Main Street News December 2012

Don’t Forget to Renew Your Membership for 2013!

If you have not renewed your membership, it will expire in a little more than a week! You should have received an invoice in the mail last month, as well as an electronic invoice earlier this month. If there are any discrepancies in your records, don’t hesitate to contact headquarters and let us correct it.

To renew your membership, you may visit, mail in a check, or call (888) 686-4222. All checks should be mailed to: IBBA, 3525 Piedmont Rd NE, Building 5, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30305.

We appreciate your membership!

IBBA Headquarters

Save the Date for the 2013 Spring Conference

Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2013 IBBA and M&A Source Spring Conference being held in Anaheim, California June 10th through the 15th, at the Hilton Anaheim. Your IBBA board members are committed to providing you with new educational courses, along with the courses you’ll need to gain your certification, engaging workshops, networking opportunities and much more.

Please plan to join us in Anaheim to Get Knowledge, Gain Experience and Ride the Wave to Success!

Pino Bacinello, CBI, M&AMI, CMEA, CSBA

Chairman’s Message

pino-bacinelloDear fellow members:

Twelve months go by very quickly! As I pass the baton to our new Chairman, George Lanza, I recognize that there is a price to pay in providing leadership; however, the rewards of serving this association are significantly greater. What an opportunity it has been to work with so many devoted professionals!

My deepest gratitude and profound appreciation goes to each member of the board of IBBA and M&A Source for their exceptional dedication and trust each of them provided me during my term. A special “thank you” goes to my new and great friend Chet Walden, 2012 Chairman of the M&A Source. He took the chance believing we could bring our two brands back together in a harmonious working relationship, and we succeeded. It is said that bonds and relationships develop during tough times, and I believe a true bond and relationship has grown between many of us.

A recap of 2012:

As the overarching objective of our association’s existence is to provide great, indispensable value to our members, our first order of business in 2012 was to get our house in order. We needed to become a more open and trusted board and improve communication both internally and externally. We started the year by improving our bylaws and becoming more transparent by enhancing our communication.

With the support and hard work of Chet Walden and our collective boards, we brought back the needed trust and respect between our two boards and great brands; IBBA and M&A Source. Armed with research from the Association Management Task Force lead by past Chair Ron Johnson, we strategically executed the replacement of our previous association management company, Smith Bucklin, with Meeting Expectations and found our new partners to be not only better aligned with our needs but also responsive and effective.

Concurrently, we worked on our governance to move to what I call an “Accountable Governing Model”. We achieved this by abandoning the dysfunctional traditional governing model and adopting and embracing the proven effective “Carver” model of governing. This provides the tools to hold our management company, and ourselves, as board members, accountable for our governance and performance.

  • Other milestones achieved by your board during this 2012 year include:
    • In keeping with our transparency and openness, we:
    • Published the first IBBA Annual Report for our members;
    • Launched a monthly newsletter;
    • Created the Idea Bank as a way for members to submit their ideas for board, management and staff consideration;
    • Established the association Past Presidents’ Council to better link the board and its members;
    • Published the initial set of governing policies under the Carver Accountable governance model; and
    • Our association managing company began answering the phones and responding to our members.
  • In order to provide greater value to our members, we:
    • Began to identify and develop specific new courses to be introduced in 2013;
    • Successfully hosted two educational summits, in addition to our Spring Conference;
    • Established and implemented an online platform to provide new online education commencing in 2013;
    • Published two Market Pulse Survey Reports in cooperation with M&A Source and Pepperdine University;
    • Purchased a new Association Management Software to provide a greater level of communication and interaction, with the ability to offer greater member specific benefits, and the effective management of our data base and related tasks such as efficient online membership and conference registration;
    • Developed a marketing tag line designed to enhance the recognition of the CBI designation; and
    • Will be changing the membership renewals to a rolling anniversary membership in order to ease the financial burden of renewal cost right after the Christmas season.

It was an ambitious agenda, and while we did not achieve all of our goals and objectives and clearly still have much work to do, I am inspired by what a great year 2013 will be, and the new heights your 2013board will take this association to.

