RE:         The Wall Street Journal Tuesday, November 28, 2000[2]

                No. 5 | In a Series on Unique Brand Challenges

                Jim McDowell, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America


The Ultimate Brand?


On beginnings. I went to Colorado College and then studied public policy at Harvard. So it’s not the typical resume for a ‘car guy.’ I am more of an experimental ‘car guy,’ a generalist but without doubt an enthusiast. I do what I do because I have a passion for the product – actually, the experience, I market.


Knowing who you are. And who you aren’t. We respect brands, just as we respect people who have a sure sense of what their mission in life is. For 25 years, we haven’t changed who are or what our tagline is. A BMW is the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine.’ We’ve interpreted it in different ways and demonstrated it through different models, but that fundamental idea has never varied. Everyone who works here understands that completely: ‘Yup, that’s who we are.’


A glance in the rearview mirror. A magazine once bluntly wrote: ‘BMW has the positioning everyone else wants.’ It’s a fascinating phenomenon. Companies that only three years ago were selling really soft luxury cars now – snap fingers – are selling them with performance imagery. If the truth of the product doesn’t meet the conceit of the marketing, no one is persuaded. I frankly believe most drivers of these cars would be horrified to learn the cars had minivan parts in them. We have always built performance machines, and every year we make them better than we did the year before.


The reintroduction of the roadster. In the early ‘90s, the German auto industry in the U.S. was down in the dumps. The economy was bad, but most of the marketing didn’t help. A lot of the marketing was about mere status – not status earned by performance. And the products had to change to be more responsive to North American tastes and driving habits.


BMW demonstrated its commitment to succeed in the North American market in a big way: we decided to build cars in a new plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. And the product that we developed and built here had a brilliant debut – the Z3 roadster.


When we first saw the Z3, we were just blown away that anything that expressive would come to the market. We realized that this was not just about introducing a new car – it was about introducing a new icon on the American landscape.


The importance of being James Bond. As it happened, at the same time a new BMW was coming to market, a new James Bond was coming to market. So we introduced the Z3 in (Pierce Brosnan’s) Golden Eye. It was a brilliant fit. When you say James Bond, you think of this mythical figure who had incredible abilities and was always sided by the most clever devices. Golden Eye also enabled us to do funny ads. In one spot, we featured a speaker in the House of Lords, announcing to a horrified chamber: ‘Our best secret agent, James Bond, is driving a B…M…W…’ [GASPS FILL CHAMBER.][3]


That Bond film was effectively the launch of the Z3, and we did it all for a media investment of less than $15 million. We’ve continued the association through three subsequent Bond Films.


The next mountain. When we began the X5, we learned there were a lot of people who liked the idea of an SUV better than they liked the current execution of it. That gave us a tremendous opportunity to engineer a radically different solution. The BMW X5 doesn’t have those typical truck-like driving characteristics or construction techniques. Nobody had ever done that before. We offered a clear alternative.


The greatest skeptics, however, may have been our own enthusiast base. They asked: Was BMW hopping on the SUV bandwagon? Did we have anything unique to contribute? A test drive put these questions to rest. But I mention this to show that powerful brands, with avid enthusiasts, do not operate in complete freedom – they have to satisfy passionate and vocal constituencies.


A history of surprises. Providing clear alternatives is our heritage. Just like when BMW introduced the 2002 to North America thirty years ago. It just shocked people. It was this small, unaggressive looking car with incredible agility and a motor that performed beyond anyone’s belief. People had never seen any car like it until BMW built it. We have ideas on the drawing board right now that are fundamentally as surprising as the original 2002 was.


BMW and The Wall Street Journal. Our target market has an ‘appointment contract’ with The Wall Street Journal. A time set aside for uncluttered, focused interaction. We believe that during this time, in these pages, our message will be appreciated. And The Wall Street Journal has an unbelievably high talk factor; people talk at the water cooler about what they read in The Journal. And we believe an interesting, engaging ad is as likely to be talked about as an interesting, engaging story.

