Archives for November 2010


Stephen Duckett and Cookiegate 2010

Cookiegate 2010

…and the rapid demise of a CEO.

One of my best friends works with the Calgary Health Authority. At the top of the chain was their CEO, Stephen Duckett. They are both numbers geeks. They LOVE crunching numbers, looking at statistics – and analyzing hidden trends that the numbers reveal.

But, Stephen got fired this week.

And it really was his own fault.

All from one stupid mistake.

The Health Authority is under mass scrutiny right now and the Alberta Health system is in serious trouble.

Not because of Stephen… but because of some serious slashing and burning the previous government (and bureaucrats) had done to the health authority.

It left them short in doctors, operating rooms, nurses, beds…

…and it gained them 8-12 hour wait times in emergency departments across the province.

Stephen was brought in to fix the mess others had left him.

Pretty well an impossible task…

…especially when the the bumbling government morons get involved.

Set up to fail.

Recently, the Heath Authority decided to give the media what it wanted and it published the up-to-date statistics that showed the real status of wait times in emergency.

At least they would have a baseline to work from…right?

Well – it was just further fuel to the fire and all the ‘geniuses’ in government decided that they are brilliant enough to fix the entire problem in a couple weeks – so why can’t the executives in charge do it?

If the bureaucrats had their way they would wave their dainty little Harry Potter magic wands and the problem would fix itself overnight, with a little help from some magic fairy dust conjured up by the opposing government officials.

“We can fix it easily!”

…a $14 billion dollar organization completely redesigned and repaired overnight.

…nothing wrong with this fantasy, is there?

So the media was ALL OVER Duckett lately.

Which is their job.

Duckett’s mistake that cost him his career: “Dissing the media”.

Not a smart idea.

There was a big meeting taking place with all senior level people, and the media wanted to know what happened.

They found Stephen coming out of the meeting and started asking questions.

All Stephen could say was “there is a press meeting in 30 minutes – can I please finish my cookie?” (he was eating a cookie at the time).

The media kept after him, asking more questions – trying to get some answers and ignoring his request for a few minutes of privacy.

He kept repeating the “I’m eating my cookie” as the films rolled and the reporter persisted.

At the end of the day, Stephen looked very, very unprofessional on film. Within hours the videos were up on Youtube and the media outlets informed.

This was all on November 19th at 5pm.

By Saturday, “Cookiegate” was PLASTERED all over the news. Youtube had seen thousands of views (now over 200,000) –

By end of day Wednesday, November 24th, Stephen Duckett was relieved of his position as CEO.

I am not writing this to debate Stephen’s leadership with the Alberta Health System. I am not writing this to debate whether or not Stephen could turn the system around.

Everyone has their own opinions on all of that.

…And we all know what they say about opinions :o)

But what is VERY important to note here: if the media is hounding you for an answer – give them one. Especially a high profile guy like Stephen – it’s part of his job.

All he had to do was take 2 minutes – give some brief answers to their questions – and say he would answer all of their remaining questions at the press conference scheduled in 30 minutes.

All he had to do was give them something they could use.

Then he could have eaten his cookie.

But he chose to shut them out and treat them like a nuisance. They were doing their job and asking for some little tidbit they could publish.

Never ever treat a media personality like that – nothing good will ever come of it.

His refusal to work with them cost him his job… and every ounce of dignity or respect he once had.

All by one stupid mistake.

We all mistakes – but only some learn from them and make sure it doesn’t happen again – or to them.

Media attention can be a GREAT thing – but it can also destroy your life, reputation and business if you do it poorly.

This was unfortunately a very visible example on what can happen when you do it wrong.

Please learn from it. I did. And I would hope I never do something like that when given the chance to be in front of the media!


PS: There are 10 spots open for the Entrepreneurial Spirits book… are YOU ready to be an author? Nothing beats having your name in a print book for credibility boosting. The perfect marketing tool and the ultimate lead generation companion. Details are at Entrepreneurial Spirits


A new entrepreneur who gets marketing

I had an email today from a realtor.

Normally I would ignore it… realtors are among the most pig headed to deal with. I’ve tried… but they know it all and aren’t willing to try something different.

But this gal sounded different.

What is educational to you is in my response.

