Investment Profits in Misconceptions

by | May 5, 2007 | Archives

Investment profits can come from not having misconceptions. Recently a message at this sight focused on the kindness of the Ecuadorian people. A reader outlined how the security services in Guayaquil had allowed him to stay on a flight during transit because he was handicapped.

Then I expressed a lament shared by many readers about the aggressiveness, rudeness and lack of professionalism displayed by many security and customs agents at US airports. That message ended by saying. “This is not the way life needs to be. In Ecuador life is not this way.”

This message evoked an interesting response from one reader who wrote: “ Gary , You are a moron if you can´t follow simple instructions at the airport, and you walk in there with your arrogant attitude, that ‘Gary Scott doesn´t need to follow the rules like everybody else.’ They should shout at you! Move to Ecuador , if you don´t like it. Wear a blanket and a funny hat, eat roast guinea pig, and live in the squalor with the other Ecuadorian kind people. You´ll be much happier there. Just do it and quit your whining.”

I can only assume that this reader either works for TSA or is suffering the newly named disease, “Airport Stress Syndrome.” People like this are called Airport Stress Sufferers.

Whichever, this reply is very helpful as it points out how most people miss investment profits and opportunity because of their misconceptions! This leaves more for those of us who look at change in a positive way.

Many people feel that security at airports is important. I totally agree. However many also feel that the aggression, indignity and force used as a part and parcel of security lacks insight. These people fail to see that this stress is real and a problem…that creates opportunity and potential investment profits and.

Positive thinkers are getting investment profits from this stress. First, airport stress reduces effectiveness of the security staff. A recent article at a security magazine site said: “Aviation security is based to a great extent on the screener personnel’s performance in the detection of threatening objects when visually inspecting X-ray images of passenger bags. Typical situational components like time pressure, impatient passengers, or waiting crowds are likely to induce psychosocial stress in the screening persons.”

Businesses are popping and gaining investment profits by testing and helping relieve security personal’s stress.

Second, if the notes I receive from readers is an indication, aggression by US security, customs and immigration reduces visitors to the US . This hurts the US economically and reduces its ability to run and govern itself as a first class country. Businesses (like Merri’s and mine) are busy providing alternatives to those who agree that this stress in intolerable.

The reader above probably reacted because he or she was threatened by the truth. US airport security is too aggressive. There is too much stress. Many other countries have good security but are friendlier. Yet this reader was so wrapped up defending his or her misconception that he (she) had no way to see or even think about how to profit from this challenge.

Many others have taken a positive point of view about airport stress. Problems create opportunity. Positive thinkers are benefiting from airport stress.

Air taxis are popping up across the country gaining investment profits by avoiding the stress of public transportation check in.

A recent newswire press release tells about a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida company called Stuff and Go that has created packaged products in an effort to ease the stress of long, airport security lines.

The President of that company saw that finding travel size products was difficult and expensive. So the company combines packages of travel goods, liquids, gels and aerosols and packs them in quart size “zip lock” bag within TSA guidelines. He is making some nice investment profits.

In another instance a positive thinking artist is earning $300,000 from airport stress.

The Boston Channel article said: “Karen Finkelman tilted her head to one side to listen to the relaxing sounds of crickets chirping, frogs croaking, and a fog horn blowing in the distance In fact, there wasn’t a forest, ocean or lily pad in sight. ‘It’s a nice sound to hear in a stressful airport when you are very stressed out,’ Finkelman, a 34-year-old mother of three, said after arriving at Boston’s Logan International Airport from Orlando, Fla. ‘It is just a nice, nature’s sound.’

That was indeed the intent behind the artwork of Christopher Janney, an architect and avid jazz musician who created the piece that includes colored glass walls on two parking garages and natural sounds from different parts of New England. The exhibit, covering eight stories, is touted as one of the nation’s largest public art installations. The two-piece ‘Rainbow Cove’ installation cost about $300,000 and is part of a $205 million Central Garage expansion project. It will be formally introduced April 24.’The airport can be a tough place — a lot of people, flights can be delayed, flights can be canceled — it can be a pretty aggravating place,’ said Janney, a prolific public space artist. ‘My interest is to try to create an interesting, stimulating, alternative experience.’ The creation also seeks to soften the concrete-and-steel feel of the airport and make the place more enjoyable to passengers and others.”

