The rules of engagement

The rules of engagement
Mitch D’Olier interview and reinforcement
Weekly recap
The Apprentice Martha Stewart recap
What’s up w/ the cigar?
Where’s the leadership?
Activity vs. Productivity
What value does Martha’s daughter provide?
Where’s the real Martha?
Great 1 hour infomercial

Evan Leong: This is Evan Leong from Greater Good Radio, Today is November 8, 2005. This is Evan’s Journal coming to you live from Honolulu, Hawaii.

Well, I know it’s been a while since I did the last journal but things have been really busy and actually I really have no excuse. But tonight’s journal will probably be a little bit longer than some of the others cause there’s quite a bit of recapping to do, especially for the people that are following the progress of this whole Greater Good Radio, I guess you would call it a saga.

Anyways the first thing that I put up here is the Rules of Engagement and that’s something that I’m really starting to get a clear picture of, as we’re interviewing venture capitalists and entrepreneurs because there are certain ways that you need to engage people in order to get a desired result; and then there are certain prerequisites in order for that to go correctly. Now this came about because occasionally we get approached by people that are either trying to solicit us with something or sometimes they are fundraising for something or they just are asking us questions. But, and that kind of stuff is fine. The thing that really makes me wonder is that in our show, Greater Good Radio, we’ve done a number of different interviews where people go greatly into depth on how to engage potential investors or how to engage potential partners; and a lot of that is right in the interview. So my suggestion to those of you out there who are looking to raise funds and build your company and so on, is to really start listening to these audios much more closely and understanding what it is that is going to be required.

1. There has to be a really clear explanation of where the value lies. You have to be able to express your market, you have to be able to express it in a way that others are going to understand it; and quickly. And the better bet is to not just try to come off straight off the bat and close a deal. I mean, things are based on relationship and trust. These things are extremely important. So those of you out there who are looking at doing this type of thing should definitely start paying attention more to the interviews that we have been doing because they have a lot to offer. I once heard that you become who you hang out with. So I always thought that if I could hang out with more successful people then eventually I’ll become successful, and I got to tell you it has worked to a certain extent. Our current businesses have done extremely well and the reason for that I guess is, there are a number of reasons but a lot of it is due to the input that we’ve been given from successful people. I got to tell you something though. In doing these interviews — we’ve been doing the interviews from late July, we are averaging about two a week, now it’s the beginning of November and we’ve got 30 something done, and by the end of December we’ll have roughly about 45 interviews already done. And I got to tell you, my mindset and the way I’m thinking now is completely different than what I did in June. My clarity in terms of understanding what successful people are doing and the synergies between, and the characteristics between all of these entrepreneurs and successful people are starting to become very, very prevalent. And I got to tell you, for those of you out there who are listening to every single show, I know that you’re thinking the same thing because I’m already getting emails on it and people are contacting us about it and we’re getting some really nice feedback and we definitely appreciate that and that’s kind of what we’re looking at accomplishing. The interesting thing about some of the interviews coming in, are that if they’re looking over the materials, they’ll come in and they tell us exactly what we’re doing and they validate basically what we’re doing by saying what’s on their mind and that to us is truly, truly fulfilling because the other day we did an interview with Mitch D’Olier, and he has had some massive success revitalizing the Ward area and then selling it off for a quarter of a billion dollars, helped with Hawaiian Airlines in the times of trouble and then now he’s dealing with Kaneohe Ranch and the redevelopment of the Kailua area so he’s done huge, huge things and he came in initially and he said you know what? I came in here; I really appreciate what you guys are doing.
What you are doing is, actually you know what I am going to pull the clip out of his audio and I am going to insert it in right here and then we’ll continue more with the Evan’s Journal.

Mitch D’Olier: This is Mitch D’Olier and I am here on Greater Good Radio, this wonderful new concept.

Evan: Very nice. Kari.

Kari: Testing 1, 2, 3, testing.

Evan: Did you only hear about this from us or had you heard about (Voice overlap)?

Mitch D’Olier: Heard about it from you guys hadn’t heard about it otherwise, no.

Evan: Okay.

Mitch D’Olier: Heard about it no.

Evan: Okay.

Mitch D’Olier: You guys and you are the ones and I just, I love the concept.

Evan: Oh good, good appreciate it.

Mitch D’Olier: And one of the things is, a lot of this we are going to find, one of the stories is going to be in common as this has been passed on by mentors to generations down. And what you are really doing is you’re taking the same concept and you are expanding it exponentially because some people don’t have mentors, some people aren’t lucky enough to have mentors. And so with the radio you are like, whew (whistle)

Evan: Yeah: Well it’s actually when you see how we re-purpose it on the Internet and deliver it to MP3 devices. That’s where it’s…

Mitch D’Olier: Right that’s when it really gets cool.

