Posts Tagged With: Mike’s Monday Cup of Mo-Joe

There are 36 articles tagged with “Mike’s Monday Cup of Mo-Joe” published on this site.

A Message from the Kentucky Derby


It was 7 pm. As luck would have it, the race was just about to begin when I switched on my TV. I thought I’d missed it since I believed the race was at 5 pm.

There in front of me was a long cage filled with horses with numbers 1-21. I noticed stall #20 was empty and thought to myself that #21 was so far off the rail it was simply a futile attempt. At least the owner, trainer, and jockey could one day say that they were in The Kentucky Derby.

The horse was named Rich Strike and was listed at odds of 80-1. There was no way a horse in that position had a snowball’s chance in hell to win anything. Good luck, Rich Strike.

The bell sounded, and they were off. I noticed the far horse on the left “tried” to move closer to the rail, but still managed to land in last place as they headed for the first turn. For the next minute and fifty seconds, nobody at Churchill Downs gave a second thought to the longer than long shot (80-1) horse who went by the name Rich Strike.

As the three leading horses headed for the wire two minutes later, I saw out of the corner of my eye a horse racing up the outside like a rocket ship was strapped to his hindquarters. Good golly! It was Rich Strike hell-bent for election. The suspense is long gone. You know the end of this story. Rick Strike won the Kentucky Derby with impossible odds working against him. It was a blessing for his owner, trainer, and jockey that Rick Strike did not read the racing papers. Apparently, he had no idea that it was impossible for him to win on this particular Saturday.


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There is more to this story before I deliver the message you have been waiting for. Rich Strike was not even on the racing card on Thursday. At the last minute (on Friday, the day before the race) a horse had to withdraw for medical reasons which opened up a spot for “who is next?” Yep. This was the crack in the door that allowed Rich Strike to showcase his excellence. The rest is history.

Message Time

In the travel industry, you are playing on an even playing field. You can’t allow others to forecast your future based on what they might consider to be poor odds for your success. This is not the first time a horse, or a person, was given an opportunity to show just how good they really were. When your opportunity presents itself, you must be ready to go to work and not stop running until you cross the finish line. You know how good you are. It will just take a break before you show the world. You’re next.


A headshot of the author, Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club.

*** You want more to think about? Check out my weekly podcast (Mike’d Up Marchev). Also listed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google, and iHeartRadio.

Have you ever stopped to consider why multi-millionaire entertainers and business people take the time to appear on late-night talk shows for just a few minutes?

Their pay (if any) for doing so is probably less money than they paid for lunch that day.

So why does every celebrity you can think of try to get themselves booked on talk shows? The reason they want their faces blasted across the airwaves is simple.

They realize that regardless of who they are—and what they may have accomplished to date—if they are out of the public’s sight, they are out of the public’s mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Although nearly two decades ago, I remember like it was yesterday hearing the following words at the home of two Russian immigrants in Chicago. The husband was now an emergency room surgeon, and his wife was a successful travel consultant. Their home was modest, yet beautifully furnished.

After hearing their saga of eventually fleeing to America, arriving in New York City not speaking the language, the good doctor added after passing the rolls at the dinner table, “If you can’t make it in America, you can’t make it. “Those eleven words have stuck with me ever since.

That was over 20 years ago Read the rest of this entry »

Sales: Art or Science?

Science tells us that water boils at 212 degrees farenheit. This is not an opinion. The boiling point doesn’t change depending on the day of the week or the economy.

Your political persuasion does not affect the exact time that water boils, nor does the price of gas on any particular day. Water boils as expected: 212 degrees. 211 degrees… no boiling. At 212 degrees you can watch the bubbles begin.

Art, on the other hand, shows us details and then allows us to interpret it as we see it. The exact same picture can be interpreted hundreds of ways, depending on hundreds of different variables. With art there are no set answers. There is not one interpretation. Read the rest of this entry »

Taking Advantage of “Hidden” Opportunities

I am not sure if this can be considered my “signature story,” but it’s true that I have been sharing this particular point for over 30-years in my public speaking business.

It involves a single PowerPoint slide where I ask the audience to count the number of times they spot a particular letter, clearly printed on the slide. It is not a trick. It calls for a single answer.

The result has been the same for over 30 years? I get four different answers to the question where there is just one correct one.

The message then addresses the necessary skill of spotting opportunities when they appear right in front of you. In fact, they are everywhere. In fact, very few spot them. As a result, very few people take advantage of them.

This leads me to today’s message Read the rest of this entry »

A Lesson From the Easter Bunny

Today’s reminder is coming directly to you via my golden-oldies archives. It was written eleven years ago but, for many of you, “the shoe will still fit.” You can be the judge.


Time may continue to pass us by, but the major (business) lesson from this time of year reigns supreme for another twelve months. Everyone, regardless of the color and size of their Easter Basket, is familiar with the good ole Easter Egg Hunt. (Now that I think of it, I did not hear news of the Annual White House Hunt.) Find those little colored babies or not, there is one GIANT reminder we can all benefit from when it comes to this annual free-for-all. Read the rest of this entry »

A New Way to Look at the Business Trip

My dad was a salesman. He regularly left home on two-week missions to sell more of his “stuff,” in order to pay the mortgage for a home large enough to house my mother and their seven children.