IF you pay attention to my response, you will see a SIMPLE way any entrepreneur (that’s YOU) can stand out from the crowd and position themselves as different.

She emailed me asking for help with her new real estate business. But she sounded like she was willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. So I emailed her this:

Hi Kathy. Nice to meet you!

Wow – a realtor that actually thinks differently about generating business – a VERY nice change.

To be honest, I gave up on realtors.

After talking to tons of them about marketing and lead generation, I found not one of them was willing to try anything even remotely different. To most of them (I am sure you know this) the headshot business card and copy paste postcards are the answer to every dream. Or not.

I have told the story of a realtor in Calgary for 9 years now. I noticed her that long ago because she was the ONLY realtor in a city of 5,000 that called herself the “petlovers realtor”. She advertised with a picture of her and her dog. Her ads were in the pet mags, in the childrens papers, everywhere she could find that was different than all the others.

I loved it! Yet I mention this to realtors and I could put money on what, exactly, their response would be…

…”but I want to sell to more than just pet lovers”.

So they would ignore the hidden gem inside there and go back to their woefully ineffective ways.

And go broke in the process.

Anyhow… had a bit of a rant I needed to get out there :o)

Sure you know why.

Interested in talking to you about this.

I don’t throw out prices as there are soooo many ways we could do what you want.

When is a good time Wed or Thur to talk?

Thanks, Troy

…did you see it?

The astute did.

Hope that’s you.

We will see where this goes – but at least she is willing to listen – FAR more than 99% of the realtors I talk to. They know it all… that’s why they are all sooooo successful. Or not.



Quintessentially Canadian

…Dingo-ball Ice Crystals Hanging from my Toque

If that means something to you, sorry.

You obviously live, or have lived somewhere like me where it gets cold… real cold.

Yesterday, Calgary hit -30C, which felt like -41C with the windchill.

We were officially labelled one of the coldest places on earth, “Alberta was colder than the North Pole,” said Dave Phillips with Environment Canada on Tuesday. “We’re not seeing those temperatures in Russia, in Siberia. “Alberta is definitely one of the coldest places on Earth today.”

…Not exactly something to be proud of.

But the dog still needed a walk. He is part Husky – and LOVES snow and cold weather. I caught him a couple times whimpering about cold paws though – so even Husky’s find this stuff ridiculous!

So you do what you have to do, you bundle up with 14 layers of clothing, toques (a warm hat, for you non-Canadians), a scarf, good gloves, good boots., etc.

The whole process preparation nearly takes longer than the 30 minute dog walk.

Stepping through snow drifts in front of peoples’ homes that were too lazy to shovel it off.

Cars stranded by the side of the road… frozen to the core and refusing to run.

…The select few I see out walking are at a brisk pace and getting to their destination as quickly as possible.

By the time I am done walking the dog, my legs are numb from the cold (must. get. new. long underwear.)

By the looks of my left cheek, I got frostbite (again) right under my eye.

I can barely see through the gap between my toque and the scarf wrapping my face.

Ice crystals hand from my toque and dangle in front of my eye balls. The crystals remind me of the dingo balls I had hanging in my 1974 Dodge Dart when I was 16 (too many Cheech and Chong movies influenced me back then). Troy White

The point of all this?

Be THANKFUL you don’t have this weather!

Kidding aside…

…this week, our friends in the US are enjoying Thanksgiving… but ALL of us should be thankful for what we have.

Be grateful for the people in your life.

Be grateful for the quality of life you live.

Be grateful that you have the tools and technologies that allow you to read this article.

Be grateful.

I am.

Especially grateful to have a nice toasty place to live and work in.

Many don’t.

So just say a few extra thanks this week for everything that you do have.

Rather than the things you don’t.

One other thing I am extremely thankful for?

The fact the weather is supposed to turn and a Chinook is on it’s way today.

What’s a Chinook? It’s one of the things I LOVE about Calgary – a BREAK from the weather!

From Wikipedia:

A strong Chinook can make snow one foot deep almost vanish in one day. The snow partly melts and partly evaporates in the dry wind. Chinook winds have been observed to raise winter temperature, often from below −20°C (−4°F) to as high as 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F) for a few hours or days, then temperatures plummet to their base levels. The greatest recorded temperature change in 24 hours was caused by Chinook winds on January 15, 1972, in Loma, Montana; the temperature rose from -48°C (-56°F) to 9°C (49°F).

