Go Green! Go White! The Inside View at MSU

Who will win the MSU-U-M football game?

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September was a remarkable month for me and the Broad College of Business. I got to speak at the new Gaynor Entrepreneurial Lab (GEL) in front of 80 or so students for nearly 80 minutes (longer than the actual playing time of a football game) and it was a truly engaging time. You can listen to the podcast, just Goggle search.

A couple days later I was part of the ribbon cutting for the Pavilion, the new $62 million dollar building that will make the Broad College competitive with the best of business schools and has created a space for students I could only have dreamt about way back then. For $3 million, the BUB and I scored front row seats.

Academics is alive and well at MSU. 2019 marks the highest incoming freshman class in history, the highest number of students overall and highest GPA and ACT scores required. With all the scandals, students still want to invest four years at MSU.

The flip side of all this is athletics. I knew it, when I said athletics, your mind immediately went to football! The irony of the situation is that MSU has more than 100 athletic programs but no one cares about any of them except for football and basketball. That got me to thinking: Why are there four years to a college degree? Why not three, why not five? Why are there four quarters to a football game?

I’ve been going to MSU football games for enough years that I now have second row seats near the 50. The games always started at Noon, tailgating at 9:30AM. I never drank alcohol then but Turkeyman was a treat. So was watching the marching band and the cheerleaders. The game lasted three hours and perfect timing to get home and enjoy Saturday night.

Lately MSU hasn’t had many noon games, in fact, not a single one this year. We had to play Western at 7:00PM if you can believe. Why? The NCAA dictates each team’s schedule meaning it’s all about money. Now the games last more than 3.5 hours and the scoreboard even shows the commercial time left in green. At home you can at least go to the bathroom, grab a snack, scan your phone or switch channels. Not so in a stadium especially when it is cold, rainy, windy or even sunny. Those 2:40 minutes go by very slow.

But what the heck, we’re talking smack down football. Football is the sport that changes man like no other sport. State makes a first down, fans high five. State runs an offensive play without fumbling or being intercepted or losing yardage or being penalized, fans high five. State scores a touchdown, a new world of order just happened and the stadium erupts. Fans are so easily manipulated. We will put up with anything when the team wins, even those f—–ing commercials.

Let me tell you this: At the ribbon cutting, we had the new President on stage, Sam Stanley, a fine young man of 65 who I had the pleasure of having breakfast with. We had Sanjay Gupta on stage (he was full of smiles!), the Dean of the business school. We had Minskoff on stage, the guy from NY that gave $30 million, the biggest gift to MSU of all time. Not once during any of their presentations did the spectators high five. Behind the stage area were more than 100 MSU students. Sure they clapped politely, but not a single high five.

That my friends is the difference between academics and athletics. That my friends is the power of football and somewhat basketball. High fives.

Now that academics is better than ever and the Broad College of Business is on the way to competing with the Ross School of Business, it is time to clean up athletics, specifically football and leadership. We all know athletics is the root problem of the Nasser tragedy that cost the then President and then Athletic Director among others, their jobs. We now know there are more stories from a couple years ago that both Dantonio and Simon have to testify after the football schedule is over with. And sadly we know that the MSU football team are losers with no offense, no defense, no special teams and certainly no coaching. The team is pathetic and look, MSU hasn’t won a national championship since 1966. We deserve better. MSU fans deserve better. The state of Michigan deserves better.

I for one decided to give up my season tickets. I will not be alone. Certainly Dantonio will retire after this season. Hopefully a new AD will be hired so we can start fresh. And everyone else in-between, time to clean house.

I’m proud to be a Spartan and clearly, academics rules at MSU. But all the crap that has gone on at athletics over the past few years has damaged MSU’s reputation and we need to get that back and that is what Sam Stanley is going to do. I’m just a donor who bleeds green but come on, we cannot watch another football game in which we lose 38-0 and when the Detroit Free Press gives out 0’s to the coaching staff, offense and defense teams.

Until something drastically changes, I’ll forgo my annual donation, second row seats and eight hours of Saturday misery and once again enjoy my fall Saturday’s.

