Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Bling this Thanksgiving.

daddy-daughter2 It’s the holiday season and whooptie do the year is almost done. Just a “wink and a nod ago” it seemed like we rolled into 2008. Now we find that the temperature in the New York City area has taken a dive as the winter season draws near. Interestingly, Santa Claus sent out an urgent message to advise that there’s not enough “money for bling” to go around. (Well, that’s what my wife and I are telling our girls to help set expectations).


Want to make this your season in business or your career? Then come with me as we join in the locker room meeting of your favorite college or pro team. In sports you’ll find a certain number of games being played each season. The coaching staff uses the pre-season to assess the roster of returning and rookie players. Then they arrive at opening day when it’s time to go to work. This is often seen as a time of new beginnings.


As the season progresses, their win/loss record becomes the talk of sports radio. Each new ballgame represents a time to work on improving their record. The past is the past and today is a new day to win big. By mid-season some teams are hoping for a breakthrough In order to make the playoffs. This means that every player will have to step up their game.


The journey in business and career also has seasons. Depending on where you are along that journey it might be a time of new beginnings. Some people are changing jobs, starting a business, launching a new product/service, setting a new goal. It could be that it’s a new ballgame for improving your record by pitching a money-making money-saving idea to management or promoting a new bargain offer to your customer. Maybe, you’ve been in the trenches for some time and you’re hoping for a major breakthrough.


Well, Reality Shows on TV are good examples of how to achieve a successful breakthrough. You get to “do you,” allow your best to shine through and watch dreams come true. If you arrive at the end and things are on the line, sometimes even a “Hail Mary” pass might become necessary to win big. Each week’s episode from audition to finale celebration look and feel almost magical. The secret to making it through the win/loss record of your journey is to know how to manage your thoughts, master your habits and maximize faith in action to achieve the right results. That’s the THAR Principle for those of you who’re checking because THAR can get you FAR.



Coming Dec 1st, a special Holiday discount offer for my latest book entitled Becoming Layoff Proof: What it Means to be the CEO of Me Inc. Email my Publicist at to reserve your autographed copy now or visit for more details.


By the way, I am Doc Cunningham. I approved this message and Music Soundtrack Double-play.


Music Soundtrack – “Double-Play”

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Play second audio track here

The Money Game – Break out the Benjamins

doc-image2 In many American households, the first introduction to the Money Game comes by playing Monopoly. The object of this game is to increase wealth by building capital. Each successful roundtrip of the board qualifies a player for $200 of free money from the Banker. The more houses and land you own the more rent you collect from those who stop by your property.


The game of Monopoly is a useful metaphor for how business is done in America. It’s also a good example for how to turn passion into profit. Over the past few months we’ve seen the passage of a Wall Street Bailout Bill in Congress. More recently, some are asking for a bailout of the automakers. Those who were against the Wall Street bailout felt it was just another “free money” Government program. Those who were for it suggest it was necessary to prevent the financial services sector from going bust. That’s because many institutions were on the verge of going bankrupt.


How did we get here? A quick review of the facts show the following root causes:

1.       Credit Squeeze

2.       Credit Swap

3.       Credit Freeze


In a nutshell, the problems in the economy stem from businesses trying to make more money by squeezing more out of consumer and commercial credit. Then there were those on Wall Street who invented financial paper by creating credit investments. These are similar to an insurance policy that is paid out on loan defaults. They involve “hedging a bet” that a business or homeowner will fail to make loan payments.


As failure rates started to climb and the payout on these policies boomed, the financial institutions ended up running low on cash in the bank. This along with homeowners not making their mortgage payments then resulted in a credit freeze. These factors contribute to a loss in consumer confidence which translates to less spending. The drop in spending thus forces businesses to cut back expenses which often results in massive layoffs.


If that makes sense then you can see why Becoming Layoff Proof increasingly means for some people, owning your own business. Whether you see yourself as Me Inc. CEO, Campus CEO, Urban CEO or Heartbeat CEO might be up for debate. However, Monopoly reminds us that playing the money game is about establishing ownership. This involves understanding how business is done in America if you want to break out “the Benjamins.”


