Monthly Archives: January 2015

Christopher Columbus was a Dickhead Marketer

Christopher Columbus Was a Dickhead Marketer

Last Columbus Day my good friend Howie Jacobson pointed me to a revealing article in “The  Oatmeal” about Christopher Columbus  (IMPORTANT: Since publishing this post it’s been pointed out the article on the Oatmeal itself has possibly relied upon erroneous sources. If true, then Christopher Columbus wasn’t really a dickhead, and I might have been a dickhead myself for not checking the Oatmeal’s sources more thoroughly.   I’m therefore now going to frame my post in the this context “I don’t really know whether Columbus was a dickhead.  He could have been a really nice guy.  I’m guessing probably not, but he might have been.  Everything which follows was based upon the facts quotes by the Oatmeal article linked to at bottom.  I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind.  I think it’s a worthwhile to post for marketers to read regardless” – Glenn. )

In the article I learned:

  • Nobody actually really thought the earth was flat in 1492 because the Ancient Greeks proved it was round almost 2,000 years earlier
  • Leif Ericson discovered America about 500 years before Columbus.  And how can you “discover” a land which is already populated by organized tribes anyway?
  • Columbus was much more interested in the Gold he found in America than establishing better trade routes for the Europeans

Our hero also correctly assessed the Lucayan natives as a generous, hospitable, kind people… whom he could exploit and slaughter for his own profit.  And on his next voyage Mr. Columbus convinced the Queen of Spain to back his exploits with 1500 men armed to the hilt.   (Think “raising capital” for a venture)

When he reached shore, he and his army demanded food, gold, and sex from the Lucayan women…cutting off the ears and noses of any dissidents.   The Lucayans rebelled and interfered with his plans a little.  So our dear Christopher took 500 of them back to the Queen to serve as slaves.  Hundreds died en route.

If this weren’t cruel enough, Mr. Columbus enslaved another 500 natives to be kept in the New World, and allowed his men to hunt them down for sport.  After they were killed, he let their bodies be fed to the men’s dogs to keep them healthy.

It gets worse and worse… I could go on and on.  If you’re really interested, go read the article for yourself (I’ll give you a link at the bottom of this post.)

Columbus really was a dickhead who ignored the human rights and basic dignity of the “undervalued asset” he had “discovered”…and then arranged to market that asset to the Queen and the Spanish people for as much profit as he could possibly muster.

Why did I tell you this story?:

  1. I want you to carefully consider how you choose your heroes.  Most Americans have little to NO idea about the true exploits of Christopher Columbus.  We honor and celebrate him with a Holiday, but few of us know  more than a few trite sayings put forth in a long game of telephone from historian to historian.  Similarly, you may be under the influence of people in the marketing world whom you know precious little about.   Mythology has a life of it’s own, so always ask HOW you know what you think you know about someone who’s advice you’re about to take on significant business decisions.
  2. To show you how easily people can get carried away when they see an opportunity to exploit.  It’s one thing for us all to sit in judgment of the obviously despicable things Mr. Columbus did.  It’s quite another for us to hold ourselves to a higher standard when we find undervalued assets of our own ready for the taking.  In a truly ethical business transaction, everybody benefits.  It’s easy to SAY you operate like that, but pretty hard to do when you find yourself in the power position.

Terry Dean and I are looking for a few more ethical marketers this month who want to leverage OUR tested and proven systems to find undervalued assets in other people’s businesses and help them profit.  (So they’ll pay your premium business coaching fees!)  It just may be the fastest way to turn your passion for marketing and business into a lucrative, rewarding, and fun career. Dickheads need not apply: 


Dr. G 🙂

PS – We’re taking people for just a few more days or until we fill our 30 person quota.  So if you’ve got any interest at all now is the time to apply.

PPS – Here’s the article on Christopher Columbus in The Oatmeal.




Ode to a Very Special Soul

I was trying very hard to keep this private, but it’s now spread around, so I feel it’s best to share it with you all…

After fifteen years of loyal company, my Zachary passed on New Year’s morning. After seeming perfectly fine on New Year’s Eve (which ironically is when I thought to use his picture to illustrate my point yesterday), Zach woke up retching, dizzy, and with very labored breathing.
By the time we got to the emergency room it was too late 🙁

Which is the saddest way I could possibly have imagined starting the New Year.
But then, of all things, my housekeeper came to me crying at the news. She told me a long story about how she was terrified of dogs for her whole life until she worked for us… but there was just no way she could remain afraid after having Zachary’s company.

Which brought back a flood of memories…

You see, Zachary was with me when I was in the midst of my busy 65 person practice on Long Island…

  • When I worked with children, I’d often bring him in. It was astounding how nothing I learned in five years of graduate (and post graduate) training could get these kids to open up, but the moment he was in the room many of these kids would tell all
  • There were also several adult patients and coaching clients who requested he join us for their sessions. Rape victims, PTSD sufferers… and even just some “desperate housewives” who found it so much easier to delve into their goals, obstacles, and fears with Zachary by their side
  • One time I forget to leave the door to the upstairs closed so he couldn’t come down to my session room unplanned… at which time he promptly came down and knocked on the door. My client asked who it was, and I said “I think it’s my dog who’d like to join us.” She was utterly convinced I had planned this and broke down crying to thank me. (Followed by some very serious progress given her new level of trust… so I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t dissuade her from that notion)

Of course, Zachary also made it possible for ME to do things I never thought possible. Like an 18 mile hike in the wilderness where I didn’t see another soul, but only heard his little chain dangling and his little doggy breath faithfully behind me for hours on end. I think without him I might have gone mad. (And this is, of course, a metaphor for other things I’ve had to face alone which I’d not have had the courage to face without my little companion)

In any case, it so happens I’m working with a ghost writer to develop a book about how to coach well when you’ve got trauma in your own life. Perhaps this is an opportunity to show you.
I’ve always done best when I focus on my clients and/or students needs at these times. It takes me out of myself and helps me process the loss in small doses. And paradoxically, I often find at these times I’m actually at my best… perhaps because it reminds me how very precious life is.

This is one of the very few things I’m likely to have difficulty talking about in public sessions, or responding to in private emails and messages. So if you REALLY want to help it’s not really your condolences and personal messages which would be most effective. Instead here’s the best way:  TAKE A STEP FORWARD TODAY IN YOUR OWN LIFE IN HIS MEMORY

Whatever that means to you, and whatever Sharon and I may mean to you… what would mean the most to us would be to know that this day, this very sad day, was the day YOU had the courage to step beyond your own internal struggles and move your OWN life forward in some small way…

And, if you’re so inclined, let us know what you did below.

This way you’ll always remember our dear dog Zachary as a positive force which started your train moving further than you thought it ever could… and even though you two may never have met he may indeed wind up meaning to you even a fraction of what he meant to me.
Goodbye my boy… if there is a dog heaven God knows you belong there.

You will be dearly missed.