JPTearsheet, February, 2021 Vol. XIII No. 2
“For violent fires soon burn out themselves; small showers last long, but sudden storms are short.”
― William Shakespeare
The “X” Factor
The X-Factor has a rather ominous ring to it. It harkens to science fiction movies populated with alien beings and mutant viruses… and worse.

According to dictionary.com however, the X-Factor is “a circumstance, quality, or person that has a strong but unpredictable influence.” Sounds a lot more tame.

But we’re all experiencing an X-Factor. Just one year ago the economy was cruising right along – stronger than it had been in years, or even decades. Unemployment was lower than it had been in nearly half a century.

Then Mr. Covid came a-knocking.

The quarantine, the shutdown – whatever you want to call it – it hit, not only the U.S. economy, but the world economy. And it hit everyone right between the eyes. And hit them hard. No one was ready for that one.

Seemingly overnight the economy was in the dumpster, unemployment soared, businesses closed (many permanently) and we were seeing something rarely seen in America since World War II – empty shelves in supermarkets. Regardless of your economic status, suddenly you couldn’t find toilet paper. All at once schools closed, people started working from home, Zoom took on a whole new meaning, and overnight “social distancing” replaced “hug a friend.”

That is the 21st Century version of the X-Factor. Then the experts started to weigh in. 

Work from home will be the new norm. Our kids’ education will change forever. Artificial Intelligence will take over everything. Etc. Etc. Etc.

No one was prepared for the Covid X-Factor. It’s rare that anyone is. But the survivors will be the ones who will adapt, who will change, who will be able to pivot – almost at moment’s notice. And most predictions by the so-called experts will be wrong.
Quarter for your thoughts. Apple and Amazon both recently reported quarterly sales of $100+ billion for the first time.
The Wall Street Journal

Hot stuff. More than 197 million Indonesians live within 100 km (62 miles) of a volcano, with nearly nine million of those within 10 km (6.21 miles.)
— cosmosmagazine.com

Big brother is watching. Amazon reported that it processed 27,664 government demands for user data in the past six months – an increase of 800 percent over the previous six months.
— TechCrunch.com

Neither rain, nor snow… The U.S. Postal Service reportedly delivered only 64 percent of first-class mail on time over the recent Christmas holidays.
New York Times

Can you hear me now? The average wireless bill in the U.S. has dropped 26 percent since 2008. Over the same period, wireless taxes have increased 50 percent.
— cnbc.com

We don’t need no social distancing. Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics have banned hugs, high fives and other “unnecessary forms of physical contact” during this summer’s games — at the same time they are planning to distribute 150,000 free condoms.
The Week

Diet or Classic? A British mathematician has estimated that all Covid particles from around the world are so small that, together, they could fit into a single can of Coke.
— sky.com
Is there a newsletter
in your future?
If you think a newsletter should be in your future, The JPT Group can help. Download our free digital booklet – Getting Started with Your Newsletter – from the JPT Group website to get some basic questions answered as well as a little inspiration to nudge you forward. Be sure to check out “Something Special” at the end.
MONTH OF DECEMBER
Quote of the Month:
In recognition of Valentine’s Day:
“Whoever coined the phrase, ‘You can’t put a price on love’ probably wasn’t a pet owner.”
– Anonymous

Month of the Month:
February of course is home to Valentine’s Day. It shouldn’t be surprising then that with so much love in the air that February is also Relationship Wellness Month, An Affair to Remember Month, National Weddings Month, National Mend a Broken Heart Month, National Condom Month and, last but not least, Spunky Old Broads Month.

Question of the Month:

Of the U.S. 50 states, which are the only two that do not observe Daylight Savings Time?
To find this answer, you’ll have to follow the sun.

BONUS QUESTION: True or False: Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, was never a federal holiday.
More Media Madness
Media – mass media, newspapers, digital, et.al. – continue to experience deep, rapid and gut-wrenching changes. New evidence surfaces everyday.

Vistage.com reports that traditional advertising (whatever that means anymore) continues to get clobbered by digital. But Apple’s introduction of an app to allow consumers to opt out of tracking by digital giants such as Facebook promises to… what? Upend the apple cart? (No pun intended.) Who knows?

Ratings of cable news outlets continue to suffer at the hands of YouTubers and podcasts. And God only knows what the future of local news will look like. Then again, the major television networks only were able to garner one Emmy nomination this year, surrendering to the likes of Netflix and friends.

And, just when you thought that the news industry couldn’t lose anymore trust among its audiences, Edelman reports that “56 percent of Americans believe journalists and reporters ‘are purposely trying to mislead,’” and “58 percent of Americans think that news organizations are ‘more interested in ideology than facts.’”

“There aren’t two sides to this story.”
— George Stephanopolous

Hard Hitting Lessons
A gridiron MBA? OK, maybe that’s not possible, but see how much you can learn about business from football in my book, Hard Hitting Lessons. The subtitle says it all, “Some not-so-obvious business lessons learned from playing football.”

Most people associate football with learning things like hard work, discipline, teamwork, etc. That’s all very true. But what can you learn about business from football? According to Hard Hitting Lessons, a lot. This book will explain it all – from human resources to strategic planning and more. Yes, there’s a lot to be learned from playing football about business – and even about life itself. 

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