Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey's
Ideas @ Work!
 Volume 4: December 2008

Point to Ponder

"Home is where the heart is..."  Or, so I have heard in the past. Following my recent trip to Iran, with 4 days in London on the way home, I have a much better understanding of this comment.

As you may know, Irene and I were recently married (in Las Vegas on Oct 4th). I am truly blessed to have her in my life. We make a great partnership in life and in business, and she likes to sail... how lucky can one man be!
Normally when I travel I am not homesick, however this last trip was different. In spite of an amazing reception in Iran and some interesting sites in London, I found myself missing her.
We were able to Skype via the computer and would talk almost every day, which helped a lot. I couldn't help wishing she was there on occasion to share the experiences, especially in London (Irene has been there before and told me lots of places to visit).
Amazing how things change when you make a commitment. Now this may seen funny coming from me, as I have wished Irene was along on some of my other trips, but this time it was more obvious to me.
It just crystallized how important it is for me (and I hope for you) to keep connected with those we love, and with those who we hold important in our lives. This is one of the reasons I do this e-zine every month, even when my schedule is, at times, hectic. I hear from so many of you that you enjoy reading it, enjoy hearing about my little adventures, and on occasion you share where I have been able to inspire or challenge you to grow. I even have several family members, including my sister, who subscribe just to keep an eye on me. Smile! That keeps me focused and working on your behalf... I miss you too, when I travel. I also have the amazing privilege to add new friends and extended family as I travel the world and this is one way to keep in touch with them as well.  Hello to my new Iranian friends with this December 2008 issue. 
Archives of past issues are available on our website.

Late breaking news - Don't Panic!
"The ultimate measure of a man (or woman) is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience; but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
The world is in crisis (again). Businesses, countries, politicians, and multitudes of regular people are panicking and recession is the watch word.This seems to be the focus of the western world and, frankly, I don't care for this excessive focus on the negative. Yes, there are serious challenges and people in many parts of the world are really suffering. I understand fully as I have been there in the past. Following 911 I saw my speaking and training business go into a tail spin and the next couple of years were very tough indeed. Without minimizing their suffering, we need to move on...
We have endured serious recessions in the past... 1980's and in 1992 as I well recall... The key is not to panic, not to pull back and live in fear, not to hoard your pennies, and not to live in a constant state of stress.  When that happens, it gets worse and it takes longer for us to dig our way out. Please, don't buy into the fear!
I told my new friends in Iran that I had decided not to participate in this recession, other than in offering hope and help to those who have found themselves stuck or sucked into it. My intention is for my business to grow and prosper, 'even' in tough times.
We will be working on adding this focus to our Secret Selling Tips, Secret Leadership Tips, and to our various speaking roles over the estimated two years it will take for us to weather this storm and come out the other end.
Picture overlooks the Persian Gulf on the Isle of Kish.
Winston Churchill once said, "A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty." I intend living my life as an optimist. 
Sure, I will continue to evaluate my purchases and investments of time and resources... as I already do.  But, I will not live in fear or worry excessively about the future. I am investing in my future by investing in myself, my skills, and my business activities today. I am creating a positive, productive, and profitable future today!
Some businesses choose to take positive action, like my good friends at The Brick who recently launched Canada's first annual Red Day promotion (Friday Nov. 28th) as their answer to the annual US Black Friday sales promotions. They hope it will evolve into an industry wide, national program that is embraced by Canadian Retailers across the country. Next year I will be looking at how I can offer my help to make this happen across the country.
The Chinese have a symbol for Crisis which incorporates two elements: Time of Danger and a Time of Opportunity.
This is our time and we have the skills, the expertise, and the courage to take it and make it something we can be truly proud of when we look back at this time. To paraphrase Churchill...."this was their finest hour!"  We can weather this storm and come out stronger, richer, and more confident! Let's do it together!
Please forward this message to anyone who is struggling or you think needs a nudge back to the positive, take action side of life.