It has been a great honor to serve you! I want to express my sincere gratitude to each and every one of you. Grazie! On behalf of our collective boards, I wish you and your families a very blessed holiday season, much health, happiness, and prosperity.

George Lanza, CBI, M&AMI, CSBA, MEA

Incoming Chairman’s Message

george-lanzaA new year is around the corner, and we will enter 2013 with new hopes of recovery and greatness. If all of the promises given to us by the campaigning politicians come to fruition, 2013 should prove to be quite an interesting year.

As we reflect back on 2012, we can’t help but ponder on the reasons so many of our colleagues left the industry. But rarely do we sit down to analyze the how and why many of our colleagues, those that tend to be regular attendees at our conferences, have managed to endure the challenges of the tough economic times that hit our nation and our industry.

From my conversations with many of you, one common thread rings loudly: those of us that remained committed to investing in our career see the importance of advancing our education by attending the conferences, taking new courses and learning from the collaboration of our peers. In 2012, I personally chose to take three courses and instructed one. This commitment is also coupled with a tenacious and positive attitude that dares to see opportunity in preparing ourselves to tackle the challenges that come.

This is an exciting time for the IBBA. It is the goal of your IBBA leadership, in the coming year, to provide you with six to eight new relevant courses and many workshops that will help equip you with the increased skill-set to differentiate you from the competition.

We have a lot of plans for the IBBA next year; some are in progress, some have yet to be developed. I encourage to you call me and join me in helping to bring about a successful year for our organization and our members. What needs to be changed? How can we serve our IBBA members better? What can be done more efficiently and with greater innovation? Get involved; those who do reap the highest benefits! I can authoritatively say this: 2012 was Plethora’s best year in spite of a tough economy, and it is because of the tools that we learned and obtained through our association with the IBBA and the M&A Source.

With these goals in hand, we have a clear direction, and we look forward to the challenge of building on our successes to serve our members better.

That work begins now.

Karl Kirsch, CAE

Executive Director’s Message

karl-kirschI want to once again thank the leadership of the IBBA for entrusting Meeting Expectations with management of your fine association and Pino Bacinello specifically for his guidance and vision. In my 20+ years of association management, I’ve learned that there must be trust between the leadership and members of an organization and those given the day-to-day responsibility of managing operations.

It has only been six short months, but I think the trust in the relationship is building mutually. We only really started working together the week of the combined IBBA and M&A Source conference in San Antonio in June, and it was clear that we on staff could help if we gained your trust.

We were given responsibility of your historical files, websites, current operations, and finances. I was even personally given a microphone to address the general session at the conference. Talk about trust!

We took care of most of the basics, like change of address, phones, e-mail, and then proceeded into discovery of what was working and what was not. We saw inconsistent information on the website and fixed most of that. We identified the need for additional policies and procedures and clarification on roles and responsibilities and fixed most of that.

Shortly after that, we found that this was to be the first year you would not conduct an annual fall conference, but needed a Fall Education Summit designed and executed. With leadership from volunteers, we developed the education summit, and it was successful from both an attendee and financial perspective.

From these experiences, the trust began to build, but the real test for 2012 would be how we ended the year and executed the transition to a new member database and website. While still a work in progress, we are confident that the new database, now scheduled for January release, will make IBBA even easier to do business with.

In the meantime, we have started the 2013 renewal process, and it looks like the start of a good year already. We feel good about working with IBBA members and the leadership. It is clear that there is a lot of passion and engagement within IBBA, and that is exactly what we like.

Thank you all for a fast paced but fun six months. On behalf of Lynne Weil, Maggie Nicholson, Simone Shahdadi, Darnette Holbert, Micheal North, Tenez Quarles, and the entire team at Meeting Expectations, thanks again for a good transition and a good start on our trusting and successful relationship.

Chet Walden, CBI, M&AMI

M&A Source Chairman’s Message

chet-waldenWebster defines the word “Partner” as a person associated with another or others in some activity of common interest.

