Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey's
Ideas @ Work! Volume
4: December 2008
"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
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
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.
"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
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
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
The Chinese have a symbol for
incorporates two elements: Time of Danger and a Time of
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
forward this message to anyone who is struggling or you think needs
a nudge back to the positive, take action side of
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
A new idea for
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
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.
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
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
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
and getting our branch
office set up in Mundare, so I can easily work in either location.
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
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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
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
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
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