For a clean, two-page hard copy of this document, just send me quick email request with the subject line – “BMW-Lifestyle” to

[1] Would love “a conversation” with BMW, WSJ, &/or (as I am also a Colorado College graduate) Jim McDowell.

[2] NOTE: This is from a pre-9/11 world.

[3] See

[Note: Bob originally posted this Justice Smiles’ article at on December 23, 2018.]

At Church this morning, the pastor indicated that his folks have property in Maryland’s Appalachia where the Amish also reside. He then spoke to the fact that a draft horse had the ability to individually pull 8,000 lbs.

His question was then what is the amount that two draft horses together can pull. The answer is not the additive of 16,000 lbs. It’s an initial geometric tripling to 24,000 lbs.

Then, the pastor noted something even more amazing yet. When the horses have been teamed together for a fair amount of time, the draw load can go up as high as 32,000 lbs.

Now, I will admit that I know absolutely nothing on this subject and I have not done any fact checking to assure that all of this is accurate. So, I guess if you think that I may be mislead by a man of the cloth, by all means feel free to do the research and correct me.

Until that happens though, I am going to assume that this is the reality. And in doing so, I want to draw another point to Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.

He indicates that it is critical to have a mastermind group which he describes as at least 2 or more people who are working in harmony towards a common purpose.

If I am to understand the takeaway properly, the result is that there is not an additive benefit when working in harmony with others, but rather one can increase benefit geometrically. Good!

Now, let’s think about what happens if you pair a couple of draft horses, but have them pulling in exactly the opposite direction.

Sure, it’s nice to think that a pair of Levis Jeans can hold up to the pressure, but that’s a lot of countervailing force.

If that which binds though is stronger than the force of the two horses diametrically opposed, what happens as to progress?

Obviously, there is little to none!

And this is exactly where I want to make may point. For those folks that want to hitch up and pull against their neighbors by pulling the boundary line in the neighbors direction and vice versa, the law essentially is going to have you at a virtual stalemate.

So, wouldn’t it be much better to get on the same page as your neighbor and just sort out the problem?

That has always been my approach. Yet, this approach takes a tremendous amount of sales effort to get my clients, opposing counsel, and the neighbors all on board.

At the end of the day, week, month, year, and now decade, when I look at the benefit, while I know it is important to help people to come to peace and that lawyers provide a better alternative than for two warring parties to simply step of ten paces, turn, draw, and shoot … I want to help people work together to get meaningful things accomplished.

I still have a fair degree of reticence about moving in this new direction, but as my friends this holiday season all seem to advise … so, you have about 15 – 20 years of work left ahead of you.

That’s time I can’t be wasting doing something that no longer makes sense for me.

I’m not adverse to doing the equivalent of a draft horse, but the work has to be meaningful.

If not, I’m just marking the days until I get a chance to go to the great beyond.

That’s just not at all the way to live! Wouldn’t you agree? Cheers!


Photo Credit:

Pro-Life v. Pro-Choice, the battle lines are again being drawn subsequent the legislative ban on abortion in Alabama.

Elizabeth Warren is seeking to have the battle litigated in the political arena. Trump has weighed in after the fact in his often chosen manner by tweeting …

As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions – Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother – the same position taken by Ronald Reagan.

This debate appears very likely to drive much of the political rhetoric for the 2020 presidential election.

It’s an important issue and sometimes the best way to determine where the line should be drawn is often by identifying that for which everyone can agree. Perhaps the best way is by looking to China.

Last century, China found that it had an overpopulation problem. The country’s solution was to create a one child policy. Now China is attempting to contend with the negative knock-on effects of that decision.

But, it would be extremely hazardous to fail to take a moment to explore what China had to do in order to pursue its one child policy in to place.

To enforce the policy, women were forced to not just forced to use contraceptives in an attempt to prevent the necessity of abortions, they received forced sterilizations.

As someone who has lived in China and had occasion to see the state of its medical facilities, one thing is patently clear. Sterilization techniques – not of women – but rather of bacteria are a far cry from Western standards.

And for anyone else who who has witnessed the rows and rows of baby’s who are being cured of their colds by means of an IV-drip to the forehead, one can only imagine that the process of sterilization was placed on the human equivalent of a factory floor.

How about the doctors that performed these surgeries? I was acquainted with one woman whose medical education was pressed to state use as an abortionist.

Is that the reason why she secured her medical training? Hell no. But, when not only your livelihood, but your life is threatened if you won’t play the game, rare are those that decide to buck the system.

For folks in Seattle who are interested in gaining more insight into all of this, consider going to a SIFF screening on May 27 or 28 of One Child Nation. See [HERE].

What does this have to do with identifying a ways of mediation a breakthrough on this subject?

Well, it seems patently clear that both the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice sides of the debate would ever consider state forced abortions a worthwhile plan.

What about the opposite extreme? Say America found itself in the predicament where we needed more children.

Disgustingly, this was another one of the tricks the master-race miscreant Hitler established. See [HERE].

It’s pretty clear that state forced sterility and state forced fertility are out of the question.

So where then should the acceptable middle line be drawn?

Here’s where if both sides were actually willing to talk to as well as listen to each other, we might be able to come to have a robust conversation and in doing so come to some sort of compromise that is acceptable.

Instead of the government forcing people one way or another, perhaps the government can instead consider incentives.

As it is currently framed at bedrock, the abortion debate comes down to who has control to decide. Is it the government (which is generally male dominated) or the individual woman who has to care for the infant?

Is this framing consistent with the underlying interests of those affected by where the line should be drawn.

Do stakeholders extend beyond the mother and the unborn infant? Though likely rare, is there ever a situation in which a father wants to keep the child? How about the grandparents on either side of the matrilineal/patrilineal  divide?

Instead of using the debate as a means of seeking to dictate some ideal level of sexual responsibility, what new programs do those on the Pro-Life side intend to put in place to be able to take care of unwanted children … if any?

The equation that having children is a big responsibility, ergo risking the possibility of taking on that responsibility by engaging in sexual relations may prevent some but certainly not all from entertaining that risk.

A Pro-Life nation simply is not going to make that fact go away. And if states have the ability to legislate as they will one way or another, you know that it is not going to take long before a Pro-Life state legislates that it is illegal to take an unborn child conceived within its jurisdiction to another state where it is aborted.

So, when that happens how is the baby to be protected? It’s a damn tough decision. One for which moralizing simply isn’t going to provide proper resolve.

But, this is a decision for any mother which should never be undertaken lightly. The debate is framed in stark black and white contrast in aggregates. Perhaps instead the nuances need to be clarified to the frightened mother and those who are willing to put their money where their mouth is and care for her and her child.

Perhaps if the debate was structured more caringly in that way, both sides would be willing to acknowledge that the other has some legitimate concerns and a fruitful discussion could ensue.

Instead, we will likely watch a fight at the current scrimmage line for many years to come. Both sides of the debate will see the other as being inhumane. The fact of the matter though is that both sides are right AND both sides are wrong.

The challenge as in all conversations seeking truth is to find to greatest extent an answer which blends the positive aspects of both sides of the debate and dismisses the negative.

Amazingly forced sterility has been ratified by the Supreme Court in the case of Buck v. Bell. See [HERE].

My attempt to raise concern about this case drew umbrage both by someone on the far right who apparently idolized its author, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and those on the far left who in knee-jerk fashion apparently concluded that I was keen on eugenics. See [HERE].

It’s precisely for the reason that people fail to think and just willingly line up on one side of a battle or the other by means of habit that we fail to come to solutions.

How much longer will this need to occur in the Pro-Life v. Pro-Choice debate? I’m not expecting it to cease in 2020, 2024, or 2028 … unless we come to understand how to again engage in constructive conversation.

And with our country’s current leadership how likely is that to occur?

Photo Credit:


For over a year I have been seeking to envision Boundary Breakthroughs. But at a deeper level, I have been working on this for much longer.

It took a very short period of time for me to realize that when neighbors hire attorneys to sort out their issues with the neighbor there is something really odd happening.

I intend to keep up appearances in the exploration of those oddities and how to resolve them generally at my other blog Boundary Dispute Law.