What’s Your Business Type? See poll in sidebar.

Music Sountrack – “Break out the Benjamins”

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Following The Dream – Reality Check

Doc Cunningham What’s the longest running game show on TV today? Deal or no Deal? The Price is Right? Jeopardy? Not Sure? Well, take a few minutes as you read to think about it. You can vote in our poll at the end. In the meantime, there’s a lot that one can learn from watching your favorite TV game show.


For example, Wheel of Fortune can inspire us to follow our dreams. People who aspire to be on the show probably love the game. They may love the co-hosts (Hey Vanna… Pat) or the play or the feeling they get from watching. They get a kick from seeing the spin of the wheel.


The wheel spin is how each player increases their winnings. It’s where they might make a silent wish and hope that the wheel stops at the right spot. Each spin allows you to guess a letter in the puzzle. After a few spins the player is likely to purchase a vowel. This will help in figuring out the puzzle. Maybe after a few more spins they can solve the puzzle. If the answer is correct then the total prize money grows.


Following your dream in many ways is similar to what happens on Wheel of Fortune. You begin by starting a business that best suits your passion. This way you are doing something that you love and can turn passion into profit. Then you might make a wish and set some goals to get the wheels turning. Don’t overlook the value of networking. You will have to try some things you’ve never done before in order to have what you’ve never had before.


Along the way you make a leap of faith by taking some calculated guesses and risks. As your business grows you see where your dream’s coming true. You can make a wish before you blow out the candle on that birthday cake or before you throw a penny into the Shopping Mall’s fountain pool. However, doing what it takes to follow your dream in business is a great way to experience a wheel of fortune.



Dreamer – Reality Check Rap

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President-Elect Obama, Rags to Riches or Average Joe to CEO?

 The United States has elected its first African-American President. Aren’t you glad you lived to see this day? What a great storyI The Presidential campaign began almost two years ago with many wondering whether history would be made. As the journey unfolded we saw increasing drama and political dogma that some wanted to turn into media-driven hoopla.


There is much to be said about how Obama ran his campaign with vision and precision. His story is one that is less “rags to riches” and more “average Joe to CEO.” That’s because Obama and his wife are not the sons and daughters of privilege. They grew up in “economy-class” households that over a period of two or three generations have gone from sharecroppers to showstoppers.


Now that Obama has gone from average Joe to CEO of the United States, how can we follow his lead and turn an idea into a business, passion into profit, a cause into a campaign? How can you follow his lead and live your dreams? The answer has a lot to do with purpose. As he considered the obstacles he would face, it became clearer to him that the time was now. Moreover, he was certain that this responsibility lined-up with his life’s purpose. Sometimes if you’re not sure what is your purpose you simply have to ask God, “Why did you put me here?”


Someone once said that if you fail to plan, you can’t blame “the man.”’ Well, maybe that’s not quite how it was said but whatever you choose to do you must make plans to succeed. A commercial pilot doesn’t leave the gate without a flight plan because there isn’t much room for error. An architect doesn’t break ground for a skyscraper without a blueprint because the certificate of occupancy depends on it. A business plan, a project plan or a marketing plan can help to make a winning brand.


It’s hard to deny that Obama attracted more money to his kitty and more people to rally after rally. Was it because of his message of hope or change? Regardless of the reasons, Obama understands that people are an important part of your success. You can’t know everything there is to know. You can’t be everywhere you need to be. So, when you surround yourself with positive people you increase your chances of becoming everything you want to become.


A lesson learned from the Obama Presidential Campaign 2008 is if you want to succeed on the job, in business and in life you must have a purpose and a plan that line-up. This will help to attract the people with whom you’ll experience shared success. Obama certainly knows something about attracting people and maybe, just maybe he can look back on his journey and say with grace and humility the words from that popular ’80s song, “How Ya Like Me Now!”



Music Soundtrack:

Alicia Keys sings…