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Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 9/21/09

Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 9/21/09

Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo®’s mission is to help readers to thrive.

September 21, 2009—Issue #1

This week’s focus point: We’re seeing some countries rebounding economically (Germany) better than others (UK). We’re seeing some sectors of the US economy rebound better (health care) than others (new home sales). Like a stock portfolio, your customer and client base should be as diversified as possible. And bear in mind that the majority of the firms on the current Fortune 500® list were begun during recessionary times.

Monday Morning Perspective: “ We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw.

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Contact information: [email protected] http://www.contrarianconsulting.com
ISSN 2151-0091

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 18

  • October 1, 2009


    You often mention how the economy is “recovering.” It is not. The soft numbers and the media/government say yes, yet the hard economic data indicates no recovery. By definition, you cannot have a jobless recovery–the unemployment numbers are getting worse and not better. America has had at least 10 self correcting recessions since 1945–yet this one is differenct and not “self-correcting.”

    Rather than the “forecasting recovery approach,” and risking the cry wolf syndrome, I would stay your strong course of tips and strategic steps to operate within the economic realities instead of the recovery speak. Your “all recessions end” comment is hopeful, yet not compelling within the context of the hard, economic numbers. From a marketing messaging standpoint, if this recession is like none we have faced before, then the end-point of your logic may be a different ending then before 🙂 Longer. This recession/depression does not fit into the “all” category, thus your conclusion may not follow.

    For my clients and college/MBA students, I stress how marketing is custom made to fight recession and often operates best in these times. I hope I am wrong, but it looks like “recovery” may be at least 2 to 5 years out, if not longer. It’s like the economist that drowns crossing a river with an average depth of 3 feet!

    I like your material and have found it helpful. I hope you take my thoughts in the sincere spirit of dialog 🙂

    Stuart Atkins

  • Alan Weiss

    October 1, 2009

    Please note it’s “Alan.”

    I take your comments constructively and with thanks.

    I also think you’re overly skeptical and dead wrong. You seem to be an academic? Could that be part of this?

    The economy is recovering, the the degree to which it does so is largely perceptual. Your comments and those of the media will retard it, other comments will stimulate it, no pun intended. “All recessions end” had better be compelling, or you might a well just give up.

    I think there are a great many people like you, intelligent, well meaning, and sincere, but stuck in a cynical, pessimistic mind set that sees empty glasses and lost chances. Most Fortune 500 companies were founded during recessionary times. You should be energizing your students, not cautioning them.

    Everyone predicted a meltdown, then no recovery until 2012. The facts seem not to dissuade those who want to suffer. If you insist there’s a Loch Ness Monster, even having seen the toys and fake photos, then you’ll have your monster. But don’t expect the rest of us to be interested.

    If you are optimistic, have talent, have confidence, and have courage, you will succeed as this economy continues to improve. I don’t know how on earth you can get up in the morning with the attitude you express, sorry, but that’s my candid observation.

  • October 1, 2009

    Thanks for responding, Allen. It increased my life-long, built-in optimism by 48% (it was already at 100) 🙂

    If I conveyed the worst–that was not my intent. I am first an optimist and then blend that with realism. I love getting up every morning and convey that to my clients, students, family and all I come in contact with. I worked in corporate marketing for over 20 years and then started my own small business consulting company, in addition to teaching marketing (consumer behavior, principles of marketing and marketing research). If you ask any of the hundreds of students I have taught, you will find optimism (check ratemyprofessors.com under Stuart Atkins and Cal State Fullerton). My new book, Small Business Marketing – A Guide for Survival, Growth and Success comes out in November. The book is all about optimism. I also speak on marketing to just about anyone that will listen 🙂 I have increased my marketing budget by 200% in this recession–hardly an act of pessimism–just good, strategic marketing that takes advantage (in a good way) of so much fear and hope out there.

    I see opportunity and not dire, pessimism in this recession/depression. I just cannot ignore the facts. This recession is a different animal and needs more patient optimism. This economic ground we are walking is a land (even different from the depression of the 30s) that we have not seen before, thus I caution the use of “recovery” so often thrown around when unemployment is still moving upward; and other indicators spell the need for patience and caution.

    I am a dad, husband, consultant, speaker, professor and a person that has had Tourettes all my 51 years of life (I fell sorry for those that don’t!). If I was the pessimist you speak of—I never would have accomplished so much and become the person I am now.

    Again, thanks for the direct feedback. A bit Ad hominem, but I can’t blame you since I spoke directly and you have never met me. I am glad I struck a cord and got you pumped!

    You have forgotten more than I will ever know about consulting and I respect that. Again, thanks for taking the time to write…

    With optimistic reality and regards,


  • Alan Weiss

    October 1, 2009

    Are you trying to tell me something, or did you not read that it’s “Alan”?! Second notice.

    It’s not ad hominem feedback, just honest. I said some very nice things about you. I believe your opinions are wrong. I’m glad you’re here, and don’t hesitate to write.

    But you need to get my name right, out of courtesy, and in terms of how you deal with students and clients.

    Don’t over-react. I’m not “pumped” and you didn’t strike a chord. You’re right, you don’t know me, and this is the way I communicate: flat out and candid. Keep some perspective, lay off the smiley faces, and good luck to you!!

  • October 1, 2009

    ALAN (spelled perfect),

    No need to respond. Just some quick final thoughts:

    – You did say some nice things about me. Very kind of you. Even if I might be right.

