A blog to share ideas, facts, knowledge, experiences that motivational speaker and author Joachim De Posada has learned throughout his travels around the world. It is meant to help, to improve and add to your knowledge. This is a legacy blog. Please click here to logon to Joachim's new mobile-friendly responsive bilingual blog.
are not too smart. That is unfortunate of course. Why can’t most people
understand that what they do is what gets the results they have. It is not what
they say that makes them successful, it is what they do, how they behave, the
results they get.
people talk and you listen to the same thing over and over. “I want to be
successful, I would like to be happy, I want to have good health, be
financially secure, have a marvelous wife and great kids and then you watch
what they do and it is impossible for them to get what they want.
words, they practically sabotage their success on a daily basis.
I have good
friends and acquaintances that are screwing up their lives by making stupid
decisions and doing dumb things every single day of their lives.
Let me give
you an example. I have a friend who is great at remodeling houses.
He was down
on his luck, lost his job in the government, broke off a long term relationship
and things were not going well for him.
some work to be done in my home so I hired him to do so. It was a small job,
not more than four or five thousand dollars. I also referred him to another
friend of mine who manages buildings and who could give him a lot of work if he
thought he did a good job.
starts work on my home on a Monday, works for three days and on Thursday
disappears until next Monday. He didn’t call or anything, he simply left and on
Monday when he comes back, he tells me that he had to leave town for a few days
but that he was back.
started work on one of the buildings that my friend manages and left without
I got very
upset when he came back on Monday. I asked him why in the world didn’t he call
me and let me know. Why didn’t he say anything?
I said that
of all people, it was very stupid to screw up with me because I am the one that
gave him a job and also referred him to someone who could give him lots of
He has now
lost a client, me and another client, my friend who could have given him work
for one, two or even more years.
does good work. He is top notch in carpentry, plumbing, roof replacement, you
name it, and he can do it very well and at a very good price. But, he has an
Achilles tendon and that is that he is not reliable. He doesn’t keep his
three more times he did the same thing. He simply wouldn’t show up for a day or
two and then show up. So, he lost my trust and he also lost my other friend’s
trust, the guy that manages buildings.
So now we
have to ask why is a good worker, smart, with knowledge and skills,be doing so poorly?
And we have
to answer that he is stupid. Or that his behavior is stupid. He is not
successful because he gets in his own way. He is his worst enemy, his worst
I often say
in my seminars that knowledge is power. Then I correct myself and say, no, we
should say “applied knowledge is power.” Because if you know and you don’t do,
you don’t know.
of mine knows, he knows quite a bit but he simply doesn’t do. He doesn’t act on
is knowledge in order to do a good job.
know makes little or no difference in your life. What you do with what you know
makes all the difference in the world.
your own life. Look at how many opportunities you might be missing because of
your fault, because of something you didn’t do, because you committed to doing
something and you didn’t follow through. It could be something as simple as not
returning a phone call or telling someone that you were going to call and you
I have been
guilty of this myself in the past. Don’t think that because I am writing about
it I am perfect or it has never happened to me.
I lost one
of the biggest opportunities in my life because I didn’t do what I said I was
going to do, I didn’t follow up.
Hansen, the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul attending a banquet with me
in Dallas, asked me to submit my story so as to be included in the first
Chicken Soup book. I said I would send him the story. The following Monday, I
went off to Argentina for a speech and I
simply forgot. I never sent him the story. The rest is history! Chicken Soup
for the Soul books have been mega best sellers and I didn’t make it for the
first book, all my fault.
that got their story in that first book became very successful because millions
of people read about them.
you blame the economy, or the government or your boss, company or neighbor for
you not doing as well as you should, take a look at yourself and how you are
handling your life and your business. There you might have the answer.
Difficult decisions: Letting go of executives and
managers that can’t do the job.
football coach and motivational speaker Vince Lombardi said:
“If you are
not fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm”.
friends should be a mantra in every organization. Every job, whether you deal
with the public or you are hidden in a corner office needs enthusiasm to
perform at the level needed today to be successful.
right. In today’s world with the amount of competition and much more
sophisticated clients, companies need people that love their jobs, that feel
passion for what they are doing, and that demonstrate great enthusiasm and a
positive attitude when they are at work.
