Preparing for dramatic moments…

There’s going to to come a time when you, going about your day in your normal routine, are going to find yourself in the midst of a dramatic and perhaps defining moment.  It’ll come quickly and unexpectedly and how you respond in the crucial seconds depends on how you’ve prepared in advance.

Last night, my wife and I were having dinner in a popular area in Buenos Aires.   There were many people out enjoying the pleasant summer night.  It was nice and perfectly predictable…until it wasn’t….

I heard the sounds of the violence long before I saw what was going on. If you’ve never been part of or witness to a serious throw down fight, let me tell you that the thumping of fists on bodies is a unique sound.   When you hear it, you know what it is right away.

I looked first at my wife, then turned 45 degrees to face the scene.  About 30 feet from us we saw two men beating the living shit out of another man.   The victim had been sitting outside the cafe throughout dinner strumming on his guitar.   It was clear he was homeless and just trying to entertain to generate some money from the passing hordes of tourists.   When I noticed him earlier, I figured the homeless guy was either high on something or just plain crazy.   In any case, the guy certainly wasn’t aggressive or acting like a threat.

Two guys in there 20’s beating the shit out an older, crazy, homeless man.  It was a bad scene.

Within a few seconds I was in the middle of it.

What never ceases to amaze me is that we, as humans, have become watchers of events around us rather than participants.   After a min or two, I’d stopped everything and, frankly it didn’t take much.

When it was done… still on the ready, and fueled with a rush of adrenaline, I took a look at the scene around which the violence occurred.

The homeless man was bleeding from the mouth and nose, but standing (remarkably).  The two attackers were still talking shit, making stabbing motions but now retreating.   And around me stood dozens of watchers.   Dozens of capable men, mouths slightly agape…just watching.

Not one of them, man or women did anything (except my beautiful, ballsy wife who was yelling something in spanish I didn’t understand).   Would they have stood there and watched this homeless guy get beaten into a coma or killed?   Would they have watched if, as I tried to intervene, I was overwhelmed?

I think they would have.  Here’s why…

Our lives are so predictable, so normal and relatively easy that we don’t really worry about these moments even though they happen all the time.

I’m a strong believer that if you want to act a certain way in a particular situation, you need to think about it in advance.  You need to prepare yourself mentally before the moment comes, so when it’s upon you… when you are witness to an accident, or see a man roughing up a woman, or a child in a dangerous situation… you don’t stand around like everyone else.   You don’t just wait for the man with the uniform to show up and take care of it.

Instead, you act.

I decided long ago that I would act each and every time I found myself in these moments.   And I beg you… literally… I beg you too to decide to act when the moments come.

Beg you?  Yes, that’s right.  The world needs leaders like never before.  Real leaders, who in moments of need stand up while everyone else remains seated.

You are what you do when it counts.

As a Misc. item;  Many people have asked me about where I own property in argentina.    I actually own property in Cafayate argentina as well as Buenos Aires.

A Firetruck, Spiderman, Coca-cola and a Rooster.

We spent much of the day driving from Salta to Cafayate Argentina. About lunch time we stopped at a teeny tiny town called La Vina. It’s difficult to imagine even 100 people call this place home. We all shared a not-too-bad pizza at the only cafe.

Total cost about $3.

In the back of the cafe there were a bunch of kids playing and Max quickly made some friends. It’s funny how kids are pretty much the same every where you go partially due to the influence of US consumerism. Notice the boy holding the rooster which ran to show it to Maxim. He’s wearing a Spiderman shirt. The girl holding the coke bottle (wearing the winnie the pooh shirt) and max holding a firetruck. The firetruck belonged to the boy holding the rooster.

A Firetruck, Spiderman, Coca-cola, Pooh and a Rooster.

Washington, D.C.

white hausI spent the last several days in Wasington D.C.  The purpose of my trip was to attend Yanik Silver’s “Underground Online Marketing Seminar”.   The seminar itself was a bit of a disappointment.   Some of the speakers were good, but others delivered very little value.    I’m not saying the seminar was a waste of time because it wasn’t…but I had to dig really deep to find any gems that could be used in my business. 