Looking back on 2012, the two chairmen of IBBA and the M&A Source exemplified the meaning of this word, and by forming our ‘partnership’, we accomplished a great deal as follows:

  1. Hired a new management firm.
  2. Navigated through a complicated transition from the old management group.
  3. Helped develop a new website.
  4. Addressed the financial needs of the two associations.
  5. Established a strong working relationship between the two boards.

It has been an honor to be part of the partnership that developed between our two boards and to work with Pino Bacinello and the IBBA board. In my humble opinion, after looking back at 2012, you were the right Chairman and the right board for the right time.

Thank you for the privilege and honor to have served on your board.

Chet Walden, CBI, M&AMI
M&A Source Chairman

Kevin Dempsey, CBI, CMC, CMEA

Incoming M&A Source Chairman’s Message

kevin-dempseyFirst of all, I want to say that we were very fortunate to have Pino and Chet in charge of the IBBA and the M&A Source this past year. It was quite a challenge, and not everyone could have worked harder making the transition from one association management company to another. They deserve our sincere thanks for the many, many hours they spent on this task which allowed for a smooth transition.

I have been selling businesses for over thirty years now and have been a member of both organizations since 1995. The conferences, the education, and the friendships I have made have been very valuable for me in this profession. In good times and tough times my membership has helped me develop as an Intermediary. I have been through a few recessions and this one is clearly one of the worst. It is bad for us, but it is even more so for our clients. The tools of the trade and education M&A Source and IBBA offer are especially necessary in this economy.

I consider M&A Source as a valuable asset of IBBA and to IBBA members. As a valuable asset of IBBA and as a member of IBBA, you need to consider joining the M&A Source. We offer our own credentialing and our own education courses at our conference a few days before the IBBA conference. Best of all, we have a dedicated, passionate leadership and very involved membership. Over 75% of our membership attends our conferences and education courses because our focus on Deal Making. Please consider attending our June conference and PEG Expo in Anaheim in 2013.

Once you become a member you too can get involved. We have an excellent leadership team in place, but there is always room for more committee members. Committees include Education, Credentialing, Governance, Marketing, Membership, PEG Expo, Sponsorship, Conference Planning, Webinars, and Website & Technology. If you would like to be involved in the M&A Source in 2013 all you need to do is contact me at [email protected] or at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.

With Sympathy

A lifetime of treasured memories has been lost to Cress Diglio Sr. and Cress Jr. with the loss of their beloved wife and mother, Germaine. Please find time to send them a note to 1999 West Colonial Dr. Orlando, FL 32804-7045. Cress Sr. served as our IBBA Chairman and Cress Jr. presently serves as the Education Chair. Both serve as leaders in their community and with our association. Germaine has been their support, encouragement, and great joy of times shared together. She is also a reminder to each of us to celebrate every day and tell those closest we love them.

Scott Bushkie, CBI, M&AMI

Marketing Committee’s Update

bushkieWell it is the end of the year and I wanted to thank everyone for their advice, assistance, and energy to help build the brand of IBBA. I especially want to thank my committee, Lisa Riley, Barry Berkowitz, Steve Wain, Trista Perot, and the ME staff.

We have accomplished some things that we think will help promote the IBBA and its members, but we know we have a lot more to do. We have accomplished the following:

  1. The first affiliate competition to encourage affiliate leadership and members to join IBBA and attend the conference. As a result of this program, we now can send emails directly to each member so they can learn more about our great conferences and classes.
  2. We created a video highlight reel of IBBA which will be on the new website. It is a great way for prospective members to check us out and see how great of a group of people make up IBBA.
  3. We created over twenty video testimonials of members to highlight the conferences, IBBA membership, and the CBI.
    1. Members who participated in the video testimonial also got to shoot a free one minute commercial regarding their company at no cost, including editing, which was over a $6,000 value to our membership.
  4. We also created a partnership with Pepperdine University to do a quarterly survey, which we have done for two quarters now and have been getting good feedback from the media. We hope this will continue to strengthen the brand of IBBA within the media and also with business owners and their professional advisors, so at the end of the day you will get more business because of being part of IBBA. You can find the executive summary of the Q3 Report here.

