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Whatever happened to happily naive?

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Blissful ignorance was killed October 24, 1929. Her twin brother was shot dead September 6, 2008.

83 years ago this month the Great Depression began.

Oct 24, 1929 is known as Black Thursday.

The market dropped 11% on the opening bell and panic ensued culminating in Black Monday's loss of 12.82% and Black Tuesday's piling on of another 11.73% drop.

Within two weeks the market was down 40% from its highs set less than two months prior.

Two and half years later—July 1932—the market had bottomed after a numbing 89% wipe out.

My great grandfather lived well into his 90's and we hung out a good bit. He was in his early 30's when the Great Depression took hold of this nation and it impacted him for life. I remember working in his garage, which was chock full of jars choked to the brim with old nails, screws and bolts and the rafters were crammed full of wood scraps and reclaimed lumber he would never get rid of.

Become One of The 5

He had seen how everything he knew could be taken away in a moment so he was always prepared for the worst because he did not understand how it came about, so he feared it and expected it to happen again, at any time.

Being prepared for the worst is a good thing. Expecting and fearing for the worst, always looking over your shoulder, is not.

However, someone has to be vigilant.

As a father of six I must forgo certain pleasures and accept the responsibility to provide a blissfully ignorant environment for my children for their frolicking, merriment and well-rounded development. Yet, in time, over time, at the right time I must make them aware of the dangers lurking just over the horizon, across the street and maybe even next door.

Devious parents remove this naivete too soon. Neglectful parents send their kids into the world at the age of 18—or 24 or even 28 lately—with it fully intact.

Paul Revere is heralded for informing our nation of a pending attack. Consider me the Paul Revere of business & marketing consulting. Few listened to me in 2002 or 2004. I admit was a bit early, but I like building my ark before the rain comes and digging my well before I'm thirsty.

The Fall of 2002 is when I bought my first bit of physical gold. I still have those first coins and all of his siblings!

From December 2004 to March 2011 I rented my home in California because I knew we were in a real estate bubble. I warned anyone that would listen. A few followed my advice and made a lot of money selling their homes at the peak and renting.

Most didn't. Then the second death occurred.

Eat This To Sell More

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed on September 6, 2008. A week later so did Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch and panic struck the global markets.

By March 2009 the DJIA lost 53.78% and today's generation is learning what it's like to do without, while reading about it on their smartphones.

In March of 2010 I was forced to finally buy a house in SoCal because the homes we were renting got foreclosed out from under us—TWICE—just six months apart! Fortunately we were able to buy the home we were in and we picked it up at nearly 50% off.

*Sidebar: we're not out of the real estate mess yet. Not by a long shot. I was content to continue renting but the housing market is such a mess we couldn't find a single home that met our needs, price and location requirements and was owned by a financially-stable investor despite knowing there are literally thousands of homes in default in my little town. The housing games will continue for another 5 years if we're lucky. Another 10 if D.C. keeps its collective head up lobbyists' asses.

The previous owner of my house was blissfully naive. His naivete led him to buy multiple homes based on two faulty assumptions:

  1. that nobody ever lost money on California real estate.
  2. that his job was secure.

He found out the hard way neither was true. So have millions of others. And school is still in session.

There will be a test. You can ignore the fact the test is coming and hope you'll pass it when it lands on your desk. Let me know how that works out for you.

Or you can prepare.

To prepare you can do all of the studying yourself or you can find a tutor to help accelerate your learning and confirm you are studying for the right test.

If you decide to find a tutor, look for one that has not only "been there, done that, got the t-shirt," but one who is currently kicking ass and taking names.

The world is changing faster than we can document it. That's why you must be present to win. Get in the game with a great team. Surround yourself with motivated doers who are blissfully informed, who are making things happen, who are getting bloodied and knocked down but have help and encouragement getting back up, who have great coaching and, in their own right, are becoming great coaches by doing.

Life—and business—is a contact sport.

You can be the bystander, the passenger or the driver. Either way, there will be bumps. But the most turbulence is created by the stone attempting to stand its ground in the middle of the raging waters.

Learn to navigate the rapids for the greatest safety, rewards, experiences and progress. Wanna learn fast?

If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as:

Good Selling,

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