Impressions of Iran
I recently completed a speaking tour of Iran where I spoke to a variety of audiences (6 days in a row). One of the most asked questions during my 8 days in Iran was, "What are your impressions of Iran?" Followed by, "When will you come back?" I was even asked these two questions during my interview on their national TV.
Quite simply I told them, "I came with no real expectations other than comments from some of my speaker friends of being well treated on their visits. I wanted to experience you for myself. What I experienced first hand was wonderful people with warm hearts who accepted me and my ideas. Wonderful people who were so hospitable." In fact, I told them, "You are amazing! I have never been so welcomed or well treated in my travels. The world needs to know that the Iranian people are wonderful." And in answer to the second question, "When someone invites me back."
The Iranians loved our little Pocket Wisdom series. I had the distinct privilege to share my ideas both on stage and off with a variety of audiences. Fortunately I had an amazing translator who helped me convey my ideas.Thanks again, Sepehr!
On Sunday (Nov. 9th), I shared some ideas with 40 or so branch managers from Iran's largest distribution company to assist them in getting ready for a major product launch later that month. I saw their Managing Director later in the week and he was expressive in his thanks for really helping him.
On Monday afternoon, I keynoted the 3rd annual Strategic Management conference and shared some ideas on personal leadership. I closed with an Iranian saying, "May peace be upon us" and may our leadership bring about this peace in our lives and our countries.  I was overwhelmed when the entire audience stood and started singing back to me. I was later told they were responding to my comment about peace.
On Tuesday, I spent the entire day with 170 sales managers from around Iran with the Industrial Management Organization. They had run 1/4 page color ads in the local paper as well as articles. During the break I noticed people picking up papers... and the second section had an article with my picture on it.. how cool was that. We also had our first Iranian sign ups for our Secret Selling Tips and our upcoming Secret Leadership Tips, which moved us from being a North American company to an International one. Later that week I received a personalized Waterman (Paris) pen and this note from a Managing Director who had his team attend that session:

"Dear Mr. Hooey: Thank you for elevating my Sales Team's knowledge during your sales management seminar in Tehran (Iran). I look forward to meeting you in person during your future seminars. Warm regards." Mendi Ghaemi, Managing Director, Bidar Group, Tehran, Iran

On Wednesday and Thursday, I spoke at Sepehr's Time, Stress & Memory Management conference along with Kevin Kelly (from Ireland) and David Thomas (from England) to a sold out audience of over 550 people. Again we were mobbed when we were off stage by people eager to share their experiences and to thank us for coming. Wow!
Thursday evening, Sepehr Tarverdian(our client and translator extraordinary), David and myself boarded a plane to fly to the Island of Kish (in the Persian Gulf not too far from Dubai) where we would speak Friday at the Kish International Campus of the University of Iran to a group of 200 plus energetic students, faculty and business leaders.
They cancelled all classes so the students could attend our sessions at this special conference. They actually put together the conference to take advantage of David and myself being in the country. It was confirmed just a week before we flew into Tehran.
I was again overwhelmed by the warmth of their response both on and off the stage (picture above is audience asking questions following my first session) to my two messages on personal leadership and productivity (or time management). I was further humbled by the kind words of their dean, included here:

"Dear Bob Hooey: It's a great pleasure and an honor for me to have hosted you in our conference in November 2008, in the beautiful Kish Island. Your shared insights and practical tips have enriched our understanding of the current tough business environment and life. I once again express our heart-felt gratitude and thanks to you, for having accepted our invitation to speak in our conference. May you prosper in every endeavor you undertake in your life in the future." Dr. Nosratollah Zargham, Head of Kish International Campus, University of Tehran.

Saturday, my young friend and delightful guide from our week, Sogand Sedighi (pictured here) who is currently working on her MBA, teaches English, and is married to a professor, picked me up at the hotel and took me shopping for the afternoon.
With her wise help, I was able to purchase some very nice scarves, jewelry, and other Iranian mementos to bring home with me. I was also able to collect some coins and older (out of circulation) bills for my friend Kim who collects them.He was extatic when I gave them to him upon my return.
Saturday evening my friend, Sepehr Tarverdian (pictured here) came to the hotel to spend the evening and brought along an amazing, beautiful, silk, hand-woven Persian rug as a wedding present. It was a bit of a challenge getting it safely home, but Irene and I will cherish his generosity of spirit and his wonderful gift.
In short, I had an amazing visit to Iran and would encourage any who have the chance to visit to go. My brilliant friend Michel Neray from Toronto has just agreed to go in Feb of 2009 and be one of 8 speakers at another conference Sepehr is planning. I was able to recommend him as I know he is a great speaker. I am positive he will find a warm reception from my Iranian friends.
Flew to London on Sunday morning, where I spent 4 days playing tourist in London. I include links to some of my pictures for London and Iran I recently uploaded to my Facebook.

