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 Wednesday Mornin’

We all have a smartphone. Now when will you have your first electronic car?

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CBD this, CBD that.  Why all the buzz on CBD products especially with the FDA regulating all of them? Even Kroger just announced they are putting CBD products into nearly 1000 stores. Biotone were the first CBD products we started carrying, priced at $89.95 for a small cream or ointment. We sold a few jars and then I tested it on myself and compared to Biofreeze and arnica oil. At least with Biofreeze, you feel that cool sensation for a few minutes telling your mind that it is actually doing something good for your body. Arnica oil goes on smooth, smells good and actually has some benefits although not enough for arthritis. CBD cream and ointment? Nothing good that I could sense. No coolness, no smell, no tingling, no benefit. We will see, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, how long will consumers pay a huge premium for CBD beauty products?

American or Canadian cannabis is best? Then again, who needs CBD products when you can just smoke or eat cannabis? The new strains are so strong, one hit is all you need. But don’t ask me, haven’t touched the stuff in decades but if they had this while I was at MSU, not sure I would have graduated. Hmm, wondering if there is a resurgence in bean bag chairs and black light posters.

Yep, hip replacement surgery July 23. I guess never missing a day of exercise in 30 years will do that to you. Or maybe it was genetics. One thing for certain: I will miss Cosmoprof for the first time but after reviewing the exhibitor list, looks like I won’t be missing anything except for John Barth (we don’t even have a stand this year). This show like the trade magazines are indicative of the pro beauty business. Funny thing is when it comes to hair care, what are the most popular brands today? The same brands that were launched in the late 70’s and early 80’s. What are the most popular personal care products today? The same brands that were launched after WWII. Looks like some things never change after all.

I test drove the new AUDI E-Tron SUV. Very impressive, 200 miles on a single charge, ultra quiet, 0-60 in 5.6 seconds and interior totally AUDI. Definitely competition for Tesla.

Finishing up thebeautybook Fall 2019 edition, seems like six months goes by in two. Love the new edition, more than 150 new TNG products that will rock our customer’s world. Good thing since none of our vendors had anything worthwhile to add.

What is going on at Universal Companies? They haven’t published their catalog since 2017 and I just received their “What’s New Edition” piece. I am not sure if it is a magazine or catalog but it is one of the worst printed pieces I have ever seen. And really, they now have “Signature brands.”

Privacy? What’s that? If you vote, you have to give your driver’s license to ID yourself. Voting records have your address. Now voting records have been made public so just about everyone’s home address is on Google. And I don’t know about you, but the amount of junk email I get each day is growing exponentially. I’m wondering when junk texts will start coming.

Wait! Is that the sun? OMG, it is. Wait! Where did it go? How can summer be here next week with the days starting to get shorter when we have yet to enjoy more than two nice consecutive nice days!

Just finishing the last book in a long series by Dean Koontz, his latest and greatest superstar, Jane Hawk. The best summer reading for sure! And love the latest season of BILLIONS.

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

How you feeling overall?

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The Premier Orlando show was last weekend, the last-gasp of what remains of the pro beauty industry show circuit. The flea market buyers were out in full force and any resemblance of the show from years past was impossible to recognize. As with all shows, the rumor mill and concession stands were the winners. Rumors floating around: BSG pulled out of the 2019 Chicago beauty show; Orly laid off 80 people (how old is Jeff Pink anyway and who buys Orly?); Harmony is awash in debt with no where to go; Backscratchers is itching to sell; and mixed reviews on Shellac LUXE. By the way, THE INDUSTRY SOURCE is officially launching it July 1 and today is the last day for pre-orders, contrary to what was said at the show. 

America is the most prosperous country in the world and I could not imagine living anywhere else. However 90,000 Americans died last year from opioids, suicides are up 40% and depression is exploding. What is up with all this when the unemployment rate is near an all-time low, inflation is low, the stock market is up more than any other President in office for the same time period and home building is soaring? And I must point out spas have never been busier and hospitality companies are opening up new resorts at a frantic pace. So I did a little research and found out the following:

  • 50% of Americans are obese and by 2020, 75% will be obese. Women 40 years ago weighted 105 and wore a size 6 dress. Today the average is 160 and size 14 dress.
  • 16M suffer depression
  • 16% of adults are alcoholics
  • 23M are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol
  • 2.3M are in jail and 4.8M are on parole
  • 30M have diabetes and 100M have diabetes or pre-diabetes
  • 57M are on disability. Of those 2.2M use wheelchairs and 6.5M use canes/walkers
  • 1.3M are in nursing homes
  • 47M are in poverty, 30% increase in just a few years; 16.7M kids
  • 1.7M will be diagnosed with cancer this year

What is not taken into consideration of the above is how many Americans fit into more than one category. However it got me wondering: If America is #1, what are the numbers for countries behind us? Sad but true, I am sure the numbers for Asian countries are much better and the root core of all issues I think is education. Overall, America ranks #17 in education, 23rd in math and 27th in reading. Detroit alone is the worst city out of 40 and due to this, 53% of its population doesn’t even seek work. Asia consistently ranks in the top 5 in education. The question is who is going to fix our education system?