Evan: Let me go with a weekly recap now. Weekly recap from last week, I mean things have been just absolutely busy. Last week I met with two young ladies from the organization AD2, we are trying to put in the programs within the universities starting with probably Hawaii Pacific University since they seem to be the most proactive, and the program will be set around marketing classes and allowing the students to produce 30-second commercials for the radio, press release and do it where they are promoting the school. So the school can have a marketing department that’s actually run by students. The students will pitch our set of judges and they’ll get class credit for it and hands on experience. The AD2 organization is interesting because they have 32 year old and under Advertising, Marketing and PR professionals that will be acting as mentors and staging this entire program for the schools. I helped to get it started, I thought of the idea initially but I really can’t be involved with a lot of the more fine logistics and it will be interesting to be able to turn it over to them and we are waiting to hear back from them on how that’s going. On the same day, I met with another company that’s doing Wi-Fi and we are trying to work out a partnership for that. I met with Star-Bulletin and Midweek, tried to workout a partnership with them; met with the chamber of commerce, we are trying to workout an agreement with them and we finished our first article for PacificNews.Net which is a bimonthly publication distributed here in Honolulu with about 40,000 circulation or so and that’s the first time. So that doesn’t come past through all the other ways of measuring subscription and readership and all that.

Other things on top of the list. I wanted to recap “The Apprentice,” because I have been watching this show and I don’t know if you folks have been watching it but it’s getting kind of ridiculous to me I mean, are you folks watching this Martha Stewart Apprentice? I don’t want to be judgmental but I wouldn’t hire anybody on that show. Much less, I wouldn’t want to work with majority of them. I mean, Gosh unless they are just only showing television and trying to make good television by showing only the dramatic parts. I have not seen anything impressive, it’s almost like a bad copy of Donald Trump’s Apprentice because it’s just not there man. I mean it’s like a joke that somebody who is funny tells it and then the audience person goes out and they go and tell their friend and the timing is all off and it’s just not the same, it’s not funny anymore. They are just missing the mark on this one.

I’m sitting in there; there is this kind of George look alike guy on the side. He keeps holding the cigar in his hand and I am wondering, what is that cigar even for. Sometimes he is holding it, sometimes he is not but the thing isn’t lit. So who holds a cigar up in a boardroom during a meeting that is not lit, I mean that’s ridiculous. If that guy was sitting across from me and we are negotiating or we are having a discussion I would ask him what’s up with that cigar because what is he doing with that thing, its like a fake George it’s unbelievable.

Where is the leadership also in these groups? Do you guys hear the same thing that I am hearing, which is just a ton of excuses, oh the project manager didn’t do this, oh so and so I thought would do this. It’s like incompetence almost, it’s just absolutely unbelievable and if they are interviewing a couple of hundred thousand people this is the best that they could get? This could be some of the best looking people that applied but in terms of quality, it doesn’t make sense and I can talk first hand because we have been interviewing people that have massive levels of success and then during our other businesses, we talk to entrepreneurs and business people all the time. And none of these people on The Apprentice can hold a stick to them. I mean the first season of Apprentice was pretty good. Bill Rancic I thought, from the beginning I said, this guy is great man. And he had great ideas, everything he said was great, the cast was great but every single season it seems to be coming downhill.

A couple of things are really popping up in my mind right now. When I am watching this show there is a lot of activity versus productivity and then the difference between that is getting things done or just being busy. It’s like a painter coming to your house; he stays there 12 hours but he never paints, he is active but he is not productive. And there is a funny little story that I heard about a sales person and the sales person’s wife went to the therapist and said, you know what, my husband, he needs a lot of help. My husband has some problems. And he said, what’s the problem? She says, when he wakes up in the morning he is like, I am the greatest sales person in the world and he keep singing it over and over and again. The therapist says, I don’t really understand the problem. She says, no, no, no after he takes a shower, starts putting on his clothes, he is like, I am putting on my clothes because I am the best sales person in the world. He’s like, I still don’t understand the problem, she is like, no, he comes downstairs and he comes to eat with us and he says, I am the best sales person in the world. He goes, that sounds great. It sounds like he has a good self-esteem. She goes, he has, but he never goes to work. And that’s exactly what this Apprentice is like. They don’t go to work; they don’t produce results and that is a extremely key component to this whole business thing that you have to produce results. I mean what else is there to be judged upon besides your results. So it’s definitely frustrating to watch that show, I got to tell you that.

And then I am wondering Martha’s daughter; what is she really doing there and does she have credentials or does she just sit there and act kind of negative. I watched Caroline and you listen to the things that she says, she is obviously intelligent, she looks way older than she actually is. And her comments are pointed but they are pretty much right on. I have not heard anything insightful from Martha’s daughter yet it’s just; it’s been sad.

