January 22, 2013
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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From the desk of Bob Meyer...
Great Entrepreneurs Have Two Key Qualities
According to Ben Horowitz, a founding partner of the venture
capital firm Andressen Horowitz, the entrepreneur is vastly
more important than the idea. That�s because if the idea is
lousy, a great entrepreneur will see that quickly and then
change the idea.
Horowitz says all great entrepreneurs have two key qualities
� brilliance and courage. The reason for the first one
(brilliance) is obvious. The second one, courage, is
important because the other virtues that everyone wants to
see in successful people � honesty, integrity, etc. � all
flow from courage. And if you don�t have courage in times of
stress, then honesty, integrity, and other virtues can
quickly go by the wayside.
Active International Supports Families Of
Active is joining with other barter companies in raising and
providing funds for The Love for Grieving Children
organization. The corporate barter company will contribute
$50,000 in Universal Currency trade dollars to provide
counseling for all those who are suffering.
For more on Active International click here. (www.ActiveInternational.com)
Geithner Blames Greed For Financial Crisis
Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner explained in a
leaving interview with the Wall Street Journal why
he�s uncomfortable with accusations that bankers haven�t
been punished enough for the financial crisis. �A huge part
of what happened across the system was just a mixture of
ignorance and greed, or hope over experience, and not
illegal. Most financial crises are not caused by fraud or
back issues of "From the Desk...� can be accessed by
free to forward our newsletter to your friends and
colleagues. We have a �box� at the end of the
newsletter for your convenience.
See you next week. . .)
Attention Trade Exchange
Owners � It�s GROW OR GO!
The magic bullet for
growth is sales, always has been and always will be. Yet the
industry�s overall growth is anemic. Why? Maybe it�s because we�re
not providing on-going education about our unique way of doing
business. Knowledge is always a prerequisite to taking sustained
And for those newcomers,
the lifeblood of an exchange � awareness of and understanding about
the value of trading � is even more important.
If you expect prospects
to come aboard and become active traders, but you are perplexed when
the results are less than you anticipated, there�s a good reason.
You must continually educate and motivate, each and every month.
That is, month after month after month!
Such action is necessary
because (let�s face it) more cash business, not trade, is of
paramount importance to your members. You must break through this
�cash only� focus, and redirect their thinking toward barter.
Although most exchanges don�t see the importance of doing so, many
industry leaders are taking action and so can you.
As the owner of your own
operation, there is an easy and inexpensive solution for moving
forward, look into using The Competitive Edge newsletter. It�s a
4-page, professionally written, informational marketing tool that is
available in PDF format as well as print. So regardless of how you
reach your prospects and clients, you will have the necessary
As a busy trade exchange
owner, this marketing tool is written exclusively for your type of
business. It will certainly be one of the best investments you ever
make for growing your barter company.
For more information
about The Competitive Edge newsletter, and how it can benefit you,
Why Frequent Flyer Miles
Are Profitable ... And What You Must Do To Play Their Game
(Editor�s Note: One
of the best stories we�ve ever read on frequent flyer miles (FFM)
was written by Peter Greenberg, travel editor for Today. This is a
reprint from a past 2008 issue of Tuesday Report. In it Greenberg
says 120 million Americans have FFM, and there are 92 FFM programs
The average active
member of a frequent-flyer program earns 11,364 miles per year. And
there are 9.7 trillion unredeemed miles in current liability among
all FFM programs. Frequent flyer miles are the second biggest
currency in the world, after the U.S. dollar. With approximately 15
trillion FFM issued, at 2-cents per mile, that is a $300 billion
What does an award cost
an airline? With airlines carrying unredeemed mileage on the books
as a liability, the airlines then estimate that when they do
actually redeem miles they do so with the valuation of 40-cents for
every 1,000 miles. So, redeeming a 25,000-mile award costs the
airline about $10! (Note: with the recent rise in fuel, the price
might reach $15.)
For the airlines, the
mileage programs have become one of their few profitable divisions �
that�s right, profitable. How could that be when airlines sell miles
to thousands of marketing partners � such as florists, grocers, gas
stations, restaurants and banks � so that you can �earn� those miles
when you make purchases? But here�s the rub: since the airlines also
manage and control redemption of those miles � without any
oversight, regulation or control � they build in a huge profit.