Congrats to Dawn who just moved into her new home, now only 6.4 miles from TNG! It’s time for a house party!!

I’m finally getting my new sports car nearly a year-and-a-half later than planned. I originally ordered my new Porsche August 2016 for April 2017 delivery. When April came and no car I called the salesperson. Ooops, he forgot to order the car. Soonest I could get was in the fall. Then I was in Chicago and fell in love with the NSX by Acura. So I ordered that. Then they stopped production and I had to cancel. Finally I met with Porsche last September and they promised delivery early April this year. When April came and no car I called the salesperson. Oh, production slowdown and I should have in July. Mind you, they never called me to update me. This is what customer service in 2018 is all about. Good news is the salesman did call back and I should have it this month. Joy to the world!

Sorry I have to shout out Happy Birthday to Kristin who is turning 30 and she is scared to death about it. All I can think about is doubling her age and wishing upon a star. . . .Enjoy 30 Kristin, 60 comes very quick!

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

With summer coming, how do you feel about fitting into your bathing suit?

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Is there anything like a tooth ache or broken tooth to get you to the dentist post haste? There are few pains that demand immediate attention like that inside the mouth. Today I go for Phase 2 of my implant, this after waiting four months for the dried bones they inserted into my gums to take root so they could screw a post into my mouth. Jolly good news is that I get to wait another two months for the post to heal. Then the good dentist can mount the crown in Phase 3.

What is it with “Resort Fees?” First you pay for the hotel room, then you pay the various taxes, then you pay a resort fee which is typically $35 per day for hotels in the USA and between 10%-15% for hotels in Mexico and other tourist spots. I asked the last hotel what I received for the resort fee and they told me use of the facilities (pool) and bottled water in the room. Total profit generator.

Baseball season should start April 16, a true celebration considering the day after tax day. And playing baseball beforehand especially in this unending winter is craziness.

Sally Beauty Holdings announced a Cost Reduction Plan April 4. What does that mean? About 500 layoffs. With $1.9 BILLION in debt, could Sally become another Toys R Us? And with Pureology the latest hair care company just announcing its strategic direction to partner with Amazon (thank you Harlan), what chances do salons have to retail products in the future?  It’s no wonder why companies such as L’Oreal and Paul Mitchell do everything possible to point consumers to their direct websites and Amazon, they understand hairdressers could care less.

I had the joy of going to Knott’s Berry Farm in California with my two grandkids. One didn’t want to go on rides and one only wanted to throw tantrums. Kiddie ride lines were about 45 minutes for a 60-second ride. Adult rides were about one hour but you could buy a fast pass for $63 per adult to skip the lines. Amusement park enjoyment must be at an all-time low. I’ll stick to zoos, aquariums and beaches.

Who needs to watch the current seasons of Homeland and Billions when you have Trump in the White House? Got to love it when a lawyer needs a lawyer.

Got to love the fact about tariffs too. Just when Trump announced 10% additional duties on aluminum, Reynolds America announced a 6% price increase. Another fact about tariffs: Most goods made in China cannot be made in the USA due to labor, pollution, materials and other factors. Can you imagine Millennial’s making cotton swabs and rounds?

I tossed out my Centrum’s. Confirmed research: Not only no benefit in taking daily supplements, but there is research pointing that supplements can do just the opposite for your health. Eat right and no worries.

And so much for hot yoga, infrared studios and extreme exercising. Research out that sweating does not release toxins from the body. Oh well, it’s all about the state of mind after sweating.

Last but not least, the new Little Caesar’s Arena hardly performed any magic for the Pistons and Red Wings. Neither team made the playoffs, and not to make the playoffs is pitiful considering about 75% of the teams make it. The last time this happened: 1982-1983 season. Oh well as they say, there is always next year.

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Tuesday Mornin’

Are you dressing up for Halloween?

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One great thing about getting older is that you have more experience and can react better to certain situations. One thing I learned is that life is about “moments.” How many times do you go to Starbucks and there are 6 people in line but by the time you get to the cashier there is no one behind you? Same for the supermarket, gas station and so on. Most bad stuff is about being in the wrong moment.

Speaking of moments, isn’t it amazing how some days you make every traffic light and some days you don’t make one? And even more phenomenal is that after all these years traffic lights still work: People still stop on RED and go on GREEN. What a concept.

What is going on with beauty companies? Suddenly Wall Street hates them and has knocked down most beauty stocks by a third or more. Analysts blame Amazon once again as more consumers buy online. However the real story is that own brands is taking huge market share and we have only seen the beginning of this. Skin care will be the next frontier and be a game changer. The only category that is relatively safe so far is cosmetics but I am sure that too will come under fire in due time.