I was #2, and I remember those days like it was yesterday. “Mike,” you say, “who cares?” Stay tuned. I am talking to you.

My dad loved to fly, and he loved his work. Based on our comfortable living conditions while growing up in a big house open 24/7 to all shape and size kids and their friends, he was a pretty good salesman.

Flying used to be an exciting proposition. I suspect that another reason he enjoyed traveling so much had a little to do with that Read the rest of this entry »

Losing Isn’t Just For Losers

If positioned properly, losing can become a positive launching point.

It might not have been my first failure, nor should it be considered my greatest failure; but I clearly remember the first time I began feeling like a loser. I was maybe 10 or 11 at the time, playing for a Major League Little League Team. These were the big boys and supposedly very good at our trade. I was a proud member of The Hawks.

When opening day came and went that year, we were 0-1. Nineteen games later, when the last out of the game was recorded at the season’s end, we were 0-20. Putting on a pair of rose-colored glasses, that single feat was almost impossible to duplicate. Very few teams can consistently perform that poorly over Read the rest of this entry »

Regrets? I’ve Had a Few

This could be totally related to age, and there is a good chance many of you reading today’s article will not identify with what I am about to say. I am going to give it a shot anyway.

I am not calling them liars, but when I hear somebody say they have no regrets in their lives, I can’t help but think they are in the minority. I am fast to admit that I have had a memorable ride for the past 72-years, but I still have a boatload of situations where I would have played my cards differently. Full disclosure: I often wake up in the middle of the night asking myself, “what was I thinking!”

The truth of the matter is that the past cannot be undone, and hopefully we have learned something along the way that we would not have learned if Read the rest of this entry »

Flying High Over Rockport

Rockport, Massachusetts is located about 30 miles northeast of Boston on Cape Ann. It is there where I found myself fantasizing about sailing, and where I decided to start a small business that would eventually finance my very own sailboat. This is just one of my stories that will involve sailing.

At the time, I was flying a small kite off the rocks and was enjoying the breeze, the blue sky, the salty air, and the peacefulness of simply enjoying a Sunday afternoon. That is when the idea hit me. My new company would focus on kites and other toys that flew.

I soon came up with the name “FLYING HIGH,” and I began waiting for a storefront to become vacant. When I saw that the old toy store would soon be closing down, I pounced at the opportunity to secure a lease. I was in business and would soon be the owner of my own “sloop.”

The problem was, I was still holding down a full-time job nearly five hours Read the rest of this entry »

Home Sweet Home in Fresno

Last week I reminded you of how important first impressions can be. We left the Theta Chi House at The University of Colorado in Boulder and began flying to the gold coast. We ended up in Fresno and, in particular, Fresno State University. Reread last week’s story to be brought up to speed. We made an interim stop in Salt Lake City before continuing our journey to Fresno, CA.

We knew where the inexpensive beds would be from our stay in Boulder. We began hunting for the Theta Chi Fraternity house. Before long we found the familiar OX sign above the front door, only to find the house was locked up tighter than a drum. No problem.

Foolishly believing that this was “our” house regardless of the location, I was boosted up to the second floor where I gained entry through an unlocked window Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Going My Way?

One of the more bazaar self-induced challenges I experienced in my life came during the summer of 1970. I had just completed my sophomore year. I was home from the University of Massachusetts, jobless and growing more restless by the minute. That’s when I decided to test my survival instincts by grabbing a crisp $100 bill and began heading west in my pale blue Chevy Malibu sedan.

At the last minute, I decided to “swing by” the Boston area and talk my college football teammate into joining me. He gave a 24-hour notice to his job at 7-11 and grabbed a C-note of his own. I have since looked unfavorably at such expeditious job notices. (That was the exact moment his mother began to dislike me and the influence I had on her son.)

My Malibu 287 4-speed had plenty of rubber at the time and enough power to get us to Read the rest of this entry »

A Rookie Mistake

A common mistake rookies and amateurs make when it comes to competitive sales is arriving at the “last straw.” I remember all too clearly when I first fell victim to this fatal error.

I was working for Maritz Motivation at the time. My division of this highly respected motivation company sold supportive meeting services. What we referred to as “deliverables” often sold for six digits (often over $300,000).

One of my target accounts was Ricoh Copiers, and I worked for months trying to schedule an introductory meeting with the key decision-maker. You name it… I tried it. Regardless of the time, day, month, weather, position of the stars or phase of the moon, the end result of my persistence was always the same… no meeting… no sale.

I remember becoming exasperated before reaching for a computer to draft my final salvo. I can’t remember my exact phrasing, but it must have sounded something like this Read the rest of this entry »

Change Your Angle: Change Your View!