A man named
Bill Zollars, who used to work for Ryder Trucks in Miami, Florida and left that
company to become CEO of Yellow Corporation at a time when that company was on
the verge of bankruptcy, had to face the Board of Directors on his first day on
question they asked of him was: “What do you think this company needs more than
Do you know
what he answered?His answer will shock
most of you as it did me:
the moment in an interview with Jason Jennings, Zollars said that he perceived
panic in the room and a collective gasp. Everybody in the room probably had at
that moment, one question in their minds, “Who have we hired to lead this
Well, as it
turned out, they had hired the right executive to head the company. Taking a
company that was very close to closing its doors and letting go of thousands of
employees, in a few years he achieved dramatic results in all measures of
productivity in the freight business including: Customer satisfaction which was
at a very low level, on time service,dock bills per hour, and tons per tractor per year.Today, Yellow is close to reaching $4 billion
dollars a year with much higher annual revenue than most companies in that
management theory, very important to understand in today’s business climate, is
that a new CEO or President or even a manager in a department, committed to
improving a business needs to send a loud signal to everyone in the
organization that things will never be as they were and that they will change
His vivid “public hangings” metaphor definitely
conveyed that message I would say in a very clear manner. Bill Zollars believes
that since people are such an important part of the equation for a company to
be successful, you must keep the executives that will help the company achieve
its goals and the people who don’t fit into your new paradigm move them out of
the company as soon as possible, meaning very fast.
It has been
said that Lee Iacocca who used to head Chrysler Corporation during very
challenging times and who was very successful in turning it around, had a sign
behind his desk that read: THE FLOGGINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES.
probably a joke but that is what he believed in, very much like Mr. Zollars.
What he was
trying to communicate is that you better get with the program or you are out.
leaders have no control over weather, natural disasters, the economy, interest
rates or what competitors do; yet thinking or worrying about these issues often
takes up much of their day.
leader can control is who joins or leaves the team and how to develop and train
those on board.
most leaders make poor use of this freedom. To fix, build, or take an
organization to a higher level, a leader must exercise one of leaderships
greatest privileges proactive and aggressively, deciding whom to keep and whom
We all know
that our culture in Puerto Rico and other Hispanic countries with the “hay
bendito” makes it extremely difficult to do this but if you look at it from a
different point of view, you will soon realize that if you keep someone that
doesn’t have the talent or the motivation to hold a specific job, you are not
doing that person a favor.
There is a reason that he or she is not
performing and it could very well be that the person is not pursuing his or her
passion and sooner or later it will catch up and it is much better to find out
sooner than later. Everyone should have fun and make money doing what they love
to do. Spending eight hours a day, one third of your life stuck in a job you
don’t enjoy doing is a tragedy.
We must face
the fact that in Puerto Rico with expensive labor and high wages, there is a
need for effective executives and committed employees that will lead a team to
high levels of productivity. Those executives or employees that can’t do that should
not be working in the organization.
Otherwise we have no chance competing against
countries with much lower wages than us.
If you are
in a situation in which you must make a company more productive, besides hiring
capable consultants (there aren’t many), you must ask yourself a few key
What do I
really want for the future of this company and what strategy will I implement
to make it happen?
Do I have
the right people to implement the new strategy?
Do I have
the resources needed to accomplish our goals and objectives?
processes will need to be put in place to turn out a quality product or
Will I have
measurement systems to track our progress?
are other important questions but these are enough to steer you in the right
United States and Puerto Rico, there are millions of baby boomers that have one
thing on their mind: How to stay young and active.
For any savvy marketer, that should represent
a gold mine ready to mine. Disney World is over 55 years old and it is still
going strong. So are many baby boomers.
are starting to notice that baby boomers still have many years of work left in
them and they represent a bigger chunk of the economy than any time in history.
Years ago, being in your forties was assumed
to be your peak earning years but the life expectancy was much lower.
Right now, “a 65 year old man can expect to
live on average to be 88” according to Steven Zaleznick who created a company to teach
boomers how to handle their finances during their retirement years.
right now over a 2 trillion a year market with spending habits that include
their sons and daughters, grandchildren and themselves. They also buy stuff for
their parents since many of their parents, specially their mothers, are still
alive. As many of you know, mine passed away on November 6th.
experts argue that most entrepreneurship is being driven by boomers, more so
than the twenty five to forty five year old population. Boomers and seniors
account for over 47% of all self-employed workers.
If you are a
proactive business person, you should be trying to figure out what kind of
products and services appeal to this market.
New York consulting firm found that seven out of ten boomers shop for new and
better products and that nine out of ten are looking for value and are willing
to change from a brand name.
some thought at what industries you could target to earn some of their business.
of the top of my head, I would say that financial services and insurance
products would be two of the main ones. The boomers need to plan their final
years in such a way that they will not risk their capital and be much more
conservative. Those that have not been prudent enough to have bought insurance
products must investigate to see what type of products they can get at this
stage of their lives.
