June 21, 2017

Florida Trail Association newsletter

Florida Trail Association, Summer 2017

Posted by Cox Lesley - 06/21/17, 05:40 PM

June 15, 2017

Experts and Pink Rabbits

Popular wisdom is that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. Really? At that rate your business will be defunct before you become effective at marketing your business and increasing your sales. Not good!

The expert on experts is Dr. Anders Ericsson, Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. He is the author of Peak, Secrets from the New Science of Deliberate Practice.  This is a great book for anyone who wants to develop a plan to excel in any field. It is full of sound research and good ideas. But good ideas sometimes get a bit twisted when popularized. That’s how the misconception of “10,000 hours” was born.

Here’s what Dr. Ericsson’s research actually uncovered about becoming an expert: It takes deliberate practice based on well defined, specific goals to become an expert in any field. Sometimes that means 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. Sometimes more, sometimes less. 

Can you be successful at marketing your business without a 10,000  hour investment? Of course, you can! It is done every day. Although you are likely to become better at it the more you work at it.

Deliberate practice is important.  My karate Sensei, Wayne Tyler, explained it this way, “The secret to punching is not repetition. The secret is repeating one perfect punch.” I admit it took a while for me to grasp the that concept. However, one day when my head jerked back from a perfectly delivered punch.  I suddenly became enlightened. 

Deliberate practice is important but it is not much good without a plan.  The road to expertise starts with designing “well defined, specific goals” and putting them into practice. Then, you learn from monitoring your results. 

Still a bit foggy about why this is so important when marketing your business? Ok, here is a real-life example of how failure to develop “well defined, specific goals” can put marketing efforts in the ditch.

I could not help but smile when I picked up the local paper of a wealthy enclave near Nashville, Tennessee. In the paper was a large attention getting advertisement. It featured a smiling young man in a pink rabbit costume. Was it Easter? He wasn’t selling Easter eggs. A new Victoria Secret ad campaign with a twist? Nope.

It turns out this young man was trying to build his brand and sales as a real estate agent. The idea was he could sell your home fast, like a rabbit.

“Well, I do tell business people to be different,” I said to myself. But different doesn’t always make you right. Yes, this salesman did get attention. He did understand that contrast gets attention. ( for more about Contrast, )If that was his only goal, he succeeded. Did his ad build trust? No. Did he appear professional?” No. Did the ad appeal to his target customer?  I doubt it.

He was attempting to make sales in a very wealthy community. Just a little thought, a bit of research and he might have developed a more specific and more appropriate marketing approach. People who can afford $1,000,000+ homes rarely buy their new home from young men in pink rabbit costumes!

What the pink rabbit salesman failed to grasp was that contrast means getting attention that helps you achieve a “well defined, specific goal” for your business. Attention is only useful if it moves you toward your goal. If it doesn’t, it is a waste of your time and your money. Determine your goal first and make it very specific. The more specific the better. Then determine the action to take to achieve it.  

Let’s assume you have decided how your business will be different from you competitors. You have carefully set “well defined, specific goals” for a marketing or sales campaign. You know what you want to accomplish. What strategies can use to accomplish your goal?  In other words, how do you sell it?

Next time we’ll talk about two classic methods you can use to effectively reach out and deliver your marketing messages to the right buyers in today’s very competitive market place.


Chester Butler is a retired national sales and marketing instructor for the American Insurance Sales and Marketing Society(AIMS). The Professional Insurance Agents, (PIA), an insurance trade organization, has recognized Chester with the National Insurance Communicator Award. His agencies have earned marketing awards from the National PIA organization and Rough Notes Magazine.  Currently retired, he spends his time as a volunteer for local organizations.



Posted by Chester Butler - 06/15/17, 04:21 PM

June 12, 2017

Meet Your Green Guide-Serge Latour

As part of our program to introduce our members to the public, support ethical eco-tourism, and promote our member businesses, Chuck Spicer is publishing articles in his Forgotten Coastline monthly paper. Find out more about this program  and how you can be a part of it at July 30, 2017 Florida Green Guide Association meeting. This is the second article published in the Forgotten Coastline and features Serge Latour. Please keep in mind that the layout on this site maybe different from the published version.