And you know what? I don’t think it’s the real Martha on this show. So when you are thinking, what? What she’s talking about? The real Martha was it a poser? I don’t know if it’s so much of poser but Martha on this show is very, very politically correct. You see brief bits of time where she kind of loses it a little bit and then her aggressive nature comes out. And that’s really the interesting part I think about the whole show because that really shows into how, she probably really is and if she would let us in a little bit more and see how she really is, I think the show would have more merit.
That’s the thing with Donald; he kind of, doesn’t care man. He just says whatever is on his mind but that helps because at least you know what he is thinking and you don’t think he is faking you out. So I don’t know, it’s pretty sad. I kind of watch it because it just makes me mad I don’t know. I try to learn something from it but I haven’t learnt too much yet. One thing that I have learnt is that if you start hanging out with entrepreneurs and people that you want the same results that they have already achieved you are going to get better just by osmosis. You are going to pick up things, you are going to learn things and that’s really what the show is all about. It’s about being able to get access to successful people as mentors that normally you wouldn’t have access to — normally I wouldn’t have access to. So take advantage of it and listen to it and that’s why we are making these things available. Let us know the success stories out there so we can help others spread the word and you know what? We have a really, really good time doing it together.

I felt one thing excellent about Martha’s show is, it’s like a 1 hour infomercial on Martha Stewart living. See Donald Trump show, he has people coming in from other businesses outside and not related necessarily to his businesses or they might be related but they are kind of still outside of his realm. Martha’s one is, every single thing has to do with her business. So even if she kind of broke even and her ratings and stuff broke even, she would be doing pretty good because she is getting primetime space and promotion for all of her own products. She is cross promoting, she is doing things within the show to show off her stuff and you know what, that part of it, is really super sweet. And if you are thinking about PR and sweetening your image and all that, Martha’s show is doing a really good job for that too because she — through the camera you can kind of control more or less what you want to send across through editing and in that regard I think she is doing pretty good. But tell you what? I am seeing a lot of the Yes man’s syndrome going on within this Martha Stewart show. What was up with that lady; the one that just got fired with the other lady? She kept telling her yes, that’s a great idea, yes. Do you really need those types of people around? I guess if you maybe have some kind of low self-esteem of some sort, you need somebody telling you yes all the time, but I would be very leery about somebody that only tells me yes and agrees with things all the time. Because I know for a fact I am not always right. I am not always right and isn’t it true that the people that you truly respect are the ones that debate you a little bit or bring up other scenarios or other options? And I am not talking about being just a dick or a devil’s advocate and getting in the way, but someone who’s truly bringing up other thoughts that you can bounce off of and that way you know that they are not going to be just a pushover. I don’t know; that’s what I was thinking. I did think that Matchstick did well. They had good samples, they did a good job, everything was on point but one thing on all these promotions is why aren’t they having the name of these products all over everything? I mean if you own the product and you put your money into it, wouldn’t your name be all over everything? I don’t know, mine would, tell you that for sure.
Tomorrow I am going to on a trip, going to the Podcast Expo and Portable Media Expo in California taking the family up there and this is going to be a cool, little trip. I will keep you guys posted on this when I come back, but this week make sure you get a chance to listen to the interviews that we have got coming up, Henk Rogers and Josh Feldman. Josh Feldman is my classmate and it’s kind of funny because when we initially — and well, when I initially contacted Josh, he was probably one of the very first people that I talked to about this entire concept and he kind of blew me off. And when I asked him about it later, why did he decide to come on instead of blowing me off, he told me he said, because I have known you since high school and I didn’t know if this is going to be some kind of reality show and you are going to make fun of me and ridicule me on the air, which I thought was kind of funny. But he said, you know, after I came on I really enjoyed it. And I think you enjoyed Josh’s insights? He is a very sharp guy, went into a family business that was doing extremely bad and really, truly turned it around. I got to give this guy a lot of credit. Tori Richard, which is the company that he runs right now and the clothing company. It’s just hands down so much better than it was a decade ago before he got there. So you’ll get Josh’s insights on that and then you’ll hear from Henk Rogers and a lot of people have been waiting for this Henk Rogers interview and we finally are being able to get it up and broadcast it. And Henk Rogers is the one who owns all the Tetris rights for mobile devices and handhelds and he just sold his company, which was three and half years old. It’s called Blue Lava Wireless. He sold to a publicly held company called JAMDAT for $137 million in cash in stock. So Henk goes through the story of how he flew to Russia, convinced the Russian Government to give him the rights, convinced the KGB and in his early 30s he had the guts, the balls, the hoods power, whatever you want to call it but he really made it happen, and Henk is doing some interesting things for the students here of Hawaii. So check that out, that will be available I think Saturday, Sunday, I don’t know when I had scheduled it for the online version but we are going to be also on the radio at 14:20 am. I believe it’s at 3 o’clock prior to the pre-game show for the UH football game; hopefully they’ll win. And I’ll update you from, for next week out at California. Hopefully we’ll have some good news on these deals we are trying to cut and hopefully we can get you folks more content, better content and more stuff that can help you guys out.

Okay, thanks for being patient with me. I know that its been a while from the last Evan’s Journal and I’ll talk to you folks later.