Archive for September, 2011

The Most Expensive Car in the World!

Our family was on vacation in LA.  We spotted an strikingly expensive car stopping on Rodeo Drive.  It took our breath away. A crowd gathered as the owner parked and walked into a nearby shop.

“What IS that car?” we wondered.

My step-son took a picture on his cell/smart phone and looked it up on the internet (that process is a post for another day).  The answer came back:  Bugatti Veyron, priced at $1.7 million.

He found out the Super Sport model is $2.4 million – the Most Expensive Car in the World approved for street use.  To change a flat tire, it has to be sent to France (Imagine the call to your Auto Club).

It’s European.  But wait a minute…I thought there was a recession on.  Not just in the USA, but in Europe!  Didn’t I read something about this a few months ago in a newspaper???  The economy is down?!  People don’t have jobs or money?!  Times are tight and tough?!  No one has any money to spend?!

Why did Pontiac go out of business and Bugatti gets to sell two million dollar cars?  Why did Mercury  and Saturn cease operations while Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche get to stick around making much more expensive autos?

The answer?  VALUE.  The leaders make cars that enough people want and will buy to keep them in business. The losers make contraptions that people won’t buy and it runs them out of business …like the Pontiac Aztec.

Sell something enough people want and you can not only stay in business… you can charge a LOT for it.

So the next time someone tries to sell you that the US recession has destroyed business, tell them the economy isn’t down (unless they are down); it’s different (and they should be different, too).  If business is down; it is your choice to be down, not the economy’s fault.

Meanwhile, buy a car.  Buy American.  Buy a Saleen S7 Twin Turbo for just $555,000.  Enough people are doing it.

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional and author of the Best Seller Reinvention Made Easy:  Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may receive his monthly free e-zine with articles like this by sending a SUBSCRIBE message to

Get Your Hopes UP!

I was raised on the phrase, “Don’t get your hopes up!”  Were you told something like that?

Maybe you were or maybe you tell it to your children now.  DON’T.

This isn’t some motivational BS lecture.  It isn’t “The Secret,” “Think and Grow Rich,” or “Pie in the Sky.”   Just don’t put in your childrens’ minds that they shouldn’t expect the best.

When we were all children, we thought we could conquer the world.  The leading successful people still think they can take it on and win.  Do you?

It won’t ruin them for life.  I have a great job; gorgeous, supportive wife; wonderful kids; I get to travel and take super vacations; and I have thrived in a turbulent (and for some devastating) economy.  But I still fight that urge to “not get my hopes up” all the time.

I discovered that having high hopes will sometimes lead to lows in life.  No question about that.

But if you don’t expect great things, then great things rarely happen to you.  If you live in dread, dreadful things will happen to you.  And if you live in fear…  well, you figure that one out.

Get your hopes up and go for the impossible.  Shoot for the unreachable.  Aim for the un-hittable.  You will be surprised how many people you will pass on the way up who have their hopes DOWN.

JIM MATHIS is an international speaking professional and best-selling author of the book: “Reinvention Made Easy:  Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.”  To receive his monthly e-zine with articles and thoughts like this, send a message with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line to:

Think The Economy Is Down? Think Again; Think DIFFERENT!

If the economy is down, how do you explain the success of Toyota (even with terrible publicity and the March earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis) within the past two years) when other car makers (Pontiac, Mercury and Saturn) went out of business.  Even Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Bugatti and Ferrari stayed in business.

Yeah, even with Europe’s financial problems!

If the economy is down, how do you explain the dominance of Netflix with their terrible publicity this past summer?

If the economy is down, how do you explain the growing trend of organic, natural food stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (aka: Harry’s Market)?

If the economy is down, how do you explain the popularity of expensive organic beauty product companies like Lush and Aveda?

If the economy is down, how do you explain the overwhelming number of people paying “early drop” penalties and switching to Verizon from AT&T (for the SAME phone)?

It all comes back to VALUE.  People will pay MORE, even in a supposedly “down” economy when they see the value of what you deliver.

The economy isn’t down; it’s different!

Jim Mathis is an international professional speaker and author of the best-seller, “Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.”  You may subscribe to his monthly e-zine to receive free articles like this at:


Customer Appreciation All the Time

As a loyal, frequent and life-long customer of two financial institutions I am wondering why one day or week or month is set aside or designated in publicity and marketing for “Customer Appreciation?”

