The Business Forum

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This is the email I sent

The Business Forum News Wire - 04-17-2001


There are times when you have to open up and accept reality -- no matter how much it hurts your ego to do so. Not something I enjoy, but now necessary.

For 20 years The Business Forum has weathered downturns, launched upturns and introduced new ways of doing business to the decision makers in the western states of America.

Now, after a disastrous divorce and two heart attacks I am recovered enough to begin again, but have lost almost everything except the concept we launched all those years ago. No time for pride -- right now I need all the friends I can find and all the advice I can get to rebuilt fast.

Creative brainstorming, suggestions for profit renewal or just plain income building ideas - I need every friend I can get to help right now who know me and have any good ideas - get on the phone at 310-550-1984 - please!

This is a small sampling of the answers and suggestions I received:


I would be happy to give you three hours - not three minutes. Could we get together next time I am in the LA area or you are in the Bay Area?

I will be in Orange County in about a month.   Is your need more urgent than that?


Hey John,

I really liked the old format, where you tackled the new technical stuff. and presented the inventors and the new products. I will help. I could suggest several luncheon conferences subjects. If you like I will complete the list and see if I can get the sponsors. how much does a luncheon cost the presenters ? Is there a procedure outline?

Skip are a communicator. With that in mind, I suggest you:

(1) Devote a few hours a day to call and re-establish contact with the people who've helped you "make the business happen" in the past that you've not spoken to in 3-6 months or more. Re-connect with them, find out what their concerns are, and then quickly figure out an effective way to put on programs targeted to their needs. You'll be amazed at how quickly this will work. As you survey your members, find out what added value and what didn't. If you find you were spending time on something that didn't really add value, quit doing it.

(2) Tell people what kind of help you need re-building. Be as specific as you can. If you want new members to sign up, ask them for help in this area. Ask if they'd be willing to make an introductory phone call on your behalf so you can follow-up with a "warm call." People are followers--give them the road map.

(3) I just spent 11 days in California (San Diego and Northern California). The traffic issues are terrible. Driving to a meeting may represent an uphill challenge. You may need to examine ways that people can participate
in your programs by teleconferencing in from the comfort of their office.  The old ways may need to be amended. Also, this could extend the geographic reach of the programs, something that might be attractive to your program sponsors.

Hope this helps!

All the best....Dave


I'll give you a call about "Sustainability" its the latest thing that UC and many other agencies (including the governments of the Netherlands and New Zealand) are getting into. It has LONG TERM business applications that may be of some use to you if we think about it in clever ways.

I went through a divorce twenty years ago. You only think you lose everything. As you said, you still have the concept and you clearly still have the motivation. I've never had a heart attack but I have had quite a medical history. Hang tough! You have lots of people on your side and they are willing to return the effort and support you have been providing for all these years.

I hope I can give you some productive ideas.



I am sincerely sorry to hear you're in such a difficult situation.  Absent the heart attacks, I've been there and can perhaps empathize in
some small way. I don't however feel that I know you well enough to offer advice. So I will anyway. The only advice I feel competent to offer is twofold: Consciously put it in God's hands. Find and join a local Promisekeepers group. You will find the tremendous support you receive from the friends you will develop through that group to be emotionally uplifting and, as has been the case with several in the group to which I belong, possibly even helpful in a very practical, everyday life, way. If you will put it into His hands, consciously and deliberately, and then pay attention to and take advantage of, the opportunities he places before you, you'll come out even better off than you were.


(See attached file: www.grief.htm) I hope this helps! If you want to contact me again please feel free to do so. 

Blessings, Kitty

Dear John,

Thanks for being so open - you are something else and it's refreshing! I don't have any great ideas for the moment; but will give you support from the sidelines. As a small business owner, know where you are. Jack has had 2 h.a.s with double by-pass surgery and a very mild stroke last year. All with a business that has been limping along because of change in product line and not enough capital to bootstrap effectively. We are a 34 yr. old startup with great products. VCs aren't enthralled with folks like us!

