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Panicky Sheep: Avoid the Flock Seduction

Most people are sheepish. They love the crowd and can’t break free. Consider an excerpt from Trend Commandments:

You see them. Maybe you are one. Some are so connected to their BlackBerry, they can’t imagine it not being in their hand 24/7. Compulsive gaming. Second Life. People are looking at screens, sometimes multiple screens. Some think teaching students to multitask is important for future jobs. Jobs doing what? Serving Ritalin with a splash of Patrón?

Attention deficit disorder is so pervasive, and so ubiquitous, that very few of us even see it as a major concern. People are supremely distracted, and that equals behaviors driven by the moment. Not behaviors purposeful and thought out.

While making a documentary film (www.brokemovie.com) one of the first places my crew visited was a sheep farm. Those animals were so scared to be separated from the group it is terribly hard to put their fear into words. Late in the day of the shoot, I got really close to the herd and tried to split them in half. They panicked to reform their group. They had to get back to one cohesive crowd. They made no sounds. Their faces were expressionless. They just moved their feet—fast.

Humans live to be part of a group too: The group offers safety, confirmation, and simplifies decision-making. Further, if something goes wrong, it is far more comforting to be with others than to be alone—the old saying, “misery loves company,” rings true.

Now consider recent feedback from a Trend Following Radio listener:

Hi Michael,

Just wanted to say thanks for the great content over the years. I finally gave my notice to my employer this last Tuesday and am going out on my own in ten days. What is amazing is how addicting the steady paycheck is. I had multiple consulting clients lined up with contracts signed before I pulled the plug on the corporate gig and I still struggled to pull the cord. Thinking about some of the incredible people’s stories that you profile on your show helped me finally get off my ass and pull the trigger.

What’s amazing is once I made the decision that I was going for it a whole world of opportunities opened up. Now in addition to the consulting business I have another product that me and a couple of business partners are getting ready to manufacture and sell. Once you step away from the insane amount of wasted time in corporate America and decide to go do your own thing life becomes much more creative.

BTW, what I’m doing has nothing to do with money management or trading. It has everything to do with being a free person and taking control of my life. Your show has broad appeal.

Thanks again,
[Name]

Thanks for the nice words! Good luck.

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