How about travel services? Don’t you think
that baby boomers are now in a position to enjoy some of their hard earned
When I do
my seminars, I sometimes ask people what their dream is.
In every seminar, the most common answer by
boomers is to travel. Younger people say
to own a home. In your younger years, when you are raising kids and stuff, it
is more difficult to travel but when your kids are grown up, you didn’t eat all
your marshmallows, and you have enough saved to live the good life, travel is a
natural. Some even take out loans to pay for the cruise.
is also an important industry for baby boomers. It is a fact of life that some
boomers lost their pension when their companies went belly up, other companies
are reducing their pensions and health insurance for retirees is harder to get.
Obama care is now a fact of life and the jury is still out on what kind of an
impact it will have. Some people I talk to, see it as a financial disaster in
the making, others say it is a great idea. We will see.
market that comes to mind is cosmetics. Baby boomers want to eliminate wrinkles
and they want to look young. When you see boomers hanging around with young
women and sometimes marrying them, they are all looking at themselves in the
mirror every day and thinking “how can I look younger”? So, any cosmetic
products that can make people younger, men and women will have a tremendous
A few years
ago, during a book signing, I had the honor of meeting the widow of Pablo
Casals who married the maestro when he was in his eighties and she was barely
twenty. I bet seniors all over the world clapped and rejoiced when they saw one
of their own obtain such a victory although publicly many spoke against it. They
were married for 14 years until he passed away.
gyms that cater to older crowds should also do well. Boomers have worked very
hard all their lives and they want to be pampered. If you open one of those
Spas’s and you do it with class and with tender gloves, you will have many
internet related products and services do well with the boomers? You can bet on
it. The internet has gained tremendous importance in our lives, there is no
doubt about it and lots of boomers are into it.Many thought that the boomers would not get into technology but time has
proven them wrong. Most don’t love it, some do, but they all know that they
must do it or they will be left behind.
many of those porn sites are frequented by older guys that are fantasizing on
their younger days. I am not telling you to open a porn site, ok? I don’t like
that type of business, but techies that can teach boomers how to get into the
internet, how to open legitimate on line businesses, how to repair their
computers, how to use different programs to make them more effective, will do
very well with this market. The web sites that are designed for the boomers
should be easy to navigate, and in large letters so that they can be read.
homes should get more customers as the population ages so those that have the
nerve and the stomach, should look into that business. Boomers will also change
the concept of death quite remarkably. Take a look at Eternal Reefs, a cremation
company that will mix your ashes with concrete blocks and convert those blocks into
an artificial reef off the coast of Florida.
Friends, I am not making this up. Yes, Boomers will in the company of fish even
in their afterlife.
Nursing homes will also be in demand. In a
study done a few years ago, over fifty percent of Americans said that they
would not take care of their parents in their old age. Some Puerto Ricans are
thinking that way too. Sad but true.
cats are now much more than pets. They are treasured members of a boomers
family. Remember the good old days when dogs slept in dog houses out in the
yard? Not in boomer households! Boomers pets eat, sleep and do things with
their masters. They watch TV, they dress them up, take them to a pet beauty
parlor and they even have cemeteries for pets. Pets are a multi-million dollar
want to save the world. They are ready to help victims of hurricanes, want to
save the whales; they want to feel good by contributing to a cause. They go to
hospitals to volunteer and take care of the sick. The more causes they support,
the better. They are also good for sponsoring events
reviewed a few opportunities here but there are hundreds more. Don’t forget the
baby boomer market and be smart enough to address it.
One word of
advice, if you are a marketer, never call baby boomers “seniors”. That is a bad
word in the baby boomer vocabulary and should be stricken from any marketing
materials directed at boomers.
not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious
when people laugh” George Bernard Shaw
been a very difficult time for me and my family. My dear mother passed away
last week after suffering a stroke. She fought a brave fight, never once
complaining about her condition. She was hooked to oxygen, IV’s, all kinds of
machines and she didn’t complain once. Her nurses where so impressed with her
that one of them came in on Saturday to take care of her on her day off.
mother was a very brave woman. After the stroke, half her body paralyzed, her
mouth tilted to the right, she regained the ability to barely speak. She opened
her eyes, looked at me and said three things:
Put your jacket on or you are going to
catch a cold.
I am always scolding you.