The first time I laid eyes on Serge it was almost my last. I had heard the legend of Cebe Tate who collapsed in the arms of a Carrabelle resident and died. His last words, “I am Cebe Tate and I have been through Hell.” Tate stumbled out of the woods after being lost in swamps and jungle woods of what is now known as Tate’s Hell State Forest.

Serge Latour, Florida Green Guide

What I did not expect to see when I first visited Carrabelle was the specter of Cebe Tate moving through the mist on a foggy evening. A deadly cottonmouth kept striking its left leg. The face appeared swollen and bloody from insect bites and scratches.  What had once been a shirt and pants were torn and ragged.

For just a second I froze. My thumping heart screamed “Run!” But my brain said, “It couldn’t be.” I was desperately trying to make sense of what stood before me. Then the specter grinned and said, “Good evening. Welcome to Carrabelle!” 

Serge as Cebe Tate

That was my heart stopping welcome from Serge Latour, a fellow Florida Green Guide. The Chamber of Commerce and the City chose well when they drafted Serge to reenact the tale of a victim of the swamps and backwaters of Franklin County. He knows the “black water” back country of Franklin county. Oh, and in real life, Serge is quite friendly and personable. And that is the reason he is a popular Certified Florida Green Guide.

If you want to safely enjoy a special adventure in Tate’s Hell backwaters, Serge is your man. Trained as a biologist, Serge traveled the world as an aquatic scientist. “I settled here,” he says with a grin, “because I found a bit of Heaven on the edge of Hell.”

Serge has a boundless enthusiasm for showing the secrets of blackwater streams to his clients. His enthusiasm is contagious, too.  Serge explains that a tour in the backwaters is not just a visual experience. You must attune yourself to the sounds and smells of wild places, too.

After a bit of instruction from Serge, you will be able to tell what animal left a trail of bubbles in the water. You’ll learn what just made that rustling sound then quietly disappeared into the tannic stained water.  And you will know for certain that the croak and flapping you hear is a disturbed Great Blue Heron.

I recently toured with Serge in one of his electric canoes. Let me tell you, if you are a photographer, this is the way to tour the backwaters. You glide silently across the water perched in a comfortable seat. You can concentrate on your photography. And you don’t have to worry about getting your gear wet.

    American Alligator

Serge knows where resident animals hang out. And he’ll give you a heads up, so you don’t miss a shot. He approaches bends in the creek slowly and quietly. That way, the blackwater creatures are not spooked. If you remain quiet and still, you will see colorful Wood Ducks, foraging herons, cruising alligators, and Florida river cooters (turtles). And if you visit at the right time, playful river otters may put on a show. Manatees and swimming Florida Black Bears have delighted guests on these black water tours.

These dark waters flow through one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. So, you can never tell what rare birds, mammals, amphibians or reptiles you might encounter. This is wild country and not knowing who will show up is part of the adventure.

If you are older and don’t want the physical exertion of paddling, these tours are a good bet for a relaxing and adventurous day. Same goes if you happen to have a physical challenge of some sort. These electric canoes are the ticket. A tour with Serge in an electric canoe is a relaxing miniature water safari adventure! 

Electric Canoe Safari

Don’t miss your chance to see the black waters of wild Florida located at the Gates of Tate’s Hell with Serge Latour.

Serge is a Certified Florida Green Guide, and partner in La Lutra, LLC.  Serge and his business partner Debbi Clifford are active community volunteers. In addition, they have been instrumental in protecting and preserving Tate’s Hell State Forest and the creatures that call it home.

You can book a trip with Serge by email, Better yet, text or call Serge at 850-661-2461. If you want to learn a little more about La Lutra excursions visit

For other Certified Florida Green Guide adventures, visit vacation, take home memories and pictures from Florida’s wild side!



Posted by Chester Butler - 06/12/17, 03:34 PM