How do you spell relief?


And we get one – yay!

Have a grateful week and a great Thanksgiving if you are in the US.


PS: I announced the other day my offer for you to be a co-author with me in the upcoming Entrepreneurial Spirits book. Half the spots are now taken – but you can still get in. Have a look at how you can be an author in a printed book early in 2011.


From College Student to Millionaire in under 3 years

One of the biggest problems entrepreneurs have is fear.

Fear of doing something they are not ‘comfortable’ with.

Fear of trying something new.

Fear of looking less-than-professional.

But those fears are what hold people back from breakthroughs.

Like Chris V.

He came to an event of mine a couple years ago. He was living a good lifestyle in a business that was doing well…

…but there was a nagging feeling that something better was waiting for him.

And he did what few others do – he took the plunge and faced his fear head on.

I’ll let him say the rest:

“Troy, I cannot thank you enough for the 2007
Wild West Millionaire Summit you put on. My membership
business grew from $2300 per month to over $96,000 per
month and still growing at a ridiculous rate… all from
your marketing calendar, copy writing and you helping me
tell my story with the world.

I have gone from a College Student to a Millionaire in
under 3 years with my Dream Home on the water being
built as we speak… My wife and new born daughter
thank you even more!.. lol

I think your event, your information, your personality
is incredible!”

Chris Vermeulen

When you face your fears and do new things in your business and marketing – major things like this can happen.

Do happen.


So – isn’t it time for you to start sharing your story with others?

The upcoming Story Selling Coaching Club starts December 7th.

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…THAT is how confident I am in this course delivering you the results you want!

Hope you join us – with the busiest buying seasons upon us – you have no time to waste.

To your story selling success,


PS: I recently shared the Carnegie Mellon stats that showed proof that stories outsell facts by 118%.

Double your sales with stories – and stories are easier to write than fact based copy – when you have the right system in place. I will show you how.

“Troy’s story selling works! In just a few short calls Troy as able to
uncover great story ideas that I didn’t even realize I had. I’ve been sitting on a
gold mine!

Thanks to Troy we did our first Halloween promotion ever, and had a
18 to 1 Return on our investment! We are already working on our next two

Can’t wait to see what you come up with next! Thanks again!”

~~~~ Seth Greene


Want to be a co-author with me?

With the vast assortment of marketing tools out there,
how can it be that a print book still positions you as being a leader?

You know as well as I do, an ebook is great, but it isn’t the same
as a physical book you can feel, hold and smell.

Sending someone a pdf is not the same as mailing them a book.

So I have a way for you to get your first print book out there,
quickly and painlessly.

Have a look for yourself – I only want 23 co-authors to join me.



Not so secret weapon of successful entrepreneurs

Are you a hermit?

I am.

After 9 years in business, I can honestly say this is one of my biggest weaknesses.

When I started my business, I used to go to networking events, lunch groups, and anything else I found locally that sounded useful for meeting other entrepreneurs.

It was a great thing to do – but I got tired of all the network marketers pitching me on their million dollar ‘chance-of-a-lifetime’ opportunities. Of the 50 mortgage brokers that all sounded identical. Or the realtors that believed that a business card with a head shot was all they needed to stand out from the 5,000 OTHER realtors with a canned business card just like theirs.

So I stopped going.

Then I stopped going to many of the seminars I used to enjoy.

And I worked… lots.

Who needs face-to-face interaction??

Not me! So I thought.

And hibernation mode set it.

Depression right along side it.

Lo and behold – I found a cure… get back outside of the home office, and into the public eye.

Wow – peeeeeople.

Amazing how opportunities that didn’t exist before – were right there in front of me now.

And can be for you too.

FIND a way to get yourself in front of more people. It may not be comfortable for you. You may feel awkward. You may be an introvert. But just do it.

A new year is almost upon us and this is the perfect time to think through all the things you KNOW you should be doing but aren’t.

And networking is one of those things I thought I didn’t miss – but now realize I do.

Try it out – you just never know who you will meet and what amazing insights you will learn.