I Don’t Practice What I Preach – August 7, 2008

I Don’t Practice What I Preach

I know these revelations may shock you! In fact, when I reflected on it, I shocked myself to death. And to top things off, my good friends – Swami Moochananda and Doctor Mumbo Jumbo – are off on a spiritual retreat down in Cancun. It sounds like they are suffering greatly. I hate to say it, but I heard that line from the play Nunsense. But this puts me in a real dilemma. I can’t focus on marketing of http://www.selfawareness.com/, as my subject matter experts are suffering in Cancun.

Let me tell the story how my revelation came to me. I was reflecting upon a big meeting at Motorola. Folks there were sharing how they used to relax, and at the time, watching the Science Fiction channel was my escape. We broke up into teams of two, and my partner thought that watching monster movies was something only his son did – not adults. Then I thought about Mike Royko, who was a highly paid reporter, and a biography of him is found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Royko. One thing Mike liked to do was read The World Weekly News, which is the worst tabloid, in his opinion. I don’t believe this tabloid still exists, but they used to have stories, like “Elvis is an alien”, “Abraham Lincoln Haunts The White House”, “Rock Music was Invented by a Demon from Another Dimension”, etc. So if Royko can relax with The World Weekly News, I can relax with a monster movie. But those days are gone, as I no longer have the Science Fiction Channel.

Here is the shocking news! I have a graduate degree in psychology, and can figure out the emotional hot buttons, that cause groups of people to buy. And I write copy to get technology B2B companies to buy from other B2B technology companies. While I induce brand awareness of a product, I don’t buy brands myself. Mike Royko could easily afford a Rolex. But he preferred to pay $40 for a watch, which is purely functional. I probably take this a bit more extreme than Mike. You will find me shopping at Target and Wal-Mart, and going to dollar stores, like Dollar Tree and Dollar General. If you see me in a store, you find me buying store brands over name brands.

I also apply this philosophy to universities. Before getting my psychology degree, I spend thirteen years running my old consulting company – doing the technology work, the sales and marketing, etc. After getting a graduate degree in psychology from Norwich University, I was a duel citizen for over 10 years. Seven years I was working at Motorola, in various technology roles – six-sigma, project management, technical writing, and software engineering (following three years of running my own company). The other life is living at the College of Dupage, taking all the writing and English courses available: screen writing, novel writing, short story writing, poetry writing, non-fiction writing, etc. So I filled up my nights and weekends with tons of material. But I didn’t go to Columbia College in Chicago, or other arts related graduate program. Why? The cost is far cheaper at COD, and I could train for the life of a creative writer.

How can you write about brands, when you ignore brands in your personal life? Because I’m not saying brands are bad. I’m just saying that for me, I prefer equivalent functionality. Once an insurance agent related an experience. He toured a pineapple factory, and saw the same assembly line pineapples being put into a well-known national brand, and also a store brand. But as we all know, the national brand costs more. Sorry for the digression. I need to call Cancun, and see if Swami Moochananda and Doctor Mumbo Jumbo, Ph.D., are getting back next week, or the following week.

Randy Kemp



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