I guess you could safely say that flying was embedded in my DNA. My grandfather was the President of Republic Aviation and was responsible for building the P47 Thunderbolt. My dad flew in World War II, and my Uncle Al also flew single-engine airplanes. It only seemed natural to earn my private pilot’s license back in 1983.

Today’s story involves a near land-based catastrophe. It was colder than expected the morning when my Uncle Al and I were going to satisfy our urge to take to the skies over Morristown, New Jersey. The sun was shining brightly when we arrived at the airport but the overnight cool air lingered, which made it difficult to start the single-engine.

Rather than jeopardize the remaining juice in the battery, Uncle Al Read the rest of this entry »

The Shortest College Interview Ever

They say you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes. If this is true, and I believe it is, I should be one smart desperado. One of these painful lessons comes to mind back when I was trying to decide which university I would bless with my football talents. (I was one cocky dude back then not knowing I would soon be receiving a sobering lesson of a lifetime.)

Although Maryland is an easy drive from New Jersey, I wanted to know what it felt like to be flown to a meeting with a college coach. I was picked up at the airport and transported to the athletic department of The Maryland Terps. I eventually found out that a terp is a turtle; not exactly the most intimidating mascot if you ask me.

I was called into the head football coach’s office and managed through the introduction stages of the meeting, without Read the rest of this entry »

Do More—Get More

It often amuses me how things come to be. Some favorable outcomes appear to fall right out of the sky without warning or merit. This, however, is more often the exception. Most positive outcomes are the result of some form of action. In other words, we are all basically responsible for our futures. As the ear-torn saying reminds us, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

I remember the phone call. My good friend and speaking competitor shared his exciting memories from a recent European river cruise experience. He was literally “over the top” with good things to say. This single phone call fueled my interest, and motivated my writing a letter that would soon alter my life for the better.

A river cruise was prominently listed on my personal bucket list for some time. I wrote a letter to the president of a river cruise company Read the rest of this entry »

A Cup of Coffee With President George H. Bush

This is another true story that comes attached to a very pertinent message. Almost everybody has somebody they would like to meet. This may be a movie star, a sports celebrity, an author, or a TV personality. It may be a politician, a famous physician, or even the guy or gal living down the street. People are quick to identify their “wish-lists” but, more often than not, they fail to do anything proactively to make a future introduction.

Not long ago, I asked my wife if there was anybody she would like to meet. Without hesitating, she replied by saying, “I would like to meet President George H. Bush… and his wife Barbara.” I would be candy-coating my reaction if I said this selection surprised me to no end. I was ready to hear the name of some heartthrob. But President George H. Bush?

Priding myself as somebody who practices what he preaches, I begin to go to work Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to The Class of ’71: My Notre Dame Story

I was a senior in high school in 1967. It was a Friday afternoon when Mr. Zuckerman, my guidance counselor, informed me it was time to present my credentials to a number of colleges in the hope one would grant me admission. At the time, high school graduates had two choices: Attend college or get fitted for army fatigues before being shipped out to Vietnam. In most cases, this choice was considered a “no-brainer.”

The problem was, I had not given it any thought up until that Friday afternoon. Mr. Z suggested I go home and discuss my options with my parents before reporting back to him on Monday with my plan of attack.

I told my mother that it was time to identify a few college choices. She asked, “So where do you want to go?” I remember thinking of a reputable place where they played pretty good football. The name of the school shot into my head, and I said, “I think I’ll apply to Read the rest of this entry »

The Day I Flew Around the Water Tower

If there is any truth to the belief that a good story is both entertaining and memorable, you are about to enjoy the information in my columns for the next few months. I am about to share with you my personal experiences that come equipped with some valuable lessons.

The first of these lessons come to you from 2500 feet above sea level. It was during my check ride, which requires a passing grade while flying alongside an FAA flight inspector. I was in the left seat of a Cessna 152 and I felt I was prepared for the “exam.” I read the books, practiced my landings, and Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Ready for Another Bumpy Ride

Fasten your seatbelts travel professionals. You are about to play a major role in a New Year consisting of successes, failures, challenges, wins, losses, good ideas, bad ideas, and a whole bunch of “head-scratching” scenarios that are sure to upset your stomach. You can also get ready to do a lot of smiling. And I will be back to help you along the way in an attempt to keep you focused, motivated, and refining your own personal “happy dance.”

Similar to past articles I have been sharing, the next twelve months will consist of thought-provoking reminders you can identify with, and use to your benefit.

In the interest of time (your time), each week’s Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Worry—Be Happy

These four words popped into my head recently and, in addition to recalling a little tune sung by Bobby McFerrin, I found myself thinking of retirement. Yes, I have not been confused for a spring chicken for many years now; and I often have to stop and think how I managed to get out of bed yesterday. Some call it age, while I prefer to consider it as experience. But I digress.

Due to age, experience or whatever you want to call it, my days of actively pursuing new business have slowly gone the way of Seinfeld reruns. But here comes today’s million dollar thought of the day: Read the rest of this entry »