Far West Capital October 2011 Newsletter

Between 2008 and Q1 2011, the FDIC hired 3200 employees. The FDIC is a fast-growing organization by any measure, and we all know from running or being part of a fast-growing organization that keeping everyone on the same page is very difficult.  Is it any wonder that regulatory risk is the #1 perceived risk by bankers going into 2012?  Most people have no idea how hard it is today to run a small community bank. Imagine if you had to have a significant portion of your personnel budget dedicated to dealing with regulations. This is shrinking the number of small banks, which is bad for small business, which is bad for America.  Unintended consequences.

This weekend (October 22) is the big event – The Beretta USA No Worries Classic, which provides counseling and support programs for Central Texas families and children coping with a parent’s serious illness. We are thrilled we have surpassed our $15,000 fundraising goal! Thank you very much to everyone who helped us reach our goal! There’s still 3 days to fundraise. Would you please consider donating if you haven’t yet?

If you’re a Texan, you know BBQ is a big deal. Our favorites are Cooper’s in Llano and Tom and Bingo’s in Lubbock. Franklin Barbecue, a newer BBQ place in Austin, was known to have lines forming outside an hour before it opened, but after the magazine Bon Appetit crowned the restaurant as the best BBQ in AMERICA this past July, the wait has grown to 2 or more hours. Franklin Barbecue has since moved into a brick and mortar shop (from its original trailer) and bought a new massive smoker, but we have yet to visit. Have you braved the Franklin Barbecue lines yet?

Where is your favorite BBQ in Texas? Many of you shared your favorites with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Your favorites included: Franklin Barbecue, Cooper’s, Snow’s (Lexington), Smitty’s (Lockhart), Pecan Lodge (Dallas), Black’s (Lockhart), Louie Mueller’s (Taylor), and Harold’s Pit BBQ (Abilene).


We love this time of year – football season. It’s more than just about the actual sport or game. It’s about leadership, goal setting, picking talent, putting that talent in the right spot, motivation, strategy, mastering fundamentals, and a host of other things that translate so well into running a successful business.

Success (on and off the field) very rarely happens without doing these things well and leadership is usually at the top. Show us a successful sport franchise or business of any kind and you can usually trace success back to one or two leaders. One guy that stands above the rest is Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s most known for being the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl, but to us, it is more than that. Here is a link to a good, short article on leadership of Coach Tomlin. This is a guy you want to play for and it shows in his success.

As you reflect on your own business and leadership style, be sure your team is coming in everyday with an attitude of “I want to play for this guy/girl.” If not, maybe some changes are in order.

We try to stay away from politics here most of the time, but we couldn’t resist this one, so feel free to blast us!

We sure don’t have ALL the answers to fix our economic problems, but one thing is very clear – neither does Obama. He recently blasted Bank of America over a new $5.00 debit card fee they plan to implement. This is just another unintended consequence of the Dodd – Frank bill. Being the capitalists we are, it raises the hair on the back of our necks to see a politician (especially the President) take this position on a business. This part of his quote should make everyone really nervous: ”You (we assume he meant businesses) don’t have some inherent right just to – you know, get a certain amount of profits.”

Do you have your Halloween costume ready? Couples costumes have become a popular trend. Manufacturers are creating more “his and hers” costumes that have a decidedly sexier vibe than traditional pairings.








Back in 1929 when the stock market crashed, President Herbert Hoover prolonged the Great Depression by his big-spending, interventionist policies and made many mistakes that we’ve analyzed in hindsight. Comparatively, we see what is going on today and need to step back and realize that interventionist, not laissez faire, measures will not get us where we want to be. Isn’t insanity defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

Has anyone read the book The Zigzag Principle? We haven’t read it yet, but it sounds interesting. Here are the highlights from a recent blog we came across.

The Zigzag Principle is a sequence of switchbacks. It is a pattern that you can use over and over and over until you reach your beacon in the fog. Here are the main switchbacks, or zigzags, to get you to success:

  • Establish a firm foundation. Assess your resources and identify your beacon in the fog (or ultimate goal).
  •  Divert! Immediately drive to profitability. We sure like this one.
  •  Add processes and resources.
  • Add a scale element to your business. Duplicate and expand.

Trick or Treat! After all these years, Alice in Wonderland still makes the top 15 of the trendiest outfits. What are the costumes you see year after year?






Did you know Steve Jobs inspired the launch of Entrepreneurs Organization? In Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address, he said “There is no reason not to follow your heart,” a sentiment that he first shared in his Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs Keynote in 1986 Verne Harnish heard him speak that night and EO became a reality a year later. We thank Steve Jobs for leading an entrepreneurial revolution by example and for unknowingly inspiring an organization that has helped our lives professionally and personally.

If you follow our blog, you know we support healthy employees because it impacts your business and the community. For that reason, we are excited to be sponsoring the FIT 100 Awards Program. Nominations are now open to recognize 100 companies around the nation for their commitment to a fit and healthy workplace. Visit their website today to learn more.

Ok, so we were really curious about all of this Occupy Wall Street business and the local Occupy Austin, so we went down to City Hall to see what they were up to. Here is what we found out.

1. They seem like peace lovin’ folks who overly emphasized the “non-violent” aspect of their protest
2. See this video, Occupy Austin. I asked what they are standing up for. The answer I got was they don’t really know, but we need some “change” …
3. They seem to be very clear on one thing: taxes should go up for those nasty evil corporations. Check out the picture below. The sign calls for more taxes and the sign in the background says get corporations out of the government. Which is it? Someone has to pay the bills if you get them “out” of our government.

Here is our take. We get the anger at Wall Street, but during the “boom,” we all benefited from the run-up in housing values. Yes, there were excesses and yes, we have all paid the price for those excesses but “they” are looking for a boogie man. The housing crisis was not brought on by some evil guy in a backroom somewhere. We all participated and we are all paying for it. Ok, off the soapbox. One thing is for sure, protesting seems like much more fun than working. We wish the immortal question of Rodney King would be answered, “Why can’t we just all get along…?”

There’s been a lot of uproar recently about banks and their new fees as we mentioned previously. Take a look at this article that explains some great points on how to avoid bank fees and where the blame lies: on regulations and not corporations.

Do you know what Occupy Wall Street is and what issues are being protested? Here’s a great article that explains the situation well. Basically, people around the world are protesting that corporations have too much power, but in reality, the root of the problem is that governments have too much power and corporations get their power from governments. Issues with banks, corporations and finance laws come directly or indirectly from the issues these entities have with government. So, let’s think before we protest and demand a solution from the real problem.

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