The key here is expectations.   Because Yanik is such a phenomenal copywriter, my expectations for the seminar were really high.   Take a look at the sales letter (if it’s still up).   It’s excellent.  I mean really well done in typical Yanik style.   Since I’m not a newbie I was really looking forward to seeing stuff from people who’d been there and done that…. The first great disappointment was that the “headliner”, the first guy discussed in the sales letter was a no show.    I’ve done really well online, but I’ve never done ANYTHING on ebay so I thought I could learn a lot from this guy…. Here’s an exerpt from Yanik’s sales letter about this ‘would-be’ speaker:

One of the hardest things to sell is a high-end product sight unseen over the Internet. Len Critcher is someone who does that approximately 100 times a month. His little company (with a tiny fraction of the staff and overheads of a traditional auto dealer) sells between $3,500,000.00 to $5,000,000.00/month on eBay. That adds up to somewhere between $42-$60M/year in sales.

He does it with high-end vehicles sold out of a airplane hangers in the metro-Dallas area. He’s very quickly moved up the ranks of top used car sellers on eBay and beyond.

I was in the market for an Aston Martin and that’s how we met. Even though he didn’t have the right model I wanted – I could see right away he was doing some interesting things with eBay. But little did I know the extent of it…

Len’s company,, is leaped up to the #9 spot of 2005 pre-owned Internet driven dealerships in the entire United States.

During Len’s classified presentation you’ll find out:

  • The critical secrets to selling high-end products on eBay (or anywhere else online). Just studying Len’s listings alone on eBay won’t do you much good. In fact, I won’t even make you hunt around for his eBay ID – it’s “ecarlink”. There you go. You can do a search yourself on all his auctions and you still wouldn’t get a fraction of a fraction of what it really takes to make these kinds of sales.
  • How to appeal to high ticket buyers online. There really is a psychology that goes with handling high-ticket buyers to make them overjoyed to do business with you including the right and wrong things to include in your listing.
  • Auction listing secrets to get your targeted audience to actually notice (and bid) on your listings. There are tens of thousands of auctions going on every day and over 25,000 different categories on eBay – so it’s easy to get lost and become ‘invisible’ unless you know exactly what to do.
  • The VERY important job of feedback management. On eBay your feedback is critical to your success. Find out how Len has achieved a 99.7% positive feedback rating (not even close to a simple task for picky consumers especially in the car business).

Too bad Len was a no show.  My question is, when did Yanik know he wasn’t going to be there?  I almost brought a friend of mine to the conference who’s in the car business.  The ONLY reason he would have gone was to see Len.  Good thing my buddy had a scheduling conflict or the entire trip for him would have been a waste.

The seminar wasn’t all bad.   Far from it, in fact.  Hidden amongst the audience were a lot of very successful “doers” with nothing to pitch.   Dispite my antisocial nature, I managed to find a few of these guys and learn about some of the amazing things they’re doing online. 

How will attending this seminar impact my bottom line?   The jury is still out.  I picked up two very specific ideas which I intend to follow through on.  I’ll let you know if I can make any of these things happen. 

There were two highlights from this trip.  The first,  was meeting a really cool guy I hope to get to know a lot better Neil Strauss.  Neil’s an author and writes on some pretty interesting topics.  While I was still in D.C. my beautiful wife and I went to Borders to pick up his latest book: The Game.   I read about 20 pages and love Neil’s writing style.  Reminds me a little of Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) except The Game is non-fiction.   While I was at the seminar my wife started reading the book.  Try as I might, I couldn’t pry it out of her hands.   I guess I’ll wait until she’s done reading it 😦

The second highlight was hanging out with Jessica and Maxim. 

jess&maxSomtimes it’s a little rough gettin’ around with a 7month old.  But he did a pretty good job under the circumstances.  We got to see a lot of D.C. in our short stay.   I was surprised we liked the city as much as we did.  Lot’s of history.  Beautiful buildings.  Too bad it’s full of crooks and liars. 

Check out some of the pictures we took: