All posts by Keith Thompson

Difference between being respectful and afraid

Have you ever seen a child that is afraid of their parent (s?) They cower down in fear. There is an enormous difference between a child being respectful and minding their mom or dad and the child that minds out of fear.

This mainly happens when the parent is not consistent in their mood and often gets angry very quickly. Children (thank goodness) have a built-in coping ability that adults don’t have. The greatest gift a parent can ever give a child is the knowing that they are safe and loved unconditionally. Read that last sentence again please.

When I was moved to Georgia to live with my father and stepmother, I was 15 years old. Try as hard as I might, I could never please my stepmother. She would send me to do a job like sweeping the driveway and it didn’t matter how long I worked at, she never one time told me I did a good job or thank you. She always pointed out some area I missed.

The problem with this type of parenting is it stays with the child for the rest of their life. Perfect example – I am 63 years old and was doing something around the house the other day and when I finished, I had a flash back to my stepmother and what she would say. This is not healthy for a child and many parents have or are currently making these mistakes. A child needs acceptance. That’s right, a child or teenager needs acceptance even though they may act like they don’t care. Deep down inside they really do. Basically never (regardless of what they do) withhold your acceptance and love from them.

Here is another example of the right way. My stepfather always told me he loved me. Like every kid, I did things that got me in trouble. I remember vividly one time I messed up and my stepfather had to whip me. You know what he did right after he whipped me? He took me in his arms and told me he loved me. That type of love is what I am talking here. Children, preteens and teenagers are very vulnerable and need all the love you can give them but most importantly, tell them and ** show them that they are accepted, loved and they are safe.

Those are the greatest gifts you can give your children. If you don’t believe it, just look at your parents and ask yourself, was I really loved, safe and accepted growing up? That’s all the proof you need. KT

Closing the loop

Men are the worst communicators. Can I get a hello?

Men, as we all know are lacking in many areas of social etiquette. We don’t express ourselves as well as we should, we never want to talk about our feelings and we generally try to avoid conflict like the plaque. Social distancing and quarantine are no problem for a man because it is what most men prefer anyway. ha

I have spoken of this subject a few times, but it still makes me snicker. What I am referring to is people who think if they don’t respond back to someone, that same someone will somehow understand the message and read through the tea leaves and will feel good about it. Well, life just doesn’t work that way.

I am not speaking about someone you don’t know. I am talking someone you know well who a business associate or a friend or maybe both.  I have this friend who is probably sets the gold standard for this practice. In fact, when you look up this phenomenon in the dictionary, it has his picture beside it. ha

This is a person I have know for 35 years but you let me reach out to him on a subject he is not interested in, he just will not communicate. After several weeks when you call him out on it, he acts like he didn’t see your email or hear your voice message. If it is a subject he is interested in, he can’t wait until you call him back.

I had a situation recently where I didn’t want to make the call to a person. I almost sent a text or email, but in the end, decided the only way to handle it professionally was to have a voice call. After the call we both felt good about the decision and were still friends. That would have not happened with a text or email or even voice message. It needed direct communication between friends.

So when there is a situation with the potential of conflict, face to face or a person to person call is the only way to settle the situation down and still retain the friendship. KT

What have I done?

When you start something new, more times than not, it is complicated, scary and can look daunting.

I have a vivid memory of one such time in my life 20 years ago of me sitting on our fireplace hearth asking myself, what the hell have I done? Excuse the word but it’s the only way to express the seriousness I felt at that moment.

Me and two other hotel brokers decided to leave the firm we had been working with for years and start our own company. It’s like a lot of things in that it looks and feels simple at first but when you get into it, you realize how complicated it really is. We had been talking about starting our own company for months but when the day came to resign from the firm, it was like, oh my goodness! I left to come home after we resigned and didn’t answer any phone calls because I just needed time to think.

I got home and went over to the fireplace and turned on the gas logs and sat down. I thought, I have just done something I can’t undo and what in the world was I thinking? The next morning the three of us met at a pancake house and we looked like three frogs caught in hailstorm. Ha. Our eyes were big as saucers because we all knew there was no going back and there was only one path forward. Go do what we had planned to do.

The next several days were stressful but once we found some office space, our heart rates began to settle down and once we got the office set up, we when full bore on building a new company. It all worked out but that first couple days and weeks it looked like we had made the worse decision of our business career.

The point is, most everything is more complicated and scarier at first but as you put one foot in front of the other, you will find your footing and your anxiety level will settle down and life will return to something more normal. The key is to have faith in your decision and in your planning and simply go get the dream you had all along in your heart. KT

Shorting a stock

This week you may have seen news reports regarding what is going on with GameStop publicly traded stock. There are two main positions (strategy) when one buys a stock. Long position or short position. A long position means that you simply believe in the company and its future and you want to own some stock in it. Pretty simple and straight forward. I have a friend that only has stock in Coca Cola because he was a pilot for Coke for many years. He likes the company and believes in it.

Shorting a stock is a whole different matter. Basically, it is a bet that a stock will go down instead of up. When people think of a betting, they think of Vegas. In Vegas when you bet money, the risk is you lose the money. When you short a stock, it is not at all like a Vegas bet as many wall street hedge funds are finding out over the past week.

When you short a stock (think it is going down) and it goes up instead, you not only lose the money you invested, but now you have to buy the same stock at the elevated price to cover your short position. Not so simply is it?

Talk about something that ought to be illegal (but it’s not) is when some (not all) large investment funds short a stock, they then begin a “bad mouth” campaign against the company to drive its price down so they can be proven correct and make money on the short position. They ought to be in jail.

In August 2020, GameStop was at $4. At the end of the year it was at $19. Today it at $345.  So, when the stock was at $4, if a buyer bought a short position (bets the stock goes down) to say. $2 and its now $345, they have to invest money to cover the upside. In this example, the price today is 172x what the short buyer said the stock would fall to and if the buyer bought one million shares at $2 (short position) He now must cover (loses) 172 million dollars (his position.) See how this works?

There is a lot happening with this stock and others like it where investors are ganging up together etc. but that is very complicated to explain. The point is, unlike Vegas, shorting a stock is an extremely risky thing to do. At least in Vegas when you lose, you only lose the amount you bet. Not so when shorting a stock. In the past week, many investment groups (mostly hedge funds) have lost billions because of their short positions. So, if you own stock and buy stock, get with a real professional who can help guide you to sound investing in various companies, not gambling on short positions. If you gamble on the short position, you could literally lose (pun intended) your shorts. KT

Big Boss and Little Boss

In the world of muscle cars, Ford made two Boss mustangs for the years 1969 and 1970. One was a 302 Boss (little boss) and the smack daddy 429 Boss (big boss.)

Once I become a zillionaire and no longer care about what something cost, I am going to buy a 1970 429 Boss. While this will probably never happen, it is fun to talk about it. The Boss-9 or nicknamed, Big Boss, is the muscle car I have always wanted. In fact, I have a diecast model in my office of a Grabber Green 429 that I look at every day. Ford only built 500 of the Boss-9’s for 1970.

In the hay day of muscle car horsepower (1968-1970) the Big Boss had no equals. It would spank a 426 Hemi Cuda or a 454 Chevelle like a dog that just peed on the rug. It was “rated” at 375 horsepower, but everyone knew it was lie just for insurance purposes. Straight from the factory the horsepower was said to be well over 500. It would go scary fast in a straight line, but heaven forbid if you needed to turn a corner or stop.

Today, these beasts restored sell for 200-300k which is why I will probably never own one. I do however dream of finding one (unrestored) in some old barn sitting next to its baby brother, 302 Boss and in the dream, I buy the matching pair of Boss mustangs. Ha.

In life you must have something you want (even if it’s a dream) or life becomes stale. So, if you ever hear a deep rumble pull up and I am driving a 429 Boss, you can smile with me. KT