We hope to do more in 2013, including the following:

  1. Continue the survey with Pepperdine—WE NEED YOUR HELP! THE MORE PARTICIPATION, THE BETTER THE MEDIA WILL PICK IT UP! Can you imagine when the Wall Street Journal and others run an article put out about the IBBA and its members, talking about how they are the experts when it comes to small and medium business sales—that day will come, it just will take some time.
    1. We have hired Leonard and Finco PR agency to help with the distribution on top of what Pepperdine will do, they are also creating a kit for all participants of the survey to show them how they can get the press release in their local media and be the local expert with a spot for their name after a quote. This will be sent out this week to those who responded to the survey.
  2. Do another survey geared to past clients of each member. We want to learn how they made their decision, what were the key characteristics they were looking for, how they found you, did they interview more than just you, what did they like/dislike about the process and much more. All you need to do is forward it to a couple of your past clients and ask them to please complete the short survey – THAT’S IT! The feedback should help us all learn more about our clients. Look for this in the first quarter of 2013.
  3. We want to create a video that each member can send to prospective clients to show them how they are different/ the value that they bring. Members may be able to customize an intro for a small fee if you come to the June conference— we are still working on this.
    1. We want to shoot another highlight reel of the conference
    2. Possibly take pictures to update your professional head shots—some of yours are older than I am!
  4. Complete the 2nd annual affiliate competition to help encourage more people to be part of IBBA and our conferences—thanks Barry.

I want to wish everyone continued success and a Merry Christmas to you and your families.

Marcie Woolworth, CBI, FIBBA

Memebership Committee’s Update

woolworthThis past year has brought many challenges and opportunities for growth and prosperity. Working with Meeting Expectations (ME) has been a worthwhile venture, and we thank them for their diligence!

The Membership Committee is in the process of updating the benefits, resources, and discounts which will be found on the new and revised website. We are essentially starting from scratch and hope to have it all completed in the very near future. We are also working on an Orientation and Member Benefits Manual, something like the “ABCs of the IBBA,” which will also be forthcoming.

New billing, renewal notifications, and payment options have been implemented by ME which we hope will benefit the entire membership from here on out. We are excited to have consistency and commitment in maintaining the membership with IBBA.

As time continues on, we know that you will see even more value to your IBBA membership. I am always interested in hearing your comments and concerns and hope you will feel free to contact me.

Thank you to all who have already renewed their memberships and to the members of the Membership Committee for their hard work and dedication in 2012! With 2012 coming to an end, and as we reflect what 2012 has brought, may we be grateful for each experience – good or not so good – to help us grow and be better at what we do best.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very blessed, happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013!

Featured Member Benefit: Pratt’s Stats

pratt-s-statsWhat is the average private company selling price discount from the asking price – and does that vary by year, industry or company revenues?

The Pratt’s Stats® database can help answer those questions and more. IBBA members, who are contributing intermediaries, record the “Asking Price” (also known as the listing price) and “MVIC Price” (also known as the selling price) when submitting a deal for inclusion within the Pratt’s Stats database. From this private to private company information, we calculated the “Average Percentage Below Asking Price” (APBAP) in reference to year, industry and net sales. There are currently more than 18,950 total transactions in Pratt’s Stats, of which 5,295 transactions (approximately 28%) contain the information to calculate APBAP.

While looking over the last seven years from 2006 to 2012, the APBAP has been consistent at about 14.3% (as seen below). This shows that even with the highs and lows of the economy, the APBAP remained relatively constant. Also seen below, the average asking price and selling price of the deals specific to Pratt’s Stats have varied over the years with the lows being in 2010 and 2011 and the highs in 2007 and 2009.


Source: Pratt’s Stats®, available at Created on 12/13/2012

We also looked at the APBAP per industry from 2006 to 2012. As seen below, the APBAP shows very slight industry variance with Agricultural and Retail Trade industries showing a higher APBAP and Real Estate and Insurance Agencies showing a lower APBAP.


