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Hello to all of you!

MIND MUSINGS for the Week of September 20, 2020

American Migration

Yesterday my ex-wife, Kate, and I drove down to San Antonio to visit with our daughter, Mackenzie and go to a great BBQ place I had read about in Texas Monthly. On the way back to Austin, I drove Kate around from new housing development to new housing development, so she could get a sense of where to buy a house. You see, she is joining Zack, Mack, and me here in The Great State.

As we drove around multiple developments, I was astounded at the sheer amazing amount of houses being built in just the two towns we investigated. Development after development of 2000, 3000, and more houses, all going up as fast as you can imagine. It is hard to describe how incredible this is to see. And, by the way, there is a housing shortage here because they cannot build houses fast enough to accommodate the number of people moving from the rest of the country—principally, California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

This should not surprise me, really. The town I live in was 5000 people in 2005; it is now over 50000. The town just south of me was 5000 in 2005 as well; it is now over 75000 (it is next to Austin).  When I moved to Leander in 2017, there were 16 housing developments being built—not a one building less than 1000 homes. From here to Lago Vista—13 miles away—there are around 8 housing developments being built—all over 2000 homes.

Start doing the math. These are houses, not apartments. There are kids in these families. Just assume an average family size of 3, and you get to very large numbers—in a small geography—very quickly (and the demographic research shows that most of the internal migration in the US is being done by people in their 30’s, as they search for housing they can afford).

This morning one of the newsletters I get—one on demographics—detailed the migration patterns in the US since 2000. Here are some details.

Biggest NET population losers since 2000:

  • NY Metro: -3.4 million people;
  • LA Metro: -2.11 million people;
  • Chicago Metro: -1.2 million people.

Biggest NET population winners since 2000:

  • Phoenix Metro: +.94 million people;
  • Dallas-FT Worth: +.77 million people;
  • Atlanta Metro: + .68 million people.

NOTE: Texas now has 4 of the top 10 populated cities in America, and 2 of the top 4 MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas)—Dallas-Ft Worth and Houston.

Almost 100% of the NET migration OUT is from the Northeast and California. Almost all of the NET migration IN is to the South and West.

Reagan was right. People do vote with their feet.

This may be the biggest story of the last 20 years NOT reported by the MSM. (Gee, I wonder why?)

We have a great line up of shows this week. Here are two highlights:

  • Thursday: BJ Thomas: Crossing genres, BJ Thomas is one of the most distinctive voices with hits like “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.”
  • Friday: Former Governor Mike Huckabee: Huckabee grew up in Hope, Arkansas, and became Lt Governor in 1993 and Governor of Arkansas in 1996—serving through 2007. In 2005, Time Magazine named Huckabee one of the 5 best governors in the US. He has had radio and TV shows more or less ever since, with breaks when he ran for President in 2008 and 2016. Finally, he has written 14 books, with his latest just published: The Three C’s That Made America Great: Christianity, Capitalism, and the Constitution.

And now from our co-founder Rick Tocquigny, here is Wisdom Gained, observations on life to make you stop and ponder.

Book I’m Reading this Week: Orbiting the Giant Hairball, A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie.

Gordon worked at Hallmark HQ for 30 years where he inspired his colleagues (and an entire industry) to slip the bonds of corporate normalcy, rise to orbit by daring, dreaming and “doing above.” This is a downright funny, observational book.

My favorite part was Gordon’s commentary comparing corporate creative professionals as milk cows. I think he is right in saying “management obsessed with productivity usually has little patience for the quiet time essential to profound creativity.” Workers are being sucked inside-out by corporate milking machines. I challenge you to recognize this environment at your place of work. Are you currently getting your brains and heart sucked dry at a place where “if we work-hard-enough-long enough-burn ourselves out enough- we’ll succeed through control Hairball.

For professionals looking for the right culture, a healthier alternative is the Orbit of trust that allows time- without immediate, concrete evidence of productivity- for the miracle of creativity to occur.

Speaking of company culture, I met this week in LA with CEO of Comparably, Jason Nazar. A recent article on his site,, tackled a taboo issue. Does having children hold people back in their careers?

Recent studies have shown that the U.S. birthrate is at its lowest point in more than 30 years, thanks largely to Millennials feeling they aren’t able to afford kids. The youngest Gen Z workers were the most convinced that adding children to the family can hamper career trajectory. These are the workers least likely to have had children yet, and also least likely to have seen a real effect on their career momentum one way or the other. Millennials are slightly less convinced, as many older Millennials presumably already have children, and only 49% of that group opined that children can hamper a career trajectory. Only about 40% of Boomers, who have most likely already had and raised children, said they thought children were a drag on work life.

Another topic of particular interest is start ups. Comparably revealed the following about employees most likely to leave the company and start their own shop. Perhaps predictably, the youngest employees are the most eager to start their own business within the next five years. Between 35% and 40% of all Gen Z and Millennial employees say they are planning on hanging a shingle of their own over the next half decade, and those numbers remain relatively stable, dropping slowly until we reach Boomers, who are less concerned with new business ventures and more focused on retirement.

Connecting the dots, give your employees a sense of ownership and time to grow creatively. Absent of that, your high production culture may propel a portion of your employees to leave the company and start their own enterprise. Pay attention to your culture and the understand the true cost of turnover.

Quote that I’m Pondering: “To be fully free to create, we must first find the courage and willingness to let go.” Gordon MacKenzie:

  • Start by letting go of the strategies that have worked for you in the past. • Let go of your biases, the foundation of our illusions. • Let go of your grievances, the root source of victimhood. • Let go of our often-denied-fear of being found unlovable.

And enjoy two our our upcoming interviews drawing upon the wisdom of Grammy winner B.J. Thomas (Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head) and Matthew Phillips, Director of Travel for AARP both debuting during the first week of October.

And remember……you are a tour de force when it comes to imagination and creativity. Tap into your unlimited potential THIS WEEK.


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