In the meantime, go visit the Pavilion. It is truly one of the best college buildings you will ever see, complete with Panera Bread, team meeting rooms, high tech team rooms, classrooms, lounges, free space and so much more. That my friends is an investment worth making.

Happy Thursday!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

How many times a week do you eat fast food?

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Love, love, love the new EMMA Beauty products. I just received the first micro-batch of Triple Treat and it’s like no other product. It is three products in one: cream, lotion and oil. The slip is awesome, the fragrance level is just right and it’s super concentrated for an impactful experience.

EMMA Beauty Triple Treat Intensive Moisturizing Cream, 3.3 oz.

EcoTherapy Hand & Body Melts are the ultimate paraffin alternative and using it with Triple Treat, your hands and feet will have gone to heaven. Swear.

EMMA Beauty EcoTherapy Hand & Body Melts

ZIP DIP is the revolutionary powder system that everyone is raving about and we have yet to ship. Finally we expect delivery end of the week. The entire system is pretty awesome and being totally odorless, frosting on the cake. And everyone is going to love the glass jars too.

EMMA ZIP DIP EMMA Powder Nail Color, Swatch

Speaking of loving a new product, the All-In-One Hair Dryer & Volumizer is the miracle tool that hairdressers can’t get enough of. For the first time in a long time, salons are actually retailing a hair appliance. Love it!

XHI All-In-One Hair Dryer & Volumizer Hot Air Brush

ISPA (spa show)starts Wednesday in Las Vegas and this could signal the beginning of the end. The show floor is the smallest ever with about 250 exhibitors. But there were less than 400 registered spas as of last week. This is while the spa business has never been better. Even spas located in Vegas aren’t attending. Trade magazines, trade shows, trade associations: It all makes you truly understand the power of the Internet and social media.

Football season is here. Lions started out worse than predicted although how the worst team in NFL history can start out winning is truly an oxymoron. State finally looked good, albeit against Western. U-M? Not sure how the fans tolerate Harbough. But nothing like football to kick off the fall season!

In case you are wondering how my hip is doing, all swell! Another 6 weeks and back to spinning and full yoga. So much better than before, certainly if you know someone that needs it, recommend they do it sooner than later.

I just cancelled Netflix. Other than Ozark and Stranger Things, the network is a joke for adults. I’m loving Succession on HBO and hating The Affair on Showtime. In fact, not watching it anymore after the first episode was so bad. So much more fun reading a good book.

Fast food sales have surged this year. Chipotle, McDonald’s and even Popeye’s are blowing it out of the water. Typically you see this in a down economy or when unemployment is high. Experts chime in that American’s are addicted to fried, salty and tasty food. At the same time, more gyms are opening than ever. Yet obesity is winning the game. One Popeye’s fried chicken sandwich is 480 calories (not counting fries, soft drink). One hour of yoga or working out pretty hard is 300 calories. Hmm, no wonder obesity wins every time. Home cooking is at a record low (do you wonder where they get all these stats?).

Divorce rates are the lowest in 35 years. Then again, the percentage of marriage age adults getting married is the lowest in decades.

Apple has its big conference this week announcing the new iPhone 11. 5G is going to be the rage, let’s see if 5G is part of this phone even though the networks are not rolled out yet. Internal fingerprint ID and updated photography are other enhancements rumored. Will it be enough for us iPhone users to trade up?

Happy Monday!

Out Of My Mind On A Tuesday Mornin’

When do you think the start of the next recession will be?

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So three days after my hip replacement surgery I’m walking without a cane. All is good. Then a few days later I’m in my office and my hands and fingers start to scratch like hell. I can’t stop scratching, it feels so good. I get home, call my derm and he tells me to slather crème on my hands and come in the morning. OK. But later at night the itching intensifies to the point I have to go to ER. In fact the itching was so bad I was thinking of being in a Saw movie and seeing if I could stop itching for ten minutes or die. Death was more enjoyable. Anyways, the doctor gives me a Benadryl IV and the itching starts to subside. Another IV a couple hours later and I could breathe again. But hives don’t go away just like that. After being released, later that day they moved to my back and legs. My lip was swollen, even my eyes were affected. Hives has to be one of the worst things to experience and hope you never have to in your lifetime (1 in 5 will). They think I was allergic to aspirin and aspirin has a 5 day half-life in your body. No more aspirin for me!