And while the airlines
claim that more miles were redeemed last year than before, the
actual redemption percentage, that is, the percentage of eligible
miles that were really redeemed by the airlines last year hovered at
slightly below 10%. That�s an amazingly profitable margin! And for
consumers, that�s an amazingly painful experience.
Now that you�ve heard
all the bad news, how then do you go about redeeming your awards and
beating the airline mileage game?
Airlines will argue that
their members are happy with their programs and their ability to
redeem those miles. Really? Dig a little deeper and you�ll find that
what the airlines are not telling you is that they are playing a
game, which they are allowed to do under deregulation. Since these
programs aren�t regulated, no airline is required to provide any
seat free of charge in these programs. This is similar to the way
airlines are allowed to advertise a discount fare without revealing
how many seats are actually available at that fare.
And what is the game?
Almost all mileage programs of the major carriers get you to enroll
by strongly inferring in all of their advertisements and promotional
materials that as soon as you get to the first redemption level �
25,000 miles � you�ll be sitting on a beach with a pina colada.
But the reality is that
airlines often double the ante. In almost all cases, when you call
to redeem those 25,000 miles for a free coach domestic ticket, or
35,000 for a free coach ticket to Hawaii, the airline informs you
that no seats are available at that level. However, the airline
magically does have your seat for double that amount � 50,000 or
70,000 miles! It�s a clever but painful way for airlines to dispose
of their mileage liabilities. And that�s only if they want to
release any seats at all. So what can you do? The answer, it seems,
is to be creative in a number of ways:
airports. Don�t just look for award seats to Los Angeles
airport, for example, but also to Burbank, Ontario or Long Beach as
routings. Don�t just think point-to-point trips or non-stop
flights. Seats might not be available on non-stop flights, so make a
stop in Chicago en route to San Francisco from Miami. (In my search
for Hawaii flights, one routing offered to us to redeem our miles
was Los Angeles to Denver to Chicago to Honolulu!)
And when all else fails,
then look to the airline�s mileage partners. Let�s say you want to
redeem your miles on a flight from Los Angeles to Frankfurt on
United, but there aren�t any seats available. Try flying United to
Chicago and then Lufthansa to Germany (a United mileage partner).
How about from Los Angeles to Hong Kong? If there aren�t any seats
on American Airlines, try one of its partners, Cathay Pacific or
Qantas through Sydney.
In many cases, you may
need to book as much as 320 days in advance to get those seats. Some
airlines, like Continental, offer a feature on their web sites that
allows you to check mileage seat availability up to 11 months ahead.
That�s the good news. The bad news: you have the luxury of being
If all else fails, and
the reservation agent tells you there are no seats available on any
flight on any route to any nearby airport on your primary or any
partner airline, it�s time to speak to a supervisor. Why? The key
reminder here is that loyalty programs are worthless if they don�t
reward you for your loyalty! In almost all cases, supervisors have
the discretionary power to override computer blocks and release
Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On
Valuable New Business?
your barter company�s listing on BarterNews.com isn�t current, you
are definitely missing out on new business. The web site
BarterNews.com receives heavy traffic � with over 150,000 page-views
every month. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives check the
thousands of articles, the weekly �Tuesday
Report,� and the �Contacts
Section� of our site. They use the latter to find barter
companies with which to do business.
your barter company�s listing up-to-date?
keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A)
update any changes to your company�s listing, such as new location,
phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company
has not been listed.
Here�s how to get on board:
make changes to your listing
10 Ways To Ensure 2013
Is Your Year For Positive Change
If you�re ready to make
2013 the year opportunity knocks on your door, read on for a few of
successful entrepreneur Vickie Milazzo�s suggested action steps:
1) Go boldly after your
When is the last time you set a goal and truly went after it?
Milazzo encourages people to identify their �Big Things� � those
goals that connect to their passionate vision. Then choose one to
schedule their day around.
Be your own number one
fan. If you don�t announce your own achievements, you can bet that
no one else is going to do it for you. With humility, make sure that
you�re keeping your name, your accomplishments, and your skill set
in front of everyone.
2) Don�t under-price
You�d love to ask for more money but frankly, you�re afraid to. The
economy still isn�t great so I�d better lie low, you reason. This
just seems like common sense. But settling for less than you�re
worth is a big mistake � even in the wake of the Great Recession. In
my eyes and in the eyes of many other CEOs, job candidates actually
lose credibility when they underprice themselves.
