Great article – 6 Ways To Build An Advisory Team For Your Small Business : Managing

•May 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

American Express OPEN Forum http://ow.ly/4Ri5y

Need Willpower?A very funny image is on

•May 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Need Willpower?A very funny image is on this page. Worth checking

Clever Advertisement from Liberty Mutual

•March 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I tend to be quite skeptical of insurance companies these days. (Who isn’t?) This ad caught my eye as I thought it was extremely clever – and with a powerful message. I feel good watching it. Something that triggers good feelings causes action. That’s what you want in marketing.

7th Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)

•February 20, 2010 • 1 Comment

The purpose of the I3 (The International Inspiration Index) is to get a feel for how people are feeling, what’s bothering them, and their outlook for the future. It started in late April, 2009 and is published every one to two months.

If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to www.Motivation2010.com.

Welcome to 2010

The master chart (below) shows the last several months but Total Average is since inception of the survey. Concerns are sorted based on Highest to Lowest in the most recent month.

All Stats for Last Several Months (click to enlarge)

Understanding the Scores:

On questions #1 and #2, “five” is an excellent attitude and “one” is a horrible attitude, “three” would be average.

For question #3, “five” means greatly concerned, “one” means not at all concerned.

For question #4, “five” is extremely optimistic and “one” is extremely pessimistic.

As always, my standard disclaimer is that even though January had the highest number of participants, samples are not very large (averaging 38 a month) and the survey is self-selecting so we don’t know how accurate it is. However, that doesn’t take away from pondering what it means. (Please post your comments too.)

Questions #1 #2: How’s your attitude – as well as those around you

Maybe it’s the new year, but for whatever reason January showed an uptick  in attitude for both you and for others around you, climbing from 3.6 to 3.7  in the former and from 3.4 to 3.6 in the latter. This is despite the resurgence of partisan politics and lots of bad weather across the country.

Last month, I made an observation that the trend line on YOUR ATTITUDE (dark blue) seemed to be leveling out, almost becoming flat,  leading me to wonder if  we are now approaching our baseline.  If you look at the chart above, you’ll notice that this month’s personal attitude was 3.7 and the average since inception is 3.69, further backing up that theory. The other interesting thing is that OTHERS ATTITUDES is still trending upward and closing in on our personal attitude. When the survey started, the difference was approximately .5 (3.2 for others and 3.7 for personal). Now the difference is only about .1.

Trends: MINE vs. OTHERS full survey period (click to enlarge)

Factors influencing the I3 during January

Staring in August, I began making a note of major international and international events that could be influencing the collective attitude. Following are stories I considered to be significant for January:

  • Resolutions
  • Haiti earthquake
  • Eureka, CA earthquake (I only include this because I live in Eureka and it’s likely a disproportionate number of participants therefore do too)
  • Unemployment rate stays flat but 85K job loss
  • Obama’s first year comes to an end
  • MA senate race goes to Republican Scott Brown in a major upset
  • Major rain and snow storms
  • State of the Union Address
  • Obama speaks to the Republicans at their retreat
A few selected comments from survey-takers about their attitudes:

Gratitude is the key for me…

Considering the weather, it is probably great

I’ve never had the mood swings of late…crazy energy & enthusiasm one minute & negative the next.

A couple of real nice days I would be hitting the 5.

Struggling to stay positive.

Good days and bad days…trying to make the good outweigh the bad. I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer in October, so it’s been a rocky road especially through the holidays.

I find the winter wet months depressing, so it doesn’t help my attitude- especially about dieting.

I always try to find one “special” comment. This time the “Optimist of the Month” award goes to

It was stressful because of financial issues (business cash flow)! But the Saints are going to the Super Bowl and the weather is gorgeous, so my attitude is much improved!

Continue reading ‘7th Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)’

Brilliant Ad from the UK

•February 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Check out this video.  Watch it to the end. What a great ad!

(The image is a screen shot; when you click on it, it will take you to the video)

Poorly named websites

•February 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

All of these are legitimate companies that didn’t spend quite enough time to consider how their online name might appear! These are not made up. Check them out yourself.

1. ‘Who Represents’ is where you can find the name of the agent that represents any celebrity. Their Web site is: www.whorepresents.com

2. ‘Experts Exchange’ is a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at: www.expertsexchange.com

3. Looking for a great pen? Look no further than ‘Pen Island’. It can be found at: www.penisland.net

4. Need a therapist? Try ‘Therapist Finder’ at: www.therapistfinder.com

5. Then there’s the ‘Italian Power Generator’ company. Check it out at: www.powergenitalia.com

6. ‘IP computer’ software, there’s always: www.ip_anywhere.com

7. And the designers at ‘Speed of Art’ await you at their wacky Web site: www.speedofart.com

Thanks to my friend Roy Block for sending it to me.