Yes I missed Cosmoprof and yes, I missed nothing at all. The only ones stating the show was a success were the show promoters and my reliable sources told me not only was the show floor eerily quiet, there was no action. Sunday was especially slow. Then again, just about half the show is packaging, less than a third of the show is professional (whatever that is these days) and the rest are tiny beauty start-ups that Cosmoprof for some reason has tried to make them super stars. Alas, this show is going down and in fact, next year it is being held just a couple days prior to July 4 and for the first time, starts and ends midweek. Why? Cheaper of course. But wait, in 2021 the shows moves to the LV Convention center. Why? Cheaper yet. Good for the Westgate but c’mon, how pathetic to see this happen.

Wallop! Ouch, being walloped is never a good feeling and this is exactly the feeling we got July 1 when Trump added 25% tariffs to many categories that were sight unseen. One category was nitrile gloves. Most interesting, nitrile, vinyl and latex gloves cannot be manufactured in the USA due to the chemicals required for production. So why would Trump add 25% to millions and millions of gloves that we must have on a daily basis? The list is excruciating and will immediately increase prices in the market. No wonder core inflation was up this month. Come September 1, virtually all other item will be tariffed at 10%. Sorry Trump, you are a complete moron fighting a trade war in which you know nothing about. At least with President Xi, there is a sense of strategy and compromise. But with the elections not until next year, the stand-off could get even more intense. Then again, Trump might just tweet he f—ked up and get rid of all the tariffs. This is no way to run the economy. [Update: Trump just postponed the 10% tariffs that were to take place September 1!!!!! Freaky]

Everyone is loving thebeautybook Fall 2019 edition. Me too. I have to admit, we have the most innovative products in the marketplace and some of which I am really over-the-top with include EcoTherapy, Scentworks melts, EMMA ZIP DIP, EMMA Gold and all the new treatments along with retail products, Triple Treat massage cream and the entire new lineup of scrubs and butters from Ginger Lily Farms.

Now that ForPro Professional Collection is the best-selling brand in the business, I guess I should be flattered about all the Chinese trading companies stealing our name and using it on their counterfeit products. I can only imagine what luxury brands must go through to protect their trademarks and designs.

I’m watching Season 3 of Stranger Things. Totally 80’s and totally awesome. But after watching the last episode, bye-bye Netflix.

Hard to believe but the new MSU Pavilion building is done and open for the new school year. The Gaynor Entrepreneurial Lab is ready for prime time and I get to speak September 27 to about 100 students. With more students in college than any other time in history and student debt quickly approaching $2 billion, I’m not sure this is the best time to be a student. Then again, there is nothing more fun than four years at a great school like State.

My surgeon cleared me yesterday and now I can go back to lifting weights, ride a bike and shortly, swim. The things you take for granted. One thing for certain: The more trips to the doctor, the less you take things for granted.

Happy Tuesday!

Hip Replacement Surgery 2019

Hip Replacement Surgery 2019

What is the worst pain you have experienced?

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Tomorrow is the day and is finally here. By this time tomorrow I will be done and most likely on my way home. 

Years ago hip replacement surgery (HRS) was about pain management. Those were the days of plastic hips. Now with titanium hips, it’s all about walking the moment you get off the operating table.

Having surgery of any kind is never fun but luckily we have the best health care system in the world and when you do need it, there is nothing better than knowing you are in good care. The entire process is quite profound and it starts at 6:45AM. Beforehand, the surgeon requires you to do blood work, make sure your EKG is OK, do a nasal swatch, take a class to learn what you are in store for, buy a cold therapy machine (fancy device that incorporates ice and water) instead of using ice packs and be hydrated the day of surgery.