A new idea for Christmas
Irene has just finished her new e-series....Muffin Mania... a weekly series of delicious muffin recipes, muffin motivations, and fun stories from Muffins and Megabytes.  It is
perfect for a Christmas gift or a thank you to a client who is hard to buy for...
She has a six recipe sampler that you can try out, or you can follow this link to order the full series at a special Ideas At Work price of only $12 for the year.
I'm thinking of giving it as a Christmas gift to some of our clients and friends and recommend that might be a delicious idea for you as well.

Last Minute News
December will be a bit less hectic than November. I am presently in Toronto attending our annual Canadian Association of Professional Speakers convention. (Runs Sunday through Tues). Presented a session for our annual Meet The Experts yesterday morning at 7:30AM. Oh well, smile. It will be great to reconnect and trade stories, best ideas, and hugs with my CAPS, NSA, and IFPS family and colleagues. I truly love these folks and fellow road warriors.  
On Wed I will attend the Global Speakers Summit with other speakers from around the world who also work in various countries. Following that, my friend Michel Neray (who was just in England for the PSA convention) will take myself and one or more of our English speakers for a tour and a dinner at his place, before I wing my way home that evening.
December will be a writing month for sure...
  • need to finish tweaks to second half of Secret Selling Tips, Vol. 2;
  • work on Vol. 3 (English and French versions) for The Brick for Dec 31st launch;
  • work on Secret Leadership Tips for mid January 2009 launch;
  • Reworking our Secret Selling Tips to add a new focus... "Selling Success, 'even' in tough times" which reflects the reality we all face;
  • starting work on two new writing projects;
  • and getting our branch office set up in Mundare, so I can easily work in either location. Whew!
I will also be presenting for Alberta Easter Seals staff later this month (Dec 10th) (I spoke and did their Drop Zone event in September) and then attending the Alberta Association of Fundraising Executives' annual lunch and auction. Will also be begining my work on materials to take with me to Mumbai, India toward the end of January 2009

To my friends who also observe Christmas, I wish you the very best gifts of love, laughter, and the warm wishes of your family and friends. Remember the reason for the season! To our other friends, I wish you the same gifts as these are not just for this season. My wish is that 'all of us' will confidently move forward into 2009 to make it our most productive and fun filled year to date. See you in the new year.
Thanks for reading
Just had to take my picture here... as a speaker, it would be a shame to miss it.
Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased to be a part of your success team and to work with you to help make your conference, meeting or training event a success. For more information about customized keynotes, professional and personal leadership training and coaching, seminars/retreats, please visit or call our Creative Office at: (780) 736-0009 for availability.

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December 2008

                 What's New!
Secret Selling Tips and Secret Leadership Tips go international with subscribers from Iran and Dubai, UAE.
Pocket Wisdom series, including new Pocket Wisdom for Innovators sold very well in Iran.

Secret Selling Tips is being tweaked. Selling Success, 'even' in tough times to help our struggling retailers and sales teams across North America.
In the Company of Leaders continues to sell well around the world. This could be a great gift for someone who aspires or is in leadership. Follow this link to purchase it for on $20 vs. cover price of $32.95


About Bob

Bob is a professional speaker, author, leadership, sales, and business success expert

Bob is a long time  leader and professional member of Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, a member of NSA-Arizona, as well as the International Federation for Professional Speakers.

He is proud to be an active professional member of these amazing groups of people dedicated to polishing their craft and to better serving their clients and audiences.

Bob is the co-founder and a past president of CAPS Vancouver, an honorary founding member of CAPS Sask., an honorary member of CAPS Halifax, as well as being an active member of CAPS Edmonton. He served as CAPS National Director (2000-2002).

He would be happy to discuss how he can work with you to equip and motivate your leaders, their teams, sales teams, or volunteers to grow and to succeed.

Call him today at 1-780-736-0009 to explore leveraging his innovative Ideas At Work with your organization.
Or, email him at

Ideas At Work!
10 Creativity Corner
Egremont, Alberta T0A 0Z0, CANADA

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