    – You don’t know me either. It’s the way I communicate. You know me better now. I know you better–and your name (boy, I wanted to smile there). Economic reality can be direct sometimes, too.

    – “Seem to be an academic?” I only have a B.A., M.A. and M.B.A. You have the Ph.D. Hmmm…

    – If I am right–you must first read and promote my new book. If I am wrong–well, I have to continue to promote you; which I will anyway.

    – People spell my name “Stewart, Stan and Stuie.” I do get bugged when they don’t spell it Stuart, but I still answer to it.

    All the best to you, Alan,


  • Mike Sivertsen

    October 1, 2009

    Karl Denninger writes The Market Ticker several times daily. He sees no recovery ahead until the fraudulent accounting is cleared from the system and the law is upheld.


    Dr Housing Bubble is informative as well

  • October 1, 2009


    I am surprised you demand Alan promotes your book as you have done it bluntly and shamelessly yourself above. For a moment I thought I was reading your resume … well I think I just did.

    And if you are so right about your prediction, how is it that you weren’t able to predict this recession years ago?


  • October 1, 2009

    Hi Chad,

    Thanks for the comments. My comment was partly in sincere humor. Chill a bit, here. Perspective, like Alan said.

    My intent was to let him know a bit about me. He in no way needs to “promote” my book. I am a marketing guy. Shameless promotion? Sorry if that offended you, or Alan. You took that wrong, but I see how you might make such a conclusion. I am sorry if you took it that way.

    Alan even encouraged me to keep contributing, did he not? However, I cannot speak for him. Even if he tells people not to buy it–I will be glad to send both you and him a free copy, and continue to encourage my clients and contacts to read Alan’s material. Just let me know where to send the copies if you wish?

    A prediction is an opinion, as Alan implied. I am human and do make many mistakes, such as getting his name wrong. My complete fault and a lack of attention to detail on that.

    As for predicting the recession–I am not God. I am VERY human. Your non sequiter does not make sense? There are many far smarter than me that did predict this recession and are also agreeing with a much longer “recovery.” My humple opinion is not a solo conclusion…


    Stuart Atkins

  • Simon

    October 1, 2009


    Good One!


  • Simon

    October 1, 2009

    While I’m at it.

    I don’t understand smiley faces. Does anyone else have this frustration?

    If you can’t convey your emotion with words, what good does a smiley face do?

  • October 1, 2009

    Hi Simon,

    “Good one!” ? Logically, regarding prediction, the same line of reasoning applies to those who believe the recovery in underway. That is why I find this reasoning confusing and inconsistent. It works for your position, too.

    This string is getting away from the spirit and intent of what we were discussing. I just don’t have the time to take it in that direction and it detracts from the heart of the issue.

    Most of you probably have far better “resumes” than me. More smiles won’t hurt anyone and is a common blog/email/social media emotional text response.

    If it gets back on a cogent track and helps people, then I am all for that. A contest was not my intent.

    Have a good evening. It’s hot in California (think smile).


  • October 1, 2009


    I’ve been chillin’ all day, yet I don’t think you have. Humor is subjective and it is obvious that you have misinterpreted mine.

    Many of your so-called “far smarter” financial experts have been dead wrong! Their corpses have been cluttering the media channels and the Internet.

    Since we are in complete agreement that you are not God and based on your own admission you state that you are not as smart as the other financial experts, why not stop predicting and focus on your core expertise and proven clients’ track record?

    I greatly welcome your contribution and enjoy the debate.

  • Alan Weiss

    October 1, 2009

    I’m the host, Stuart, so you can have the last word. This is tedious, I’m moving on.

  • October 1, 2009

    Your line of logic applies to both sides, no matter recovery or non recovery.

    I am not interested in a “contest” of words and you are taking this to a level, that, surprises me.

    Thank you and no further comment.


  • October 1, 2009

    The same line of reasoning about prediction applies to both sides, from a logical standpoint.

    I am not interested in a contest of words and never demanded a book promotion. That was a form of sincere humor. A few of my sincere comments were blocked my the moderator? They were of no offense to anyone.

    The direction this went was not the best use of my time. Thanks, Alan, for your comments. I appreciated them.



  • October 1, 2009

    I was not interested in a “contest of words.” Your comments were great, Alan. The new direction this took from others missed the spirit and intent of what you and I covered.

    Good night and thank you,


  • October 1, 2009

    Good night, all.


  • October 2, 2009

    I could have framed the terms better from the beginning. Recession is not recovery and recovery is not recession. From a technical standpoint, two Qtrs of growth and a recession is “over.” However, the free flow and the exchange of humans exhcnaging goods and services is the basis of economics. An ending recession does not mean the beginning of job growth. This will take time, and in this case, could be years due to the depth of our economic problems. It’s the residual, economic lag time that is concerning.

    I would never demand that anyone promotes or buys my book. That was a sincere point of humor and was not intended in the manner some took that point. Having said the, it’s my first book; I am excited about it so forgive me for my energy in the area…

    If you go to YouTube and type in “Stuart Atkins and marketing,” you will see two videos where is talk about the recession and the def. of marketing. Watch the video on the recession/stimulus plan and you will hear my perspective in a better medium to communicate my intent. The same video is on my web site, but don’t go to my web site–I just don’t want to promote anything anymore (LOL).

    Thanks for the dialog. Off to a sunny CA day…but I am ready to go skiing soon!

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