Quick thinking spa operators are cashing in on airport stress as well.

A USA Weekend article says: “Airport stress? Say ‘spa’. Weary travelers can get a massage and more at new day spas that have sprung up in airports around the country. Massage Bar gives chair massages at Nashville International, Seattle-Tacoma, Washington Dulles and Newark International. In San Francisco, Pittsburgh and JFK airports, XpresSpa offers back, foot and deep-tissue body massages. Destination Relaxation at Baltimore-Washington Airport offers table and chair massages, and the BackRub Hub in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport keeps travelers limber. Full-service spas, like JFK’s Oasis Day Spa, offer massages, facials and nail care. And in Detroit, relax at the Ora Oxygen spa.”

Embrace change. It’s here, always has been and always will be. Many of us do not like a lot of it. Yet we cannot always change change. However, if we look positively, we can usually find some silver lining in the evolution and profit from it. Be positive. Look for opportunity in every shift instead of being an Airport Stress Sufferer.

There are a couple of other misconceptions we can pick see here as well. The reader wrote: Wear a blanket and a funny hat, eat roast guinea pig, and live in the squalor with the other Ecuadorian kind people.

Guinea pig is a special festival food eaten on high holidays. This comment is akin to saying American cuisine is all about pumpkins because of what Thanksgiving.

Ecuadorian food is delicious and nutritious.

We are sort of cashing in on this at our hotel restaurant. Delegates come back and stay just for the food. Plus some weekends, Quito residents drive up and spend thousands at our restaurant on meals. There are some great Ecuador food opportunities.

Many Ecuadorians do wear hats. Funny? Actually they are quite practical in the Equatorial sun and perhaps the most popular hat in the world, the Panama Hat comes from Ecuador. The hat site says of the Panama hat:

“Panama hats are made exclusively in Ecuador and are woven by hand from a plant called the Toquilla.

The Panama hat has been worn for centuries with its origins being traced back as far as the 16th Century when the Incas were the first to use the Toquilla plant to produce hats. The hat in fact only became known as the Panama when over a century ago the workers involved in the construction of the Panama Canal used the elegant fibre hats as protection against the burning sun. In the 18th Century Panama hats found their way into the United States. During the American-Spanish war (1898) the US government ordered from Ecuador 50,000 “sombrero de paja toquilla” (hats of the toquilla plant), for their troops heading for the Caribbean . Earlier in 1855, a Frenchman living in Ecuador took some to the World Exhibition in Paris . The finest hat was presented to the then Emperor of France Napoleon III and has been much sought after by Royalty ever since. In England much encouraged by royal patronage, the Panama quickly became known as the most fashionable summer hat and remains so to this day. Exorbitant prices have been paid for Panama hats over the years, sums that equated to a three-month holiday, or the purchase of a small farm. Prince Edward VII parted with £90.00 after asking his Bond Street hatter to obtain the “finest Panama available”.

Its popularity was further enhanced when in 1906 President Theodor Roosevelt was photographed wearing a Panama hat whilst viewing the Panama Canal under construction.”

So some people, prejudiced by misconceptions, see things that are different and think they are funny. Others see contrasts, distortions and opportunity.

This flow of opportunity from observation goes both directions. I’m guessing that a lot of people wonder about the baseball hat,…especially reversed? A lot of non US people probably thought they were funny as well. Yet many people overseas have made fortunes introducing baseball hats to countries where there is no baseball!

Squalor? There is more in Ecuador , I dare say, than anyone would like to see, as there is in Portland, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, the deep south of the US and up here in the Blue Ridge (all places where I have lived).

This creates really big opportunity. Isn’t that why we are here to make things better?

Yet I suspect our reader, due to his or her misconceptions, is missing these profits as well.

Until next message, may you see all your changes as good and a silver lining in every cloud.


Here’s an Ecuadorian marching in a recent festival. Now that’s a funny hat!


Our hotel, El Meson de las Flores , provides free lunches to students that visit the historical museum next door.

Here some of the children enjoy the visit and lunch. Not much squalor here.


Here I am with hotel staff, teachers and museum administrators. Oops where are the blankets and funny hats?


Here is an Ecuador head ware I believe could catch on world wide as a stunning fashion.


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