Source: Pratt’s Stats®, available at Created on 12/13/2012

Now that we have addressed APBAP over the years and in relation to each industry, let’s now look at company size. Exhibit 3 compares the APBAP in quintiles of net sales for the combined seven years. From this data it appears that a larger company is more likely to sell at a price closer to the asking price than a smaller company.


Source: Pratt’s Stats®, available at Created on 12/13/2012

This overview of APBAP was made possible by intermediaries, like you, who submit their transactions to Pratt’s Stats. Contributing members of the IBBA receive free access to Pratt’s Stats when their transactions are included in the Pratt’s Stats database – three months of complimentary access for every deal that’s included in Pratt’s Stats. IBBA members may submit their closed deals to Pratt’s Stats electronically by registering at BVMarketData and submitting their transactions online. IBBA members may also submit transactions by printing a contributor registration form and a Pratt’s Stats submittal form at BVMarketData, completing the forms and faxing them to Business Valuation Resources. If you have any questions, please contact Zac Cartwright at [email protected] or phone Business Valuation Resources at 971-200-4840.


Member Spotlight: Len Krick

krickOver the years I have been an entertainer, financial analyst for Caesars Palace, Food and Beverage Controller for the MGM Grand, and have built up a large consulting practice with “Big 8” CPA for their Las Vegas Office and ran one of the biggest hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip as Executive V.P. Along the way, I earned three college degrees, including my MBA. I also taught at UNLV for two and a half years to pay a debt of gratitude to the Dean who helped me in my career.

I got bored with Las Vegas, so I co-founded a small cruise company, built it up to seven ships, and took it public in 1989. Again, I got bored, so I co-founded a large gaming company, Casino Magic, and took it public in 1992. CMAG was the number one performing IPO of 1992.

After taking two companies public on NASDAQ and building them up, I tried to retire the first time. I got bored and decided to go to work as the COO for a guy who was developing businesses. In three years, we developed fifteen hotels, a nightclub, two restaurants, a land development company, and a company with 91 faces. I then decided to retire for the second time and moved back to Las Vegas.

Shortly after returning, my wife died and I needed something to do. I knew Tom West and Ed Pendarvis, so I decided to look in to business brokerage in 1999. After I looked at the way business brokerage was being done (selling with “smoke and mirrors”), I decided it wasn’t for me. Tom convinced me that the industry needed some “new blood” and convinced me to try it and bring some new processes and standards to the industry (i.e. the IBBA). I began my current practice in March 2000. Since then we have attained 92% of asking price and have sold 82% of our listings.

I set out to try to leave my mark on the business brokerage industry. My objective is to leave it in better shape than I found it in 2000. After establishing my Las Vegas practice, I began to experiment with new forms, systems, and processes. After perfecting them in my practice, I wrote articles for the IBBA and, when the member feedback was favorable, I developed and presented the following workshops (and still do!) Here are some of them:

– The 12 Keys to Success For Main Street Business Brokerage
– Minimizing Business Broker Liability
– Managing the Due Diligence Process
– Managing the Closing and Orderly Turnover Process
– Making Lemonade Out of Lemons: How to Sell Distressed Businesses
– From Wall Street to Main Street: How to Survive and Thrive in a Distressed Economy
– The IBBA Presents the Deal Doctors: Kill It or Cure It
– Anatomy of a Successful Small-Cap Brokerage Transaction

I also developed IBBA Course #206: Managing the Due Diligence Process. I instruct that course from time to time. I am known for sharing all my forms with IBBA members and have acted as IBBA Conference Chairman for four consecutive conferences.

I am most proud of receiving the designation “Fellow of the IBBA” in 2011. I hope to earn the “Tom West” award someday.

In Nevada, I co-founded the Nevada Business Brokers Association (“NBBA”) and was instrumental in the implementation of Senate Bill 315 and the resulting revisions to Nevada Revised Statute 645, creating the Nevada Business Broker Permit (still the only required license for business brokers in the U.S.!) I was on the team which developed the requisite exam for that permit.

