April 13, 2010

Shea's Photo Album: A Guide for Reason in an Unreasonable Age


Every morning logging on you'll read about it, you'll see it on the TV, and hear it on the radio. Woooooo! The sky is falling. It's doomsday. Is the media developing analysis OCD's? With all the over-analysis of money, investors, mortgage rates, shrinking ad budgets, lost revenues, re-orgs, and gas prices, I'm subscribing to a different Secret. Get the #%bleep*& out! Then return to work with fresh purpose and fortitude.

The current economic condition, lost jobs, gas prices, are undoubtedly pitiful issues; we have to tighten the belt, hunker down, and brace the financial %$^& storm. Being a tad self-willed, I am opting for a contrary approach and taking time and spending money. Money is genuinely a renewable resource and time is an ephemeral resource. Today's doomsday news just motivates me even more. I'm taking family and friend time, enjoying the great outdoors, and cutting the clutter. Focus and dedication are much easier after pausing to revel in what is most important in life, LIVING. Growing up in a time reminiscent of now a lot of parents were saying: "Money doesn't grow on trees." Money is not the most important thing in life." "If you kids can think of something free-- you can do it" This last one really should have been clarified to avoid a little bon fire we started. Kids need disclaimers on such a vague statement.

These references to money are pertinent in today's financial climate. We can obsess about it or we can take a break, get out of the office, and refrain from talking about it. Take a trip, a golf day, a walk, anything that gives perspective and allows people to return focused and revived.


Like this 10,000 foot perspective. I prefer my dog's wisdom and perspective. As she looks out over a 10,000 Beartooth Mountain range and says "c'mon Shea, you need to think about all THAT when you have all THIS?" (Yes I'm one of those annoying people that narrate what their pets are saying, talk back to commercials, and baseball announcers.)

No I am not completely high on The SECRET at the moment, but it is easy for me to stay dedicated and motivated in the face of adversity and the sad state our economy is going through. Simple, stay in the game and never quit.

How do aspiring and top athletes continue day after day, year after year? Aside from the money or ambition of money! I'm a romantic and do not think their initial drive is financial. (That's a different story and debatable.) Review these training schedules and you'll see why. They "Just Do It". The steadfast adherence to improving skills and constant drive toward their goal leads to victory. Success is achieved when one perseveres through challenges, keeping faith and momentum toward their goals. Malcolm Forbes: "Victory is sweetest when you've known defeat." Top teams and players go through losing streaks. And only a small % of them ever reach winner's circles. To me, Derek Jeter's perfect play illustrates this point succinctly.


Jeter will make a most incredible play, even when behind, in extra innings. He'll dive into the stands to get that ball. Focus, dedication, 200% effort, hard work, giving his all to stop that play! "TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME."

Jeter among many athletes, not only wants to win, he works hard until the last play! Yes he's cute but that's not the reason he has my undying respect. It's for his skill and relentless tenacity to win. Many players deserve equal credit for this insistent approach. Obviously I am a passionate sports fan. It's more than that though; to me sports heroes offer a perfect lesson and fuel for the fire. Such a candid and superb example of how stick-to-itiveness can apply to others areas in life and work. The whole secret thing is annoying and sticks in my craw. I gather I am not alone when I get this email saying "The Secret Does Not Work." I agree 100% that it also takes action. True success cannot rest merely by asking, believing, and seeing. It requires action, persistence, and eternally learning from mistakes and defeat.

Allow me to relay similar sentiment of my all-time favorite golfer and his stellar exemplary career for staying in the game. Freddy Couples.


This man knows all too well about not giving up. If he had quit when things got tough, he may never have been inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago in November 2007. Or had his best on the PGA TOUR in 2008 at the Shell Houston Open.

Sport's Writers are so lucky. Golf Digest's Jaime Diaz got to golf with Freddy and writes in his article, titled," THE FLIP SIDE," "The talent, the good looks, the common touch and the sheer ease: They're why Couples so often has been considered Mr. Lucky, the man everyone would trade lives with. But the truth is, it would be a Faustian bargain that would include divorces, paralyzing back pain, migraines, early parental passings, episodes of debilitating inertia and sundry "blunders" (another Couples pet word)."

Stay in the game, even when you're not at the top!

Last weekend while golfing on a brilliant blue sky day surrounded by the Montana Rockies, it came to me. Peering from the tee box down the fairway toward a striped flag gently billowing on the luscious green, I tee up ball, twist into a backswing, and barrel down to watch the ball go sailing toward the fairway. What a great release that is. Just to crush the ball. Walking the course on soft early summer cushiony grass surrounded by three mountain ranges and a feather light breeze, I heard THE VOICE again.


"If you build, it they will come."

(movie clip)

The real voice from that golf day was saying "Stop talking about it and keep at it". On Monday AM, we are all facing same realities in the economy but I am refusing to talk or think negatively about it.

The internet and technologies are in a transitional stage right now, changes are inevitable, and with them, this down-turn could result worthy outcomes. At times inaction is necessary to reassess and implement change. In a time of fading ad budgets, sluggish sales revenues, discouraging economy, combing faith and momentum is difficult. Sometimes a little air, simplifying, and reorganizing priorities is in order. In times like these, we see a shift toward research and development, customer retention, customer service, embracing change and evolution. These times can be golden when met with optimism, thoroughly evaluated, and constructively reacted to can be met with improved results.

This is all good as long as it does not lead to inertia. If you read the book or saw the movie "Into The Wild" you'll see a brutal and sad outcome of inertia, refusing to face reality, and change to suit your environment. So please get out and take a deep breathe and a long look at what is important; get perspective and if warranted become part of a solution and change.


As for Big Brown, It's no heartbreak to him; he won more than he lost!

Big Brown, will most likely go on tour with a colossal of interviews, reveal important events in his life, over dramatizing a few tales, inspire a movie take a vacation with a gorgeous little filly to a world-class apple orchard, inspire young colts for a stint, be the 'talk of the stalls', then retire to a lavish life enjoying his oats on a lush pasture surrounded by breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.


Shea Park is President and Founder of Ad-Spark and has served the internet advertising industry since 1996. Shea Park is a life-long entrepreneur, with 20 years of business management experience, a 12 year veteran of internet marketing, and writer. Ad-Spark.com specializes in customer acquisition and retention strategies, internet marketing and training. She can be reached at Shea@ad-spark.com.

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