be disappointed if no one gets a laugh.

It will be live and it will be Saturday night and you certainly will be entertained in a different way. It will be more exploration than hilarity.

The topic will be Inspiration. I did not select the topic, Jamie did. And she asked me to present about it. I have to admit that I was more surprised about the topic than the request to present. Those of you who know me would not be surprised to see it announced that I was going to expound on any topic under the sun, and you certainly wouldn't be surprised or hear that I would think myself capable. Here's the surprise.

Inspiration is one of those topics that I see as emotional rather than intellectual. Motivation is another one, and I've had a disparaging attitude about motivators since I had my first selling job way back in the seventies. I was able to get hyped up, but I wasn't able to control when and for how long. I was like getting high and then wanting to stay high. It can't be done. So we won't be focusing on getting inspired on Saturday, we'll be learning about what we already know about the subject and the tools already at our disposal to find that "hit" when we need it.

Jamie asked me to do this some time ago and I've been working with it ever since. It's going to work and it's going to be fun. And I can't wait to see what I'm going to learn from you.

Roots Salon Master Speaker Series Presents

Saturday, May 31 at 8:00 PM at Jamie O'Reilly's Roots Salon,
(private address in Lincoln Square, Chicago)

I am so excited to host Bill as a guest speaker at Roots. A lifetime supporter of the arts and keenly alert to their impact on the community, Bill will talk to us and with us about INSPIRATION and its place in our lives as professional creatives. He's the guy to hear for pep talks and new perspectives on being your best and vibrant creative self, facing your fears, and having fun. "SHOW UP FOR ROOTS! That's what Bill does, and when he's here, he's all there!

Admission: $25 donation. We serve dessert. You BYOB. Seating is limited. Street parking.(private address in Lincoln Square). ph 773-203-7661; Email: Purchase tickets online.
Read Bill's Blog here.

Sat May 31 at 8:00

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Meet your new best friend, COURAGE

This isn’t a stranger to you, just a better friend than you’ve known. This is the friend that helped you make all those decisions, both hard and not-so-hard. Whether you were choosing a college, asking for a date or having a child, it was courage that was there, by your side, helping you move forward. Or not. Either way it was a decision. And that decision caused you to confront yourself, your expectations, your hopes, your fears. You may have told yourself you weighed all the pluses and minuses and came up with a rational decision but research tells us that the decision was likely to have been made and the logical augment merely justifies that decision.

We have two invitations for you to see how you can embrace your Courage in a more intentional way, to put it to use for you in your every day life. The first is an introductory session to the practice of connecting to your Courage. And to make it easier, we are offering two different sessions to choose from, both free of charge.

Our decades of coaching and our individual life experience has helped us to see the power of the unconscious in our lives and the lives of our clients. Connecting to that part is really valuable to leading a life that is better at serving us. And the better it serves us, the better we serve the people who are important to us.

Choose Thursday, May 15 from 7:30 to 9:00AM At the 360 Cafe, 20 E. Chestnut in the city. The second will be Saturday, June 7 from 9:00 to 10:30 at the same location.

Both of these will be the same with the exception that the group will have different participants. Both will be entertaining, fun, informative and challenging. If you’re curious, and I know you are, call and sign up for one of these sessions.

But that’s only the first offering. The second will be day long workshop where the concepts and ideas explored in the first session will be expanded, deepened and anchored in you, so that you will have something you can hang onto and use in a more powerful way. Day and date will be established after these two sessions. Most likely it will be on a Saturday in June.

We look forward to joining you on this adventure. See you soon.

You’ll be glad you did.

Bill Campbell
Bill Flynn

Sign up at 773-817-6700