Currently, I am spearheading the NBBA’s effort to revise NRS 90, which would exempt business brokers from the requirement to hold a securities license when the sale of assets converts to the sale of stock. The bill should be introduced at the Spring 2013 legislative session.

Outside of the business brokerage industry, I am most proud of co-founding a large successful commercial laundry in Las Vegas in 2011. This modern, robotic plant can process up to 300,000 pounds of linen, terry, and uniforms out-sourced by the hotels every day.

I’m not proud of wrecking my Le Mans-style race car in a practice session; now I have to sell some more businesses before I can race the car again.

In 2013, we are going to close escrow on a $33.7 million transaction. I plan to use that transaction to “validate” our ability to complete middle-market transactions. We often find ourselves in a “chicken and the egg” conundrum in business brokerage. The big business owners won’t give you a chance unless you have a “proven” track record. However, to get that record you need to sell a big business. How do you get the first one? After almost 13 years, we got lucky and found a client who was willing to give us a chance.

In 2013, I also intend to obtain my SEC Series 79, 62, and 63 licenses. With those, I will not have to turn down people who want to sell part of their company or to do small capital raises. Based on my experience, here are a few of my recommendation for business brokers selling main street businesses:

Don’t take the listing if:

  • You wouldn’t sell it to your mother.
  • Their asking price is outside of reality and cannot provide cash flow sufficiency.
  • They refuse to sign the Sellers Disclosure Statement.
  • They aren’t sufficiently motivated to sell (unless you have some fully qualified buyers asking
    for that type of business.)
  • The business has a fatal flaw (losing their lease next month, etc.)
  • The seller is a jerk, who will kill the deal due to his ego, etc.

You have to be able to answer the following four universal buyer questions:

  1. If this business is so good, how come they’re selling it?
  2. How much money does it make?
  3. What’s the upside potential if I buy it?
  4. Where the heck did you get that price?

Here are some things that I wish someone had told me when I started; it would have saved a lot of time and money:

  • Prescreen your seller prospects. Rate the buyer to determine whether to spend/invest your time; your time is precious.
  • Do the valuation before you take the listing.
  • Perform some basic calculations from the buyer’s viewpoint.
  • Educate your client.
  • Package the listing.
  • Rehearse your client.
  • Remember, the deal has to work for both parties.
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative.
  • Figure out who influences each party. Find out who the decision-maker is.
  • Address the income tax parameters of the deal structure.
  • Include a timeline and due diligence list in the Purchase Agreement.
  • Control the due diligence process with a Due Diligence Checklist and Contingency Sign Off.
  • Distribute the documents to the parties well before the round-table closing.
  • Minimize your liability each step of the process. Build that protection into your forms and system.
  • Keep yourself focused on attaining your client’s goal, and the fee will come.
  • Remind your seller prospect that they are only going to sell their business once, they better chose their broker wisely if they want to maximize their after-tax proceeds.
  • The buyer pays for the past and buys for the future.
  • The value of the business is today’s implied value of the future cash flow that the business is likely to generate for the buyer.
  • Remind your client that he has job to do: to keep the business buffed up. If your client goes on vacation in his mind, thinking that he has it sold, prior to closing, and the financial results slide, then he is going to receive less for his business.
  • Use a Buyer Profile form to screen the Buyer Prospects.
  • Find out the Buyer’s horizon to buy, where the money is coming from, what form it is in.
  • Rate the Buyer to determine whether to spend your time; your time is precious.
  • Minimize Your Exposure to Liability, use the Seller’s Disclosure Statement and stamp all information received from the Seller.
  • Try to do 2 hours of marketing each day, even if the pipeline appears to be full.
  • Use past closings to get new listings.
  • Obtain endorsement letters when the client is the happiest; at the close of escrow.
  • Do not get emotionally involved with a transaction, even if you need the fee.
  • Maintain control of the transaction.
  • Don’t allow the Buyer to visit the business without you. With Buyers, develop an “S W S W S W N” attitude: Some Will – Some Won’t, So What. Next!
  • Keep yourself focused on attaining your client’s goal, and the fee will come.