Mind you all this is outpatient. Tomorrow morning the doctor will administer a pain block near the surgical site which takes 30 minutes. Then the anesthesiologist (is there a longer name for a doctor than this one?) puts you out. The surgeon operates for 45-60 minutes. You then have a one-two hour recovery in your private room. Then the PT guys shows up: Fits you with a walker, takes you on a walk, teaches you how to walk up and down stairs, teaches you a few exercises and then off to the car to go home.

The next day a nurse shows up at the house to make sure everything is OK and then it’s all about icing, pain medication, walking and exercising. First the walker, then the cane and then home free. Three weeks no driving (lucky to have UBER) and then get to swim and stationary bike. Twelve weeks 85% healed. One year, 100%.

900,000 Americans get either a hip or knee replacement each year. So many in fact, that everyone I told that I am getting this done knew at least one or two others that had to have it done too.  I’m currently finishing up the book, “The Pioneers” which is an excellent history lesson from the 1780’s to mid 1800’s. Just to think they had no options like this back then and I could only imagine what HRS looked like if it was needed.

Anyway, looking forward to no pain in the hip, walking normal again and knowing short term pain for long term gain is what it is all about. Thanks everyone for their best wishes, good luck and yadda-yadda-yadda. And of course the blog would not be complete without HIP HIP HOORAY!

I have to close with this cartoon, send courtesy of Hola Herman! Too funny.

image

Happy Monday!

Update!
Tuesday, July 23
Arrived at UnaSource surgical center in Troy at 6:30AM. If you have to have joint replacement surgery, this is the place I highly recommend. From the moment you enter to the moment you leave, you are surrounded by qualified staff. They immediately took me to my private room where they took my vitals and hooked me to an IV. The anesthesiologist introduced himself and gave me a pain block in my right thigh (a bit of amnesia medication in my IV since I did not remember any of it). My surgeon, Dr. Verner, actually came to say hello and we chatted for a couple minutes. He left and I was wheeled into the OR. I saw this room for a few seconds until the mask went over my face. One hour surgery, two hour recovery, the PT guy came in my room, set up my walker and I started walking. Amazing. He showed me how to walk up and down stairs and then to the car to head back home at 1:30PM.
I received three types of narcotics and a bunch of other meds. The doctor recommended one Percocet before bed. I never took this before and I was kind of excited to try it out and see what all the fuss was about. However I was in no pain. In fact I was walking outside and not even using the walker. The pain block was amazing and lasts between 16-24 hours. I took advantage of it.
They gave me a pair of rechargeable vibration pads that go around your lower legs to prevent a blood clot (that is the worst and you want to prevent). These suck for sure as you have to wear them when you are not walking. Yep, even in bed. They puff up every few seconds to bring blood flow and then turn off for a bit. I also iced every 20 minutes per hour, walked hourly, did one hour of recommended exercises in the morning and afternoon. Update on Percocet: No feelings at all, so disappointed! That was the end of pain killers including Narco which I never tried.

Wednesday, July 24
Love my nurse, Nurse BUB! There is a lot of work for the nurse. My doctor recommended an ice therapy machine for $175 and terrific invention. It just needs to be filled with ice twice a day, plugged in and so forth. Sheets need to be changed every other day. Taking on and off the compression pads is a pain in the butt. I am always drinking water. But lo and behold I woke up and took a shower standing on my own, no shower seat needed. Walked with the walker and did my daily routine. UnaSource, doctor’s office and even a field nurse came by to check on me. All good! Also I got my first box of get well cards from everyone at TNG along with a nice bag of chocolate, yummy fruit and other surprises. All amazing.

Thursday, July 25
First day with the cane and the morning was really good. Onto book #2 (Patterson’s latest thriller). After lunch, ditched the cane and walked really good without it. Another FEDEX box from TNG with more cards!

Friday, July 26
My nurse is really getting bored with me. The ice machine is packed up as is the walker, cane, shower chair & raised toilet seat that was never used, and starting to look like a normal home again. Walking well and went out for breakfast. Made pizza on the grill and snuck in my first glass of wine. YUM!