3) Make sure you stand
people get stuck in ruts at work because they become viewed as
commodities. Commodities are easy to obtain and easy to replace. And
that�s certainly not how you want to be perceived at your job �
whether you�re an employee, a leader, or an entrepreneur. Do
everything you can to ensure that you aren�t seen as interchangeable
4) Network with big
Generally, we tend to gravitate toward people who are similar to us:
those who think similarly, who find similar things fun, and who are
in similar walks of life. That�s fine when it comes to your
friendships, but you need to aim higher when it comes to networking.
More than 60% of people find jobs through networking, for example,
and you can bet that most of them didn�t achieve this goal because
they knew someone at the bottom of the pecking order.
5) Turn off cyberspace.
There�s no greater blow to productivity than breaking your
concentration to reply to an e-mail as soon as it hits your inbox.
Remember, no award will be handed out at the end of the day for the
person who responded to the most e-mails the fastest. If you�re
doing nothing but responding to e-mail, you�re bouncing around like
6) Break the feel-good
today�s world, we�re constantly sabotaged by nonproductive energy
wasters. There are emails to read. Facebook statuses to update.
Receipts to locate for that already-late expense report. Dishes to
be washed. Files to be organized. And on, and on, and on. These are
the easy, albeit often unproductive, tasks that make us feel good.
They may not get you any closer to accomplishing your greater goals,
but at least you�ve checked a couple of things off your to-do list.
Vickie Milazzo, �this addiction comes at a high price, because that
cheap check-mark high is guaranteed to frustrate, overwhelm, and
stress you out in the long term. By majoring in minor things, we
never get to our big commitments. Breaking these addictions opens
the door to achievement, because what you focus on is where you will
7) Set aside sacred
Momentum time is precious time you are able to set aside for
yourself each day, to work uninterrupted toward achieving your
goals. To carve out time, examine every activity and decide how to
eliminate it, delegate it, hire it out, or do it faster.
�If part of your day is
rarely interrupted (such as early morning or late evening), reserve
it for momentum time. Keep your momentum time sacred. Use phrases
such as, �I�ll be available in one hour. What time after that works
best?� Start your day with a two-hour uninterrupted chunk, and then
gradually add more two-hour momentum sessions each day. Claim your
momentum time and you�ll find those lost hours you�ve been looking
8) Have confidence in
It�s highly unlikely that you�ll reach any goal you set for yourself
if you don�t believe with your whole heart that achieving it is
possible. Among other things, you won�t be confident enough to take
calculated risks, if you don�t believe that the limitations in front
of you are surmountable. Anytime you find yourself entertaining
doubts or trying to limit what you think is possible, remind
yourself of your past successes. Let them infuse you with pride and
bolster your resolve.
�Believing you can do
it�whatever �it� is�is 90 percent of the win,� assures Milazzo.
�When I walked into my first meeting with a potential client, my
legs were literally shaking. I forced myself to remember that this
attorney needed specialized knowledge that only I�a critical care
nurse�could give him. I walked out of that meeting with my first
client. Plus, I learned that when you expand what you�re willing to
believe about yourself, you can transform who you are and what your
life looks like.�
9) Surround yourself
There are two ways to develop the skills, habits, and mindsets that
you�ll need to achieve wicked success. The first is to go it alone
and learn by trial and error in the school of hard knocks. The
second (much smarter) path is to learn from others who have
encountered and surmounted problems that are similar to your own.
That being the case, surround yourself with as many mentors as
possible and practice the skills they pass on to you.
10) Safeguard your
Accept that you won�t please everyone. Someone is bound to be
unhappy about the changes you make to focus on your big things. A
friend might get upset because you can no longer meet for lunch on
Wednesdays. Your spouse might complain because you won�t run his
errands on a weekday.
�Bottom line, they�ll
get over it,� says Milazzo. �Stop feeling guilty and stay true to
your goals. Surround yourself with friends, family, and peers who
support your vision. Discard all discouraging messages. These are
your passions and goals, not anyone else�s.�
�You can�t snap your
fingers and suddenly become successful,� admits Milazzo. �And the
successful people you envy weren�t able to do that either. They
worked for it. They set big goals. They didn�t settle for small-time
achievements. Wicked success can be yours too, if you make the same
Vickie Milazzo is the
author of the New York Times bestseller
Wicked Success Is Inside
She shares the
innovative success strategies that earned her a place on the
list of �Top 10 Entrepreneurs� and �Top 5000 Fastest-Growing
Companies� in America.
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