Now that I have been a business broker for nearly 13 years, I can truly say that it is the most fun, challenging, and rewarding career I have ever had. I use more of my skills with business brokerage, and every day is completely different than every other day. If done correctly, business brokerage will make you and keep you sharp and on your toes. However, business brokerage is not for lazy, disorganized people or for someone who needs to attain instant results.

Clyth MacLeod, Lifetime CBI

News and Views

clyth-macleodThe business broking process seems much the same the world over – find a listing, appraise it, market it, sell it, and get paid. The differences come in taxation, legation, and documentation. But the secret of success is the same globally – relationships.

2012 has been a better year for us (up 25% on previous year), but still feels fragile with continuing news from Europe and the US, while Australia and China are both slowing a bit. But that’s the market. We cannot change the it, we can only control our attitude towards it.

Change continues at an ever-faster pace. The businesses we sell change: more service, less smokestacks; more internet-based, less shops; more franchises, hospitality, and importers. Our buyers change too: more immigrants, more sophistries, less truly entrepreneurial, more focused on financials and less excited about potential.

Change is good because it helps to keep us on our toes, and it helps to keep us young. We work in a wonderful industry, and it is as full of opportunity as ever.
Kia Ora from “down under”…

Clyth MacLeod, Lifetime CBI

Keith McLeod, CBI

From the Editor’s Desk

keith-mcleodFrom the Editor’s Desk: Keith McLeod

The 20th Century Poet, Edith Lovejoy Pierce, referred to the start of the New Year by saying, “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and the first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

Each of us is facing the first month of this New Year, and we will begin to write our new chapter called Opportunity. It is time to begin, but first a look back . . .

During November, I sent a letter to the editor of my local paper: Two paths diverge to our future (seen below). It is what our association faced a year ago. We were blessed with the calm and positive leadership of Pino Bacinello and Chet Walden to detour the path we were taking and start talking positive and upbeat.

I lived for a major portion of my life in communities surrounding the Midwest’s Great Lakes. The 1,000 foot ore boats take a mile to turn around. Changing attitudes may take a little longer to come around. In my 25+ years, we experienced a rift once before and John Johnson was called on to lead us. Thus Pino, Chet, and John have a special place in our industry’s hall of fame.

Two paths diverge to our future

The election is over, the economy is improving, holidays are upon us, the New Year is looming, and we continue to face choices. I want to share some personal observations.

Success in life, work or your business is to establish good relationships with people and to like people. I believe relationships underpin all our success. It will make a difference in our lives and in theirs. It means turning off the TV, taking a walk, joining a group or writing a letter of thanks to someone who made a difference in your life. It will be planting a seed that changes and improves our life. Seeds don’t grow overnight or by the weekend. It takes 30 days to form a habit and three months to harvest crops from your planted seeds. Winston Churchill said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter, our buildings shape us.”

We must beware of landmines, the ‘intellectual incest’ of only talking to others who agree with us. The Social Media reinforces this habit. Without leaning into the strong wind of new ideas and different points of view we stop growing as an individual. Otherwise we will morph into an unhappy homogeneous blob and always be upset at different ways of thinking. Being a leader is building optimism in our self, at work and in our relationships. Optimism provides value to others. Surprise yourself and others, start talking positive. It is a new path to a great future.

– – – – –

Before looking ahead to the association’s future, I want to say thanks to Marcie Woolworth, Scott Bushkie, Steve Wain, Pino Bacinello, Chet Walden, and Clyth MacLeod for their monthly articles. Board members, the ME team, and invited guests were featured as well. Each provided their marvelous background and points of view to enrich our association.

In my November message, I stressed a letter or email of thanks. It means so much to the recipient and to you as well. It is a small investment paying enormous dividends. Take time to thank your associates that are taking time to build your association. That is the only pay and nourishment they receive.

Happy New Year and I wish a blessed holiday to all association members. We are facing a rising sun – now go out and sell something expensive.

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