Saturday-Sunday, July 27
Now it is a waiting game of getting fully healed. I was told 85% in 3 months and 100% within a year. I think sooner. My incision bandage comes of Tuesday (it is only about 4″ long and waterproof). I am hoping in two weeks I can swim and use a stationary bike. Driving will be sooner than later.

Today, July 29
BUB dropped me off at the Sports Club and I had a personalized rolly-polly yoga session on the floor, thanks Deb! It was amazing to be back less than a week. Now in the office and typing away with my compression cuffs vibrating. All is good and the love and support was amazing. Bottom line: If you are local, check out UnaSource and Dr. Verner if you need joint replacement surgery and stay away from an overnight hospital stay.

Amazon Enters Pro Beauty Space

Which FANG company could you not live without?

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It’s official: Today, June 24, 2019, Amazon.com entered the professional beauty space and is now selling to licensed salon professionals through their Amazon Business platform. To get pro pricing, you have to belong to Amazon Business and submit your license. No doubt they will manually verify each and every application and most likely, have already established ties to each state government cosmetology body. No one does business like Amazon.

The good, bad and the ugly.

But before I go there, today’s announcement is years in the making and I predicted this day nearly ten years ago. I recall vividly having my annual vendors charity weekend in 2005 telling everyone they needed to have their goods on Amazon and if not, they would sell  your competitor’s brands. Everyone shook their head like I was on crack cocaine.

Amazon started to enter the pro industry with its Luxury Beauty platform. It signed up plenty of pro beauty companies along with consumer companies. Essie and Zoya were first to sign up for nails. Eventually CND, OPI, Moroccanoil, Redken, Oribe and 100’s of others would join. Interesting enough, Harlan Kirshner was the ring leader for Amazon getting pro beauty companies to sign up or lose out. Ironically, the pro beauty industry’s biggest rep who calls on SBH (Sally Beauty Holdings), Salon Centric and Ulta and makes $$$$ in commissions, played the Amazon side and got many companies to sign up. Harlan is one reason why we don’t see rep groups anymore.

With so many companies part of Luxury Beauty, Professional Beauty was the next step in Amazon’s dominance of all beauty. Today SBH stock is down more than 15% to a new low of $12.47 as I write this. Ulta is down too but that is because Ulta stock sellers don’t understand Ulta’s business strategy. Ulta will continue to best Amazon in beauty for many reasons, none of them part of this blog. But SBH like I have mentioned several times before is vulnerable, especially Cosmoprof because Amazon is focused on their best-selling brands: Redken, Wella and OPI.

OK, here is the GOOD of today’s announcement:

It’s done and now all the players can move on. Salons and spas have been buying on Amazon for years and really the only thing affected are retail and hair color products which will now be available at wholesale costs. Next week we will see what discounts are offered. What is also good is that Amazon is an open book, you can see their strategy right in front of you and you can either ignore it or take advantage of it. One thing is for certain: SBH is the most vulnerable beauty company right now.

The BAD of today’s announcement:

Amazon took the relationships of the pro beauty industry and said good-bye to them. Amazon bet big time the industry doesn’t need sales reps, education, trade shows, stores, sampling and demos. Just think of the savings. And if licensed professionals like it this way, bad news for reps and stores.

The UGLY of today’s announcement:

If you think about it the pro beauty business is only 40 years old and how fitting for Amazon to announce in 2019, nearly 40 years to the day when Matrix and Paul Mitchell started. In retrospect, that is an awfully short time for an industry to come and go and that is ugly. Right now Paul Mitchell is not part of the Amazon story and is arguably the largest pro hair care company left (and still independent). Will it become “us vs. them” mentality? In the end, Amazon wins on convenience and next day shipping (they are testing two hour delivery in Denver and other key cities). Coty went all in and soon we will see what that decision means for the rest of the industry.

Bottom line: Business as usual. Coty and L’Oreal will ship a few more goods to Amazon’s DC’s and fewer goods to SBH’s DC. But in the end, overall usage of pro beauty products doesn’t change and since Amazon Pro Beauty is only good for licensed individuals, Ulta will continue to gain overall market share.

Happy Monday!