6th Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)

•January 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The purpose of the I3 (The International Inspiration Index) is to get a feel for how people are feeling, what’s bothering them, and their outlook for the future. It started in late April, 2009 and is published every one to two months. This month, we continue with short term as well as longer-term predictions!

If you would like to take the ongoing I3 survey, go to www.Motivation2010.com.

2009 Comes to An End

(and some might say, “Not a minute too soon..”)

Because we have now accumulated so much data, the master chart (below) only shows the last six months.

All Stats for Last Six Months (click to enlarge)

Understanding the Scores:

On questions #1 and #2, “five” is an excellent attitude and “one” is a horrible attitude, “three” would be average.

For question #3, “five” means greatly concerned, “one” means not at all concerned.

For question #4, “five” is extremely optimistic and “one” is extremely pessimistic.

As always, my standard disclaimer is that samples are not very large (averaging 36 a month) and the survey is self-selecting so we don’t know how accurate it is. However, that doesn’t take away from pondering what it means. (Please post your comments too.)

Questions #1 #2: How’s your attitude – as well as those around you

December showed a decline in attitude for both you and for others around you, sliding from 3.8 to 3.6 in the former and from 3.7 to 3.2 in the latter. Although we’ve always heard that holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year,” conventional wisdom (as well as the I3) seem to say otherwise. Although the holidays can be a fun and exciting time of year, it’s also a very busy time of year as well as a month known for bad weather. Beyond that, if you’re alone this time of year, or if you cannot afford the pressure of buying gifts, December can indeed be a “downer” and maybe that’s why the numbers dropped.

One other thing that struck me was the (dark blue) trend line on YOUR ATTITUDE. It seems to be leveling out, leading one to wonder (or at least me) if this is “as good as it gets.” Will our collective attitude  stay slightly above positive, never rising and never falling — or are about to see the trend line start to decline?

The other interesting thing is that OTHERS ATTITUDES is still trending upward. Are we starting to feel more of a kinship to others around us? Overall, as with last month, the convergence between “My Attitude” and “Others Attitude” continues.

Trends: MINE vs. OTHERS full survey period (click to enlarge)

Factors influencing the I3 during December

Staring in August, I began making a note of major international and international events that could be influencing the collective attitude. Following are stories I considered to be significant for December:

  • Fall out from Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan
  • Health care bill debate continues
  • Tiger Woods scandal
  • Copenhagen environmental conference
  • The Holidays
  • Obama accepts peace prize
  • Unemployment drops from 10.2% to 10%
  • B of A repays TARP Loan
  • Holidays
  • Underpants (“Christmas Day”) bomber
A few selected comments from survey-takers about their attitudes:

Quite good considering I’m dealing with some tough emotional and financial problems due to my husband’s death. Counseling is a must when you go through really tough times.

Am trying to remain positive but holidays are hard and am also dealing with stresses of year end at work and a very sick cat that the vet has no idea what is wrong.

The weather’s yucky but everyone in the family is healthy and employed. I would like more laughter in my life…I’ll have to look for it!

I feel just “so so” 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time I’m in the “poor” mode.

Feel like I haven’t made a contribution to life.

Overall good, but a little concerned financially.

Generally positive about life, working on not worrying about things I can’t control

I always try to find one “special” comment. This time the “Optimist of the Month” award goes to

Mom died, cat sick, Dad getting dementia, business in the tank. But GREAT friends!

Some noteworthy comments from survey takers about others’ attitudes; definitely a trend in the comments.

I think the economy is rough for just about all the people I know and it’s taking its toll.

We’re not all out of the woods yet. Need to rebuild reserves that have been depleted this past year.

Seems people are trying to keep their head above water and struggling to maintain a balance.

Most everyone seems to be even these days, though the energy overall is pretty flat this holiday season. I am sure it is related to unemployment and the economy.

People seem to be obsessing over the economy and repeatedly talking about hard times – it’s not affecting me all that much so it doesn’t get me down.

Most of my friends are discouraged and broke.

A lot of people are feeling nervous financially, which spills over into their attitudes about everything else.

Question Three: What concerns you?

The chart at the top of this post sorts the nine problems based on what registers the most concern over the entire time since the I3. For the last few months, Education had been the largest concern for that particular month. However, that changes this month. The Top Three concerns for  December specifically are below. (Actually, there are four because it’s a three-way tie for #2.)

The top three concerns at the end of November were:

  1. Economy (3.6 in December, staying flat from November)
  2. Education (3.2 in December, down from 3.7 in November. I gave this the #2 position because it’s long term average is 3.49, which is higher than the next two.)
  3. Environment (3.2 in December, staying flat from November. Long term rating 3.39)
  4. My Personal Health (3.2 in December, down from 3.5 in October. Long term rating 3.10) NOTE: The Swine Flu was a major story in November so this indeed makes sense.

The chart with the top four and their six-month trends is after the jump.

Continue reading ‘6th Analysis of the International Inspiration Index (I3)’