Why is it just once in a while?  Why not all the time?

I know this sounds like your parents saying, “Every day is Children’s Day” but it comes across like the other 365(6) days are all about the credit union and only one is about the members.  If it does to me, it must to them, too.

It’s like saying…”To be honest with you…” which makes you wonder if everything else the person has been saying to you wasn’t honest.  Does that make sense?

I am not being grouchy, just thinking like a customer who has choices to make.  Both my business/commercial account and my personal account treat me like a friend, an ally and someone who is very, very important to them.  I can call them from anywhere in the world and they know me, treat me like I am the only person who matters to them and want MORE of my business.  And they get it, too.

Challenge: Whatever you do on Customer Appreciation Day/Week/Month, do every day of the year that you are open.  Don’t advertise: “Every day is Customer Appreciation Day.”  Just do what you do on that day every day.  And advertise WHAT you do on every social media and publicity piece you have.  Seek out the value to the customers they want that sets you apart from every other financial institution they have to choose from.  Make that what you are known for in your community.

What can you be the “THE” of to them.  As in, “My company is THE place for me to…”

I think if you want to be successful, do what you do for your customers during your Customer Appreciation time every day and make sure they know that is your reasonable, regular, routine service.

We will notice, believe me.

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional and best-selling author of “Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.”  You may subscribe to his monthly free e-zine by sending a SUBSCRIBE message to:

What Would Dave Do?

Wendy’s announced today that they have created a new hamburger through extensive research and higher fat mayonnaise (?). The spokesman said that great companies “reinvent themselves.”  They named the new creation after founder Dave Thomas.

Apparently it is working, Wendy’s is about to surpass Burger King for the Number 2 spot (behind industry leader McDonald’s) in Hamburger chains as of December 2011.

Burger King announced in August 2011 that they are dropping the “creepy” king mascot and focusing on healthy ingredients in advertising and marketing.  They want to attract healthy-conscious Moms.  The story was titled “Burger King is Reinventing Itself.”  Hopefully it wasn’t too little done too late for BK.

Speaking of leaders reinventing themselves, have you been in a McDonald’s lately?  They look less like a red, yellow and white kiddie park and more like a latte-driven Starbucks bistro.

Get ready for more reinvention in the latest round of Burger Wars!

What do you think Jack in the Box or Carl’s Jr./Hardees will do next?  And more importantly, what would Dave do?

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional, coach and best selling author of “Reinvention Made Easy, Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.”  To receive his free monthly ezine send a SUBSCRIBE message to:

Three Social Media Places To Find a Job (and a BONUS)

Are you one of the unfortunate 14 million (and that’s just the ones they counted) who didn’t get a job this past month ?  Do you think you are alone? Obviously not.  You have more “friends” in your network than you realize…

Here are three places you probably haven’t looked for employment and one that will really set you apart.  If you knew about them, don’t worry.  Most job seekers know about them and don’t use them…

1. Facebook. With over 750 million users (reported in the New York Times, as of July 2011), Facebook is the greatest source for people to help you get employment. How many “friends” do you have on Facebook? Each can be a contact to assist you in getting employed. Do you have a Facebook Page (not a profile, but a page that you can advertise on and Google will pick up the information)? It, like your profile are FREE to all users.  You can post your resume; ask friends to send it to their friend lists; join (like) pages in the industry you want to work with; and of course, post articles, statements and your value to everyone to see…

But most people don’t.

I am shocked as to how many unemployed people I know who use Facebook and post stupid items…  their favorite songs; they fed their cat; vote for/against this issue; help me win “Mafia Wars;” fed the cat again; etc.  No wonder they can’t get a job!  Would you hire someone who is actively seeking employment and playing all day on their computer?  What do you think they will do once you hire them?  Yeah, the same thing.

2. LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is basically a business networking site where you “link” with other people to find out information, job postings and promotions.  It, like Facebook is FREE.  You can join and then join groups and discussions in the niche you want to find a job in.  You can like certain companies.  You can link with other people who are employed and they will assist you in distributing your name and resume.  Most importantly, you can target your information and post your name in areas specifically designed for job searches.