So it's waking up with sheer terror at times, looking into a pit; but keeping the faith that the right things will happen. And when times are the darkest, the miracles occur. Things come out of the blue, the totally unexpected and that present worry is put behind you. The lesson always is the same - stay steady, work the hardest/smartest that you can and keep the faith that the right things will happen. Build, build, build a step at a time.

You have a great concept. If you believe it is right for you to continue (from the gut, heart and bone marrow) then you will succeed. If you are not having fun or rather do something else - take a deep plunge and find it.

If you would like, give me a buzz anytime - As I said, I have no great thoughts; but can be a sounding board. Meanwhile, continue to be John - honest, full of energy and enthusiasm.



I don't know you or the Business Forum well enough to suggest options. But the Business Forum concept seems a great one to me, I have always been impressed with it and you.

Glad to hear you are recovering your health, sorry to hear you have such a rebuilding effort ahead of you. I will pray for your strength, creativity and prosperity.

Warm regards,

Hi John! 

Sheesh, what a time you've had. Yes indeedy, you do still have a great concept in your possession. What goes hand-in-hand with that concept is a positive attitude and customer service ago-go.

With your chin up, ears and eyes open and your sleeves rolled up, you're ready to rebuild!


John: sorry to hear that things are tough. I wish I had some suggestions, but don't think of any right now. I'll certainly let you know right away if something comes up. Hang in there!

Best regards,

Hello John,

So sorry to hear about your misfortunes. I hope things get back on track and that your business rebounds quickly. 

I notice that you now have luncheons mostly in the S. California area. Are you planning on returning the the bay area anytime soon?

I suspect that luncheon presentations from employee motivation experts would receive a good reception from bay area executives. Now that the bloom of the quick buck from stock options has faded, most execs are looking for other ways to motivate and retain employees.

Best wishes for your great success.

Regards, Norbert

Hi John, sorry to hear about your misfortune but glad to hear your health is improving. I would be glad to be a reference account for you personally or the business forum. 

Best wishes, Ron


I don't know what to say...

My past two and a half years have been very similar... Also a disastrous divorce (left EVERYTHING to the ex- except the debt), virtual start over, relocation, new job, slow recovery, new love interest - then rejection, sister's cancer, violent death of a dear cousin (and resulting death of her father- directly tied to his inability to reconcile his "protector" instincts (which we all, as males, have) with his inability (through no fault of his own) to protect when she needed it most. Life just isn't fair most of the time... How we chose to deal with it all is where the problems occur. Please don't lose site of who you are and what you have to offer.

Remember when your life was more in balance and you were living in a state of equilibrium... You can still make valuable contributions! (I know I have a tendency to see myself through the eyes of others I care about and never really question the validity of their perspective, which, at some point, you must do in order to move ahead.)

Accept your present condition as being temporary only... Your obvious desire for fulfillment will manifest itself in positive ways- if you can see the forest... And don't beat yourself up about feeling the pain... Accept it as a necessary part of the healing process- something I am still dealing with at this very moment- and know you will, with time learn to deal with it.

Two very important Business topics from my perspective are these Rolling Black Outs and their impact on California Business and it's Economy, and Strategic Business Planning in an economically insecure environment. Not sure how well organized the business community in your area is regarding leveraging their weight but I would think there is some opportunity to host a number of forums on the subject. With your business connections, I would think you have the perfect opportunity to spearhead some political activism in that regard.

Hang in there!


John - we'll talk tomorrow



I will call you later this week.


Hi John,

I am interested in helping you rebuild. You appear to be a fighter and you can rebuild again, you did it before and you can do it again.



Sorry to hear about the tough year you have had. 

I don't really have any profit ideas, I guess if I did I would jump on them myself. 

However, I do wish you the best of luck in your efforts.

Best regards,


Eleanor Roosevelt wrote:

Many people will walk in and out of your life, But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head; To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.  If someone betrays you once, it is his fault; If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.

He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more; He who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

Friends, you and me.... You brought another friend.... And then there were 3.... We started our group.... Our circle of friends.... And like that circle.... There is no beginning or end....

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift.



I, being as lowly soldier in my company, who has had the limited opportunity to attend just a few of you luncheons, have the suggestion that you get some IT outsourcers together and they could pitch to the Business sources how their service can save $$. 

That could build into HR issues and I am sure you, if you haven't already, can think up a few others - good luck.


John -

Sorry to hear about your divorce. You seemed so happy with your young family!  I wish you well and am sure that you will go forth and prosper! 

Do you ever hear from Larry?


Hello John,

I am so sorry to hear about the difficulties you have been having. Is your health better? I hope that you are getting better. It sounds like you are gearing up to get yourself re-situated and on better footing. 

I don't really have any good ideas at the moment. Some of the trends in our company is to manage product development from a Meta point of view in order to better understand any issues and to have a better confidence level in what is being launched when. 

If something comes to mind, I will be sure to forward any thought on to you. Have you been attending any conferences where you can network to see where other companies are going or what their needs and concerns are?

Once again, I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Hang in there.

Best wishes, Lynn


Hello. Dan here. We exchanged a few words in a brief flurry of conversation a few months ago. Our company arranges funding, does management consulting, coaching, etc. I wanted to acknowledge your message.

Certainly, I heartily applaud your ability to ask for help when you need it.  I'm so sorry about your situation ... heart attacks and divorce are serious at best and can be cause for a less healthy response (in others). Bravo, and best of luck in whatever direction this takes you.

With your background, you will most certainly land firmly on your feet.

Big question: What do you WANT to do? Your bio implies you can pretty much do what you want. This time of reflection will probably give you more choices than you can imagine. 

Do you currently believe that something good will come of it? If not, you might consider acting "as if" (i.e., skillfully fake it). This is an area of great subtlety and importance. What you are presently assuming is probably what you will produce.

I, for one, am suffering the recent loss of a close business partner, a fellow Brit, who at age 60, passed away suddenly and tragically. Nobody knows what happened, exactly. His family is coping, somehow. He did not know how to ask for help ....

I hope I'm not being too dramatic ... I'm not even sure why I'm telling you this. Perhaps it will be cause for, once again, appreciating the life we do have, and resting assured that the money will come.

Best of success,



I not only applaud you for doing this; I like you a lot better for it.  I'm sorry to hear about your travails, but I guess that means you're participating in "life" even if it's not the one you expected.  

I have always thought you had a sensational and unique concept. Perhaps it just needs some tweaking to better appeal to today's environment and demands.

Fondly, Seena


You have a friend but I am not sure what advice you are looking for. Please clue me in. I would be more than happy to help in anyway. 


Dear John,

Life can be certainly challenging at times. But, I thank God for your great attitude.

Please include us in your mailing when you are hosting anything in Pasadena.

God bless you,


Dear John:

You will get through this and be even stronger. You are in my prayers.



I hope for you that whatever you are trying "to rebuild" at this time in your life's journey that you are doing what is most meaningful to you, and not just singing another man's song. If not, you may be missing a once in a life time opportunity. 

You are probably aware that no one can tell you what to do, what path to follow.... you are your best teacher. 

Good luck. You asked for ideas. You might read a few versions of The Fisher King

Regards, Richard.

Hi John

I'll keep my eyes and ears open. Right now I don't have any creative ideas for you but I'll keep a good thought that things happen for you.



I just got your message today, as our e-mail has been down all last week. I had no idea that all of that was going on with you. Thank you so much for letting us know. 

I can't think of anything to help concerning the Business Forum, but I most certainly can be praying for you, which I will do. 

Just remember that the Lord is mindful of your circumstances and is standing by you. God bless you.


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