Sep 18, 2021 • 54M

Episode 63: Brick House

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I am sorry for the delay in writing. I needed a break. The newsletter is a lot of work, and it’s been challenging to balance that effort with my expanding executive coaching practice and other professional interests. I appreciate your support and kind words over the last year regarding the newsletter. Unfortunately, it’s not realistic for me to publish weekly at this point. I plan to continue writing when I have something to say and will cover compelling business, political and socioeconomic topics as often as possible. Plus, I’d like to expand my podcast series as it’s been fun talking to entrepreneurs and sharing their stories. Thank you for understanding the necessary changes with ToMorrow’s View, and I hope you continue to open my email when it arrives. 

I spent a few weeks back in Knoxville, TN, visiting with family and childhood friends. I had the pleasure of spending quality time with a life-long friend, Terry Turner. Terry and I grew up in Clinton, a small town just outside Knoxville. Our stories are similar. Small-town kids, raised by divorced parents, with fun-loving personalities that occasionally stepped beyond the line of acceptable behavior, we were ambitious and dreamed of leaving our mark on this world and doing important things. I am proud but not surprised that Terry has become a successful entrepreneur and built the region’s largest event and party rentals business, All Occasions Party Rentals. (For those of you who are UT football fans, Terry is the business behind all the white-tent tailgate parties in Circle Park.) 

Terry’s entrepreneurial story is not uncommon. Intelligent, hard-working, and opportunistic, Terry realized college wasn’t the path for him, so he started working in the party rental space and learned the business from the ground up. On the podcast, we discuss many topics—his “big break” in business, leadership, working with family, retirement and succession planning. Terry lives by some powerful but simple tenants:

  1. Work hard and lead by example.

  2. Treat people fairly and with dignity and respect.

  3. Run your business with integrity.

Many business owners profess similar guiding principles, but I can assure you that Terry “walks the walk.” We toured his headquarters and operations facility which is impressive and surprisingly complex. He stopped to chat with each employee and say hello, asking how they were doing, and acknowledged their work and commitment. Terry is a brilliant entrepreneur, and I hope you take the time to listen to his story. 

I. Below are the articles I found interesting the past week:

Machiavelli for Women: 7 power strategies for the workplace

Worldview-changing drugs are poised to go mainstream

9/11 and the rise of the Homeland-Security industrial complex

What’s in the Democratic tax plan? Increases in Capital Gains and Corporate Tax Rates

Workers want to do their jobs from anywhere and keep their big-city salaries

It’s time for a flu shot. Here’s what you need to know

You can predict how long you will live in 10 seconds

II. Stats that made me go WOW!

- In the decade following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, military spending more than doubled in absolute terms to $700 billion, or about 20% of total government spending. In 2011, the nation’s military expenditure peaked at 19.6% of total federal outlays and represented approximately 4.6% of GDP. By 2020, it had fallen to 11% of total federal spending and represented 3.5% of GDP.

- In 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration designated MDMA a “breakthrough therapy,” which meant it would be fast-tracked through to the second stage of Phase-3 trials. The drug could gain FDA approval by as early as 2023.

- Across some 6,000 studies, on over 40,000 patients, psychedelics were tried as experimental treatments for an extraordinary range of conditions: alcoholism, depression, schizophrenia, criminal recidivism, childhood autism. Participants included artists, writers, creatives, engineers, and scientists. And the results were promising. From as little as a single LSD session, studies suggested that the drug relieved problem drinking for 59% of alcoholic participants. Experimenting with lower, so-called “psycholytic” doses, many therapists were amazed by LSD’s power as an adjunct to talking therapy.

III. Name that Tune! 

I am listening to “Brick House” by Commodores because it’s Terry Turner’s favorite song. 

The Commodores were a six-man, American funk and soul band popular in the 1970s and early 1980s. The band members met at Tuskegee University in Alabama in 1968 and signed with Motown in 1972, having first caught the public eye opening for the Jackson 5 while on tour. Founding band member, William King, named the group by opening a dictionary and randomly picking a word on the page. Fortunately, he didn’t select Commode. The most famous band member was Lionel Richie, who left the Commodores in 1982 to pursue a (record-breaking) solo career. The band was nominated for nine Grammy nominations, winning one. They have sold over 70 million albums worldwide. 

“Brick House” is a song from the Commodore’s 1977 self-titled album. The original lyrics were “built like a brick shithouse,” but the wife of William King modified the expression to be more female-friendly. That was a sound and profitable decision, as it’s not clear there would be demand for a “Brick Shithouse” album. 

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