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Posts Tagged ‘opportunity’

The future belongs to contrarians

By Jim Whitt If you were going to build the largest hotel in North America, where would you build it? The logical thing to do would be to build it in one of the continent’s largest metropolitan areas. Maybe New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles or Florida. That would make sense, wouldn’t it? Find out where the most people need overnight accommodations and build a hotel big enough to hold them. But William Cornelius Van Horne didn’t choose New York, Los Angeles or Florida for the largest hotel in North America — he chose Banff. Banff? Yes, Banff — Banff,… Read More

February 19th, 2014 at 3:54am

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The brilliance of today’s success can blind us to the opportunities of tomorrow

By Jim Whitt When you walk into a fast-food restaurant, how long do you expect to wait from the time you order until you get your food? Five minutes? No, five minutes seems like an eternity in a fast-food place. Think about that — fast-food. It’s part of our culture. Where did the concept for fast food begin? Fast-food started when the McDonald brothers opened a drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California back in the 1930s. It had car hops and curb service. It looked like a scene from the movie American Graffiti. It took about twenty minutes from the… Read More

February 4th, 2014 at 9:41pm

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The most important thing is not how or what, it’s why

By Jim Whitt Last week I attended a seminar hosted by Minert & Associates, an accounting firm based in Tulsa and facilitated by my friend and fellow consultant, Nathan Mitchell. Nathan’s topic was Building your Business in Any Economy. Nathan explained that the most important thing to build your business in any economy is not the “how” or “what” you do. It’s the “why.” Tony Minert, the founder of Minert & Associates, validated that claim. He shared how he found the why in a workshop I conducted 12 years ago. I thought it was one of the worst workshops I’ve… Read More

April 3rd, 2013 at 12:22pm

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An open letter to the President: You’re right, we’re lazy

Dear Mr. President: I am in complete agreement with the statement you made at the recent APEC conference in Honolulu: “We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted — ‘Well, people would want to come here’ — and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America.” You have hit the nail on the head and here’s my analysis of why you are right. We have become lazy. Laziness is subsidized through a myriad of government programs that make it easy and profitable to… Read More

November 16th, 2011 at 9:48pm

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Do You Have Organizational Sclerosis?

By Jim Whitt A friend of mine who was attending the South by Southwest festival in Austin emailed this summary of one of the sessions he was attending: “Blockbuster had it all figured out. Kodak was America’s favorite company. Tower Records was the place to be. Cunard was the fastest way to travel. Alas, no more. Each of these companies were blindsided by innovation. In the blink of an eye, their entire reason for being disappeared into thin air. Every day companies new and old, small and large, start down the path to obsolescence. Some have no idea that they… Read More

March 23rd, 2011 at 10:47pm

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Getting Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

By Jim Whitt This article was originally published on November 19, 2008 … “You’d be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap,” says Dolly Parton. That, ladies and gentlemen, is an oxymoronic statement. There’s nothing cheap about Dolly Parton. She is solid gold – an extraordinary talent that has made herself even more so by capitalizing on her paradoxical personality. Dolly personifies oxymoronica, a term coined by Dr. Mardy Grothe.  Oxymoronica is also the title of a book by Dr. Grothe which explores the world of contradictory figures of speech such as the quote by Dolly Parton. “Many… Read More

February 9th, 2011 at 11:38am

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Keep the Heck Out of Dodge

By Jim Whitt The Associated Press keeps a running Economic Stress Index which measures economic strain across the United States. They recently published a list of the 20 most and least economically stressed counties with populations of at least 25,000 and their March 2010 Stress scores. Let’s compare the most economically stressed county, Imperial County in California with the least economically stressed county, Ford County in Kansas. The indicators AP uses are unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies. Here’s a side-by-side comparison: INDICATORS IMPERIAL COUNTY FORD COUNTY Stress Index 31.27 4.07 Unemployment 27.0% 3.5% Foreclosure 4.59% 0.01% Bankruptcy 1.32% 0.58% As AP… Read More

May 12th, 2010 at 6:37pm

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The Hand That Feeds You

By Jim Whitt In The Treasure of Sierra Madre, Humphrey Bogart plays the role of Fred C. Dobbs, a down-on-his-luck American in Mexico during the 1920s. Times are so tough that Dobbs is reduced to panhandling for food. In the opening scenes he hits up a well-dressed American played by John Huston, “Say mister, will you stake a fellow American to a meal?” Dobbs doesn’t look at the well-to-do American’s face but instead stares at the peso he plops into his hand. With his head down Dobbs continues to ask for money on the streets. He encounters Huston again and… Read More

April 21st, 2010 at 8:58pm

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The Positive Power of Rejection

By Jim Whitt I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal about some famous people who were rejected when they applied for acceptance to prestigious universities. The list included people like Warren Buffet and Ted Turner.   I was so far down the intellectual food chain that I would have never dreamed of applying to Harvard or Princeton. I sat out a semester after high school and then attended three semesters as an art major in junior college. Not wanting to add my name to the burgeoning rolls of starving artists, I dropped out and cowboyed in a… Read More

March 31st, 2010 at 9:40pm

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Road Signs For Success

By Gerald Daniels & Jim Whitt As you’re reading this you already know the outcome of the election, but as it is being written, politicians are scurrying about the countryside trying to garner that one last vote that will write their name into the history books. There will be much talk around the water cooler, interoffice emails, and lengthy TV and talk radio discussions about what this president and congress is or isn’t going to do. Depending upon your political perspective, you may believe our country is either on the brink of disaster or on the road to greater glory… Read More

November 5th, 2008 at 10:06am

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