Here at Boundary Breakthroughs, I want to explore how to sidestep those issues if at all possible and assist to rehabilitate those who were not able to and now need help refocusing after a bruising contest with their neighbor.

Noteworthy is the fact that I arrived at this place probably for much the same reasons that you have … I was stuck.

I had tried for years to leave my practice area. It was not at all fun because I was coming in as a counselor of law who not only knew the law, but also realized how devastating a battle with the neighbor could be.

I felt miserable about the fact that often times I was putting more effort in to the matter than people wanted to resolve it the “right way”.

The “right way” as best I could figure was that the end result would fairly correspond with the law and the neighbors then could at the least go forward in some semblance of neighborliness instead of outright hostility.

Unfortunately, my recognition that if I assisted my client to take a shot at my neighbor would almost invariably result in cannon being shot back the other way and so it would be best to put down the armaments, the neighbors attorney failed to regard the job accordingly.

In love and war, it takes two to tango. And though on many occasions I was able to bring all the parties to reasonable conclusion in the end, the effort to do so left me as a Spent Casing.

So what is the solution that I have come up with?

First, whenever the parties have decided that they are finally willing to come to a reasonable solution, i make myself available as a mediator, UNLESS …

One of the parties has offered to have me work with them to come to a reasonable peace and have been rejected. In such cases, I’ll go ahead and help the one who has approached me first as a boundary dispute consultant and if necessary an expert witness.

Second, and much more importantly, I have secured training as a consultant for the Proctor Gallagher Institute. I did this because i realized that not only myself but my clients needed a way to get unstuck.

Thinking and fighting over and for “Five Blades of Grass” is just not the highest and best use of anyone’s resources.

But, by resolving the conflict and refocusing that negative energy toward the positivity of up-leveling oneself creates phenomenal results.

I spent a decade banging my head against the wall boundary between my clients and their neighbors. I learned a lot during that time.

The biggest thing is that in all cases these fights on the margin is because for at least one of the parties …

Boundary Disputes represent an external manifestation of an internal problem.

Now, it may be that your neighbors are the one with that problem, but if you decide or deciding to tango with its your problem too.

If unwilling to resolve the matter, find an attorney who will go in like a blood-thirsty psychopath who will linguistically gut your neighbors.

But, don’t be surprised if after all is said and done and your attorney is no longer working for you that there won’t be some residual tit-for-tat “unpleasantness.”

The much better course is to forego all of that and instead manifest positive results.

From this post forward, this blog is going to be dedicated only to positive outcomes. Outcomes you can control. Why?

The answer comes  to me from Brave New World author Aldous Huxley by way of Bob Proctor’s A Winner’s Image video series.

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and this is your own self.

So, though you still may need some help sorting out the Boundary Dispute Law between you and your neighbor, here your going to be getting the mental tools to work with your neighbors through mediation.

And barring their willingness to work positively with you in this way, some tools to start improving yourself.

For those who are really wanting to elevate, I invite you to take the next step and contact me.

With the information that I have developed as a boundary dispute attorney over a decade of focus, and the six decades I draw upon from the focus that Bob Proctor has made in personal achievement and success … I’ll not only quarterback getting you unstuck from the issues you have with your neighbor, I’ll show you how to achieve your wildest dreams.

I’m doing it and so can you. Cheers!



Will is a powerful mental faculty. The ability to focus to the exclusion of other distractions for extended periods of time generates phenomenal results when called forward for necessary assignment.

Yet must we be resigned to the allotment of will power each assigned to us at birth or can we actually do something to increase it?

First this question begs some correction. Our “allotment” of will power was “assigned” to us at birth only in part on the basis of our genetics.

Then our environment took over during our early and most formative years while we were growing up under our respective parents’ care.

So, there is a nature and nurture component to this question which we should just go ahead and side step. For whatever combined reason, our will power is as it is right now.

As such, we need to start right where we are right now to assess where our will power is and then for those willing to exercise this mental faculty increase it.

Bob Proctor of the Proctor Gallagher Institute indicates a couple of ways in which to increase our will.

