September Update 2009

To our friends and clients –

One of the best management axioms ever: If you don’t inspect it, don’t expect it. You may have the greatest employees ever, but even the best need Accountability. If you have salespeople and don’t use a CRM tool like how do you know fast enough whether or not they are achieving their goals? We have used this tool for over 10 years and if you would like a tutorial – let us know.

Bank overdraft fees are back in the news. As a banker, talk of Congress looking into overdraft fees makes us nervous. OD fees are no small revenue item for banks and can be a valuable service to customers. The average OD fee is now $26 dollars in banks below $50 billion and $34.73 for banks above. Revenue in 2009 is projected to be $38.5 billion for the industry which doubles the level 10 years ago.

September means dove hunting which means Dove Poppers, here is a recipe that will make you want to slap yo’ mamma. Quarter dove breast, wrap fresh jalapeno and cream cheese with bacon, grill and smother with Fisher & Wieser Raspberry Chipotle sauce. F&W is an old client of ours from the State Bank days, great guys from Fredericksburg – you will never look at that missed dove the same again after you try this.

What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. – Napoleon Hill – we just reread his classic Think & Grow Rich – timeless.

This is not the worst economy since the 1930s; we should not neglect the good ole 1980s, they were fairly nasty – looks like we learned some lessons and this has been fairly tame in some comparisons.


Football is back and the coolest story we’ve seen so far is USC freshman quarterback Matt Barkley bringing his team from behind to beat Ohio State – in his postgame interview you can see what drives him as he said, “.. God…” about 3 times. During Pete Carroll’s interview the reporter tried to focus his attention to his cub quarterback’s age, Coach Carroll shut her down quickly focusing only on his athleticism and confidence. You can see why these guys are perennial favorites for the National Championship, they refuse negativity.

Have you started your 2010 budget? If not, you may want to get a head start. One thing you might consider before you start is how your brand is perceived. Yes, it doesn’t matter how big or how small, we all have brands whether we know what it is or not. Falling into a category of a weak brand can cause you three problems: 1) it forces you to compete on price 2) you will not attract the most desirable customers 3) you will have to spend far more on marketing and sales – with less to show for it.

A year ago this month the already negative trending financial markets began their rapidly descending tail spin causing all of our heads to spin. However, as in most cases, good comes from change and this shake up reminds us to stick to the basics. A few months back we discussed the basic value of character… Solid character is essential. That’s our “outward” basic re-realization. However, this last year has also reminded us to examine inwardly – how we operate as individuals within a team framework has never been so important in today’s economy. With that said – the one variable we can control completely is our attitude. Sure it’s old-fashion, but so true. A positive attitude allows for a constant “solution based” environment.

“Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious”. Bill Meyer

Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach says, “If you are not coaching it, you are allowing it to happen…” we like this as a business philosophy. Coach is one interesting guy we admire… but dang… go for it on 4th down on your own 30 when you are down by 7 playing the Longhorns? Guess that is what makes Mike Leach tick.

Twitter – we are slightly obsessed with this new medium that is valued at somewhere between $1B – $5B and produces no revenue. So much so — we are now tweeting in earnest, follow us @FarWestCap.

Looks like bank failure Friday is going to be with us for a while. Estimates of failures range from 600 to 1200 over the next 3 years. Because we are not afraid to take a stand – our projection is 471 over 3 years .. we are already at 92.

Herschel Walker – 1982 Heisman Trophy winner just announced he is joining the MMA (mixed martial arts). Walker already holds a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. We saw him early one morning last month in the DFW airport strolling along to his gate… at 47 he still looks awesome. Good luck and kick some A Herschel – has to be good for the sport. Anyone remember his bobsled career?

Thinking of Herschel Walker makes us recall an article about how many pushups he did per day growing up. He would do 1,000 – 1,500 per day. Who says you need a gym? How many can you do? Have some fun – go to and see how you rank.

All our best –

Cole Harmonson | 512-528-1494 |
Don Stricklin | 512-528-1490 |
Brian Center | 512-528-0382 |
Mary Rettig | 817-490-5052 |
Jennifer Royal | 512-528-7620 |

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