I love you very much.
at my age, she still saw me as a child. Mothers will always see their sons and
daughters as children even though they are adults.
good mothers. Bad mothers abandon their children and sometimes even kill them,
like Andrea Pia Yates did with her five children, drowning them in the bathtub.
For a woman
to do that there has to be a real bad case of psychological trauma.
I am a
professional speaker but the one speech I wasn’t prepared to give was the one
at church on my mother’s funeral right before going to the cemetery.
that the best way to address the hundred and fifty or so people in the audience
was to highlight her good qualities and anecdotes about her life.
She was a
very positive person all throughout her life. She would always look at the
positive side of things, not matter how bleak the situation. I have had moments
in my life, like everyone else, where I simply felt pessimistic and yes, my
mother would always have a good word, a good gesture, a hug, smile or words
that would cheer me on and rescue me from those feelings.
Morrison once wrote about how people feel when they are in pain. He said he
believed that people are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their
feelings most of all. Love is great, but even love will bring lots of pain
sometimes. We have to face it, love hurts. I felt so much love for my mother
that now that she is gone, it hurts. Sometimes, I think about my daughter or
grandchildren and I love them so much that it hurts. As Jim said, “feelings
sometimes are to say the least, disturbing”. So true!
think of it, school teaches that pain is evil and dangerous. If that is the
case, how can you deal with love if you are afraid to feel? If we look at pain
from a different angle, we can see it as a wakeup call, it is mean to wake us
up. You shouldn’t hide your pain ever, well, at least most of the time. Pain is
like an I pad, you carry it around because you have to, because you need it,
because of the strength it gives you.
feel your strength in the experience of pain. It is all in how you carry it,
how you face it. That is what is important, what matters. Pain is a feeling and
your feelings are part of you, your own reality. If you feel ashamed of your
own reality or try to hide it, you are letting your own mind destroy your
being. You shouldn’t allow that to happen. You should stand up for your right
to feel your pain and you should have it very clear in your mind that all pain,
and I mean all pain, is temporary.
state of mankind is happiness, fulfillment, and love. Pain is what reminds you
of how fortunate you are.
thinking about what you learn at school and I realized that there are many
important things that they don’t teach you at school. I saw a very interesting
list written by a fellow named Neil Geiman.
He made me think a lot about my school days,
in my case, the Sacred Heart Academy in Ponce de Leon Avenue in Santurce.
It was a
school run by nuns and I can’t complain since they taught me enough to go on to
the University of Puerto Rico and then continue on to graduate school.
were some things the nuns didn’t teach me and they are mentioned by Neil.
teach me how to love somebody although they did give me an example of love.
teach me how to be famous, not allowing it to get to your head.
teach me how to be rich or to be poor. Schools should invent an exercise where
you are poor and feel like poor and where you are rich and feel like rich.
I have a
friend, Phillip Zimbardo who conducted an experiment in college to teach kids
that everyone, when presented with the right circumstances could be very cruel,
no matter how decent you are. He wrote “The Lucifer Effect” a book I highly
recommend. Students learned a lot from his experiment, even a movie was created
about it, but he had to stop it because the students who were playing the part
of jailers, forgot that it was an experiment and even tortured students who
were playing the part of inmates.
teach you how to get out of a relationship when you are no longer in love or
how to behave when he or she dumps you because you are no longer loved.
teach you how to know what is going on in someone else’s mind or how to
understand their actions that sometimes seem irrational. Yes, not much empathy
is taught in schools, don’t you think?
teach you what to say to someone who is dying like a patient I had when I
practiced clinical psychology who called me because she was dying and she
didn’t believe in God. That was a tough one alright.
teach you how to handle the loss of your mother or father. I wonder if that can
be taught, maybe not.
And yet, we
all have to learn everything the hard way, by experience, by going through the
process, through the situation with the hope that you come out of it with more
knowledge, sensitivity and a better sense of what it means to be human. That is
I end with
a poem about death, I don’t know who wrote it but it is very beautiful and it
surely applies to my mother:
that death will win this battle and take me away,
don’t want anyone to weep, because my memories shall stay.
Let it not
be said that I gave up without a fight,
Let it not
be to all my family and friends, a good bye.
happiness have followed me throughout my life,
humankind only smiles have I tried to show,
Let not my
death make you sad in an already unhappy world,
lived life through my family’s glorious love,
If in many
ways I have touched hearts,
Then I hope
that a better world I will leave behind.
For all my
friends I have had the honor to have met,
life has not been lived in vain,
of me please do not cry or weep,
have been ready for my death since the day I was born”