#occuppy Wallstreet. Classic Ready, Fire, Aim Strategy.

Regular readers may or may not have noticed I stay away from politics. I also don’t mention religion. And I sure don’t write about the place of religion in politics. But the #occupy protests over the last few weeks are just too juicy for me to ignore. Yummy, juicy, deliciously stupid. Uh oh. I said it. Stupid. “But, Pete…” you might say. “You live in Austin, TX. You’re gonna get fried for that comment”. Bring it people. I call it as I see it and I see stupidity. Here’s why.

No doubt you’ve heard the expression “Ready, Aim, Fire” in the context of marketing. And what is marketing? Essentially it’s getting a message out. The #occupiers are trying to get a message out too. The only problem is, they don’t even know what the message is. They are doing the same thing many companies do when it comes to marketing. “Ready, Fire, Aim”.  That strategy, or lack thereof, simply will not work. Will they get attention? Of course. Will they send a “message”? Well, they will send some kind of message. Will they meet their goals? How can they if they don’t have anything specific – anything actionable.

They did a great job with “Ready” utilizing social media and manipulating the press and police. They certainly “Fired” when they started showing up. It’s the “Aim” part that seems to be missing. Some would want you to believe that sooner or later, they will get their message together. I’m not so sure. Their target “Corporations” is too vague. It’s just like saying “Everybody needs our product”. Maybe it’s true, but it’s not as strategy that can be executed. Strategies are specific in terms of target and outcome. Regardless of your political position, it is clear that their targets are “anyone but us” and their outcome is unknown at this point.

On a more personal note, the idea that these poor folks can’t “find” a job is totally off target. It implies that jobs are “found” or “given”. I feel that I can editorialize on this aspect because I’ve been jobless before. Well, in fact, I’ve never had a “job”. And thus, nobody ever had to give me a “job”. Have I been unemployed my entire life? Of course not. I’ve been self employed my entire adult life.

I created my “job”. But I didn’t stop there. I created jobs for others. I’m not that special. Every one of those protestors that can’t find a job needs to wake up and start taking some responsibility. A friend of mine was unemployed for about 9 months. He started a business picking up dog….business. He’s making six figures now and he doesn’t pick up anything but checks from grateful customers. How simple is that?

And don’t even get me started on young people whining about too much debt from school. They made the decision to enter into a contract. They made the decision to buy XBoxes, pizza parties, beer bongs and IPads. But now they don’t want to pay up. Again, in a fit of narcissism, I’ll use myself as an example. I worked my way through college. It took 5 years. I had some debt in student loans and it took me well into my adult life to pay them off. I also had a couple small grants. But the majority of the costs were born by me. I put in 15 hour days on a regular basis and I survived. I didn’t whine, protest and tear down. Instead, I started a company and built something.

But that’s just me. If you own a business you understand what I’m talking about. You take the risk. You pay the piper. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. But nobody else bears responsibility for your success or failure except you. If you live to build, let’s talk. If you want to whine about how tough life is, I think the protesters are gathering down at Starbucks.


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