An unemployed friend of mine was hired by an inside company recruiter to work for their organization this past week.  The interview was generated through LinkedIn and the pay is phenomenal.  All he did was work his network and post his value and interests.  The calls started coming in!

3. Twitter.  Twitter is an unknown quantity to most people.  Twitter is growing daily.  Most people who have been on it for the past 3-4 years have many, many of followers who receive their “tweets” many times a day (in some cases).  What messages are you sending to the people who follow you that could get them to take notice of your talents, value and benefits?

I use Twitter to draw people to my web site, my blog and my information.  It has generated clients and many followers.  I started using it later than most and although my following is just below 1,000, it is populated by people who can help me broadcast my message.  The number grows daily…

Like me, you can post links to websites and articles.  Your “followers” can re-tweet your messages to their followers.  Again, the service is FREE and you can see how one message can go viral and multiply millions of times.

4. BONUS…YouTube.  This site has millions of videos (Most home made) of people talking, doing stunts, disaster videos (Plane crash in Reno, Nevada or Tsunami in Japan, for instance) and even television shows.  Quality isn’t the goal; value and benefits are.  What are you able to video on your smart phone, video recorder or skype (FREE) on your computer and post it.  Tell who you are, what you are really good at (That benefits an employer) and how they will be better off for hiring you.  Post it, then link to your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Yes, this will take a little (very little) technical skill, but you can find a teenager who can do the project for a Starbucks coupon and 20 times faster than you can do it.

Sweatin’ Questions:  Are you posting political statements that only half the country/world agrees with?  Are you posting what your favorite songs are, when you are supposed to be seeking employment?  Are you pointing people to someone or something else that won’t get you hired?  How are you broadcasting that the job hunt just really isn’t that important to you?

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional and best selling author of “Reinvention Made Easy:  Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.”  To subscribe to his monthly e-zine and receive articles with thoughts like these, send a SUBSCRIBE message to:

Arsenic and Old Apples

Dr. Oz (Dr. Oz Mehmet), the syndicated talk show host this week stated that after testing a “popular brand” of apple juice, he found excessive amounts of arsenic from pesticides. This got both the FDA (Food and Drug Association) and the apple juice/growers industry in a furor.

Dr. Richard Besser, formerly of the Centers for Disease Control to state this week “When I look at the evidence of what was in those samples of apple and how the study was done, it doesn’t raise concerns to me.”

Wait a minute:  There’s ANY level of arsenic in our apple juice???

Maybe what people should be more worried about is the sugar content in apple juice. A cup has about the equivalent of almost 6.5 teaspoons of sugar. If our children aren’t hooked on sodas with high sugar content, we hook them on juices as infants with high contents of sugar…and arsenic. Who cares at what level?

We need to reinvent the way we test, market and consume our goods. That is why the Green movement (products that are organic) has flourished over the past few years. People have shown that they are willing to pay MORE for organic products. Just ask Aveda, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods (Harry’s Market), Lush, Applebees and many others who are now featuring more healthy or organic products.

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional and author of the best-seller “Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.”  You may subscribe to his free e-zine and receive articles like this each month at:

What Frank Lloyd Wright Can Teach You About Customer Value

You need to find the movement, or wave that people are buying in.  Form follows function – not the other way around.

The story is told that architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed a college campus.  On the day the school opened, students flooded the new facilities.  The president noticed something was missing: there were no paved pathways to get from one location or building to another.  He called the ingenious architect to report the omission and asked why he had left out such an important detail.

Wright told him that he had not left them out; he simply was waiting to see where the students were walking first.  Then he would pave the trails they made.  This way they wouldn’t have to put up signs telling people where to NOT walk.  It made the campus more attractive… and more accessible.  He simply found out where people were already walking and paved the trails they were already making on the grounds.

You can do the same in your business!

Where are the customers you are trying to reach walking now?

What paths are they making?

Can you design your business to accomodate their trends?

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional and author of the best-selling: Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.  You may subscribe to his monthly e-zine and receive articles like this for free by emailing:

Are You Being “Amazoned?”