One is to light a candle across from a comfortable chair in which we regularly sit and stare at it until we “become one with the flame.”

Second is to place a small dot on the wall across the way from another comfortable chair and stare at it in such a manner that it holds our attention.

When our attention drifts away, Bob suggests we simply bring it back to the dot or the candle’s flame.

Great! Let’s give it a go. Hey there grasshopper, there is one other thing you should know.

Just like a one time pump and dump at the gym is going to do nothing for you with the likely exception of making your arms and legs feel like they would be better if they just fell off …

A one time shot at this exercise isn’t going to do anything for you. The key is to do this activity repetitively each day for a period of time.

Let’s try it for a month and see how much of an increase we can gain. Too much work, you say!?

Are you kidding me? Go ahead and make a commitment to just go ahead and do it.

A few minutes a day to reap huge results which will set you beyond the abilities of most of the pack … that’s worth it!

So, just go ahead and make a commitment to yourself and if you need someone else to hold your feet to the flame if you find yourself unwilling to keep your eye on it …

Go ahead and send me a line and let’s see about getting you to be “Thinking Into Results.” Cheers!

It’s Maundy Thursday 2019. On Easter Morning, it will have been exactly 6 months since I retreated from my neighbor law practice of 10 years. It has not been a pleasant practice area.

Fortunately, I never witnessed outright violence. But, I did take on the emotional violence associated with stepping into the trenches to break up land fights between my clients and their adjoining neighbors.

Was this a bad trade? Looking at the time, emotion, and money drawn out of me as a result of the effort, I felt that I had sacrificed my life. My family painfully agrees with this assessment.

Yesterday, I sent notice to the opposing counsel’s office to allow the final recording for a matter which has been ongoing for two years – my final boundary dispute matter. Or is it?

Over the course of my six month sabbatical, I discovered something truly amazing. I had been in a very negative mindspace for years in which i indicated:

Boundary disputes are an external manifestation of an internal problem.

So, when I came to rediscover Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich and the additional teachings of Bob Proctor and his partner Sandy Gallagher of the Proctor Gallagher Institute, I knew I was on to something.

Why? Well, the work that they do is positive. Their work relates to pursefully and positively “manifesting results.”

See, when boundary disputants come to me or any other lawyer, they have a real situation. They either want to have me take it to their neighbor or are fearful that their neighbor is going to take it to them.

At best, mediating a boundary dispute becomes an exercise in helping two parties come to an agreement in which they are almost never pleased, but they find acceptable. There is a significant cost in this, but one when the parties look at it objectively can not find justification. What’s more it cuts into their subjective aims.

Those subjective aims, whether acknowledged or not, are to come out victorious vis-a-vis neighbors who threaten their boundaries.

Essentially, this means that you have two people who are negative and want to use negative means to resolve their matter, which based on their perspective is huge, and to everyone else is infinitesimal.

When these two negatives go at one another, yes in theory we are moving in a positive direction to move the disputants to a state of equality where they can again theoretically live next to each other with a line certain.

The reality is that the legal process is so negative that nobody ends up better as a result and instead the nominal winner is simply the “loser of lesser extent.” Moreover, the nominal loser will often move away!

So, what is the work around? The thought kept spinning in my mind that if one of the disputants would take a small fraction of the resources wasted on trying to change the neighbors disposition to the land (while at the same time the neighbor is seeking to do the same) and instead seek to level up …

Why then they could almost certainly buy out the neighbor, adjust the line as appropriate, and then install a neighbor of suitable liking by selling the land to someone they find agreeable.

That would actually be positive! Resultantly, unless the a client has a case which has a good chance of having the judge determine going to trial is a waste of time – i.e. summary judgment – I am not willing to engage in a boundary dispute with their neighbor.

No instead, I’m going to tell them that it simply isn’t worth it. But, now I have something to offer them which will allow them to move well beyond the pettiness of an intractable boundary dispute.

I am now in a position to help others discover the incredible benefits of the materials offered by the Proctor Gallagher Institute. This stuff is “pure magic.”

I’m sure if you make the decision to buy in as well, you will wholeheartedly agree. Cheers!