TNG just celebrated its 17th year sponsoring American Cancer Society’s STRIDES event in Detroit. It was a beautiful October day and not only did we have a record turnout, we raised more than $140,000, well more than the previous record of $118,000. In fact we were the #1 sponsor raising more than GM, Comerica and Suburban Collection. Thanks to all TNG talent and supporters for the best year yet!

YIKES another birthday is fast approaching. Remember when you were 7, then 7 and half years old and so excited to being closer to 8? I fondly recall the Eric Clapton song, “After Midnight” celebrating in my earlier years. Now after midnight I have been sleeping for more than two hours and that’s during the weekend!

In tune to getting older, Howard Stern commented on how he went to see the Bruce Springsteen Broadway production and had to go pee so bad he actually went to the bathroom. He hates going pee in public and now hates to leave his house because of it. Sleeping through the night is long gone.

Most of Oakland County is without water for at least a few days due to a water main break. Most of the Starbucks were closed today except for a few including the one by our headquarters. It was packed. So many businesses are closed. Just think of Puerto Rico who is still mostly without electricity let alone water.

It’s going to be a huge holiday season for retailers that have the right goods at the right moment. The off-price retailers have their game down as consumers love treasure hunting more than ever. Our customers are loving all the Ginger Lily Farms Botanicals fizzy bombs and Pure Essential Oil Works diffusers and essential oils. And we are just getting started, 2018 is going to be very special.

MSU undefeated in the BIG10 and ranked 18th, who would have thought? But let me say these late games with super long commercials are killing the game.

I showed up at my spinning class this morning and no instructor. One of the girls came to the rescue with her recently downloaded APP, Aaptiv. She opened it up, picked out a spinning class session that lasted 47 minutes and away we were. The instructor was awesome as was the music. In fact, the class was better than the live instructor. Can virtual instructors at gyms be far behind?

Happy Halloween!

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

Where you celebrating Labor Day holiday weekend this year?

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I just broke in my shorts, flip-flops and Jimmy Buffett t-shirt and now the calendar says September is in two days. Where did summer go? We all say time is flying by and while we watch it fly by, it still amazes me how elusive time is.

I got a chuckle out of this cartoon (one of my favorites). What is really funny is that everyone wants to exploit the men’s personal care category but men make really lousy shoppers.

cartoon

The 10th Anniversary of the iPhone takes place next month. There will be 3 new models, this one being the one everyone is talking about and hitting the $1000 price point (I would have spent $40,000 just a few years ago to get these features and then some). I love the 3D facial recognition system, same thing that CLEAR uses at airports. How great to have inductive charging and not plugging in anymore. And the screen is going to be super cool. Now this is innovation at its best.

 

Why is it when we come to a door and it is locked we try a second time to open it? Like the second try is ever going to happen.

Appears Wall Street is no longer infatuated with beauty companies except Estee Lauder. Coty, Revlon and Sally are in the dumps hitting new lows while Ulta appears to be a screaming buy, more than 100 points off its high. They are opening more than 100 stores in 2017 and growth is still double digits. Truly an amazing story that has many new chapters ahead of it.

Football season is here and that means another year for MSU and everyone wondering what team will show up on the field (we already know too much about off the field). I’m hoping for 6-7 wins with one of them coming in Ann Arbor. I know those smart ass Wolverines are salivating this year. First let’s see if they can beat Florida.

Our new Fizzy Bomb Favorites Gift Kit hasn’t showed up yet but is nearly sold out. I would say this is one of the most exciting products for holiday this year but I’m already finalizing the most exciting product for bath in 2018. It will be like eating Chinese food on Easter Sunday!

 

Can someone explain to me why Detroit sport fans continue to buy tickets to watch their teams lose? I mean serious, the Tigers are as bad as they have ever been yet fans are still buying tickets. Why? Perhaps the same reason Stafford got $135M being a losing QB (51-58 record). I get that the Ford family can pay Stafford when the team valuation continues to skyrocket. The Lions are the second lowest valued team in the NFL but still worth more than $1.5 billion, $200 million increase over last year alone. Perhaps if the fans stop buying tickets, the Ford family might actually have a reason to win because it certainly isn’t about money.

Then again there is Floyd Mayweather who just earned $300M for a single fight. His 50-0 record has earned him more than $1B during his career. Now that is amazing.

Sorry but I have to limit today’s news headlines to three words or less. I have never spent less time reading or listening to news as this year. Trump (enough said). North Korea (over and done). Russia (has anything changed?). Harvey & Houston (terrible, just terrible). Thank God for Sirius XM and channel 24 is all I can say!

The new MSU Business Pavilion broke ground and is scheduled to open in 2019. Very exciting indeed!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!