Amazon is the Number 1 bookseller in the world.  Pretty amazing, since they have no conventional “brick and mortar” locations, no branches, no “stores” to shop in.  Amazon meets people on the GO and delivers what they want in a variety of ways (both physically and electronically) promptly.  You can get it on your computer, your smart phone and your e-reader.  No, they aren’t the best at customer service, but that is overshadowed by their convenience and ever expanding offerings.  They are crushing traditional book publishing and book stores.

I was speaking to a financial leadership group this past week about this, when an attendee pointed out that while branch traffic was down, perhaps they should seize the opportunity to “Amazon” the competition.


It isn’t that far-fetched of an idea.  In just the past three years…  Facebook has “Amazoned” MySpace.  Netflix has “Amazoned” Blockbuster;  iTunes has “Amazoned” record and CD stores;  and (Amazon’s) Kindle has done it to Borders.   Even Domino’s now sells it’s “online tracking” features of ordering simple takeout pizza.

How can you take what you have always delivered and offer it in “The Cloud,” in customer’s smart phones or in their homes in a way that no one would have thought of just two years ago?

If you don’t soon…someone else will!  Wonder who will “Amazon” Amazon?

Jim Mathis is an international speaking professional and author of the best selling, “Reinvention Made Easy: Change Your Strategy, Change Your Results.   You may subscribe to his monthly e-zine with ideas and articles like this by simply sending SUBSCRIBE to

9-11 Ten Years Later: Turn Tragedy Into Opportunity – Volunteer!

Alison Thompson, Humanitarian Extraordinaire!

Just before 9-11 I was an investment banker and part-time filmmaker.  When the towers were hit, I grabbed a first aid kit and raced down there to look for them. I lived in the streets for 6 days helping as an independent volunteer at WTC, collecting bodies and washing out firemen’s eyes.  I soon joined the American Red Cross and gave up my film job and lived at the world trade center volunteering for the next 9 months, 7 days a week, 20 hours a day until it was finished.  We were all obsessed with working down there trying to make our city right again.

The events of 9/11 showed me there were larger problems in the world more important than myself. I saw many good things that came out of Sept 11th and the main one was the hope for humanity.  I saw lawyers, bankers, ironworkers, grannies, students and construction workers all working together.  The big lesson I learned that there is room for the independent volunteer to help out and that with these growing disasters and problems in the world that everyone is needed to help in all kinds of ways. You don’t need many skills to hand out water, to listen, or to give someone a hug.

I eventually dedicated my life to humanitarian efforts and am now a full time volunteer. In 2004 the Asian tsunami struck killing over 250,000 people and I raced over there for two weeks as an independent volunteer. I took with me the valuable skills I had learned on Sept 11th and I knew I would be needed. I ended up staying for 14 months running an IDP camp and a field hospital for over 3000 people.

I also started CTEC, which I still run today.  CTEC is the only tsunami warning center in Sri Lanka. After my tsunami trip was finished I had 300 hours of footage taken on my little hand held camera so I made it into a documentary called The Third Wave. Actor Sean Penn saw it and called me asking me if he could take it to the 2008 Cannes film festival. The film was made to help continue to run the tsunami center and also to hopefully inspire people to volunteer. Sean invited me to take 200 young USA volunteers camping around America teaching them about volunteering and we ending up rebuilding in New Orleans three years after the Katrina disaster.

Fast forward to 2010 the Haiti earthquake struck and Sean texted me “Haiti?” and I said, “Yes lets go.” So I found 10 doctors on Facebook and he collected people in L.A and we took off for 18 months to help.  We founded an IDP camp for over 55,000 people and I ran the hospital for the first 5 months. After that, I started my own organization, “We Advance” which deals with gender based violence in Haiti.  I work full time in Haiti and live between NY, Miami and Haiti as a full time non-paid volunteer. I also wrote a book called “The Third Wave” about volunteering.

I now serve as a full time volunteer and am the happiest I have ever been in my life.

Before September 11th I led a selfish ‘me’ ‘me’ ‘me’ life.  Now I am a more forgiving and a gentler me. I have gone off to volunteer long term in 4 disasters and have made a film and written a book so others will be inspired to do it also.  I have successfully run large IDP camps and field hospitals and created a tsunami warning center. I don’t have incredibly large skills but all the little ones have added up.  Through my work I have been able to inspire thousands of people around the world to volunteer.

What is YOUR 9-11 Reinvention Story?

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September 2011


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