What made Wayne Gretzky great

24. April 2012 06:45

In his autobiography, Wayne Gretzky talks about how his father taught him to play hockey.  One of the lessons was, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it’s been.”

This is what we are trying to do with The Dealers’ Forum.  The real value in many businesses today is built by knowledgeable people who know how to network directly with valuable business partners.  Internet technologies make this possible.  Middlemen are disappearing in every industry.  Business is faster, more fun and more profitable when goods and services flow directly between parties.  People are building their resumes not only by the companies they work for, but by being extremely knowledgeable about their industry and having a wide circle of contacts.  Let’s change our industry together and skate to where the puck is going.

Cars Sales Leap as Consumers Trade Up

17. April 2012 07:31

In January and February this year, the average age of trade ins was about 6.2 years old.  This was the oldest on the charts (other than the cash for clunkers program).  Auto sales figures for March 2012 were the strongest since early 2008.  So the conclusion from this data is that consumers who were holding onto aging cars through the recession are now returning to the new car market.  Due to high fuel prices, fuel efficient cars are the hottest.  According to the Wall Street Journal, total light vehicle sales are up 13.3% for the first quarter of 2012 compared to 2011.  Total volume was 3.4 million.  Sunny days ahead.

We Won the Lottery!

7. April 2012 10:46

As normal, I was in my local coffee shop this morning.   As I was walking away from the counter, the barista asked the next customer, “Hi, how are you doing this morning?”

“O.K., considering I did not win the lottery.”  Of course, he was referring to the Mega Millions lottery.   There were three winners in the $656 million jackpot last week, and in the news last night, someone from Kansas came forward and claimed their $218 million share of the prize.  Then the coffee barista and customer started talking about how happy they would be if they won the lottery and what they would do with the money.

What both of them did not realize is that they are already lottery winners.

There are 7 billion people in the world.  80% of the world lives on less than $10 per day, and 50% live on less than $2 per day.  2.5 billion people rely on wood, charcoal or animal dung to provide their energy needs for cooking.  1.6 billion people have no electricity.  A billion people cannot read or sign their name.

The bottom 10% of the U.S. population is better off than 2/3 of the world population.   If you make more than $47,500 per year, you are in the top 1% of the world.

If you listen to cable news, it is easy to think that we are in dire straits.  The reality is that we are all extremely wealthy. For the last 25 years, I have been blessed to live, travel and do business in many places across the globe, including living in Asia for 8.5 years.  I have seen it firsthand.  Most people in the world never imagine themselves wealthy enough to own their own car.  A rented apartment in the U.S. with electricity, a heating/air conditioning system and a television is a grand palace for most people in the world.  A single family home is beyond the rainbow. 

Our big problems come from too much wealth:  consuming too many calories a day, cardiovascular disease, not getting enough exercise.  We are not under any real threat of war in the U.S., we do not have an autocratic government, and we are free to say whatever we want.

It is easy to look upwards on the pyramid and see people with more.  The reality is that we are near the very top and the vast majority of people in the world are way below us.

We are fortunate to be living at this time in the U.S.  We all won the lottery.  Now the only question is what we are going to do with the winnings and the opportunities given to us.  Let’s go for it…and be grateful along the way.