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American Marketing Group, Inc.

Consulting - Coaching - Mentoring…since 1978!

Business Coaching

"Coaching Winners...Mentoring Success!"

"An AMG 'Business Advisory Board' meeting is a being lead by

an experienced Group Facilitator who acts as your private coach."

    We offer the AMG 'Business Advisory Board' service, which is a program designed so that 'peers can help peers' better handle their own company's issues, concerns and problems in the world of business. We have set this up for both entrepreneurs and top-tier managers who want the benefits that can be derived from a business support group and a team leader who acts as your own private coach. Tiger Woods is considered by many experts and professionals to be one of the best-ever golfers in the world. He has a private coach...shouldn't you? Our concept not only provides you with an expert business coach, but your peer group acts as your company's unofficial board of directors. All publicly held company's in the U.S. have a board of directors to help plan, guide and direct the future of the firm for both their customers and shareholders. They have a board...shouldn't you?

    However, the Business Advisory Board business model acts as an unofficial board of directors made up of peers that can help each other become better leaders and problem solvers especially when guided by an experienced AMG Group Facilitator. The benefit of interfacing with experienced and like-minded individuals on a team will have a positive impact on each teammate, their business and the overall health and financial stability of their company. When you proactively participate in the regular four hour monthly 'peer group advisory board' meetings and a two hour private coaching sessions with your AMG Group Facilitator you and your company will benefit. History has proven that "two heads are better than one''. But, groups of individuals that are challenged and have an agreed-to and written plan make far better decisions than two individuals. Your business will become healthier in all areas, plus have a better chance of growing and succeeding in these difficult and very tumultuous economic times...another intrinsic benefit.

    Also, every not-for-profit civic or charity organization that you have supported is actually run by a small paid staff and volunteer advisory board members who set up active committees that help with fundraising events. As you know, our own Federal Government is governed by 535 men and women that form the United State Congress, which is set up like board-centered control group to take care of the many needs of the 312M American citizens. The Chairman of the Board is the President of the United States, so to speak. Also, each of the fifty states in the U.S., each one of their counties and all municipalities have their own governing body who form their very own advisory board of like-minded individuals to help solve problems.

    Here's how our business support group concept works and can benefit both you and your company. Business owners who are 'First in Command' and are considered the final decision maker (FDM) at their firm will be placed in their own separate group with their equals. The second group is set up for owners who are 'Second in Command' or are considered High- Level Decision Influencers (HDI). In either group members will not be placed on a team that has a competitor, employee, client or vendor. Also, each team member meets for four hours monthly with peer group advisory board, plus they meet with their AMG Group Facilitator for two hours for a private coaching session. The purpose of the group gathering is to encourage each member to share their issues, concerns and problems with their peer group who they build a bond with as a teammate. The goal is to solicit suggestions, ideas and advice from the team on how to best identify the symptoms and actually fix the real problems. The private coaching sessions are designed to help each team member carry out the items they agreed to in the group meeting, plus work on your short term '90 Day Action Plan' in addition to their long term '5 Year Business Plan.' Getting solid advice and good feedback from both your teammates and private business coach will help you become a better leader and manager, plus improve the overall health and financial strength of your own company. This process could even have a positive impact on your personal life as well...both major benefits to you.

    The 'peers helping peers', 'think tanks', 'round table discussions', 'peer group advisory boards' and the official 'board of directors' business concept was successfully introduced in the late 1800's after the Civil War. It gave birth to the old saying of "two heads are better than one." Then, as individuals started working together as a group to solve a problems, the slogan "a team of like-minded people who can conceive and believe will achieve" was born. That saying was launched by the famous self-help book author and professional speaker, Napoleon Hill. He came up with this meaningful and inspirational tag-line after working with steel magnate and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie introduced Mr. Hill to his own personal ''Mastermind Group" of 50 trusted business peers who was hand-picked to help him become a successful businessman, the wealthiest man in the world and the most famous philanthropist at the time. Carnegie engaged Hill who worked for over twenty years with The Mastermind Group to find out the secrets of their individual successes. Because of this incredible experience Hill was able to author and publish a host of books, including the Think & Grow Rich, The Law of Success, Master Key to Riches, You Can Work Your Own Miracles, Humor is Tremendous and The Principals of Personal Achievement just to name a few. Hills 'best sellers' are to this day are now available in books, CD's, MP3 and the new Digital Book apps and downloads...withstanding the test of time.

    Below is the now well known short-list of famous past and current super successful American entrepreneurs, famous authors and internationally renowned speakers who utilized the benefits of peer group advisory boards. They operated immensely successful company's, many amassed large personal fortunes and most became famous as philanthropists by helping good causes and the less fortunate. They are the epitome of the definition of 'financial success' and believed in getting help from others to grow their respective businesses.

Click on any of the 'hot linked' names below for full

Wikipedia biography's:

    Mr. Andrew Carnegie (pictured below) is the originator of "The Mastermind Group", which was his hand-picked peer group advisory board that he credited with his success in both the world of business and philanthropy. Thus, he was the progenitor to the famous ''peers helping peers'', " business support group", "business round-tables" and "think tank" concepts. This business model is still being used by entrepreneurs and top-tier managers in small and medium size businesses to this day. The process helps entrepreneurs become better leaders and managers. When this happens your company will improve its overall health and financial stability, which is important during these difficult and tumultuous economic times.

Originator: "The Mastermind" Group

Steel Magnate & Philanthropist

(1835 in UK - 1919 in US)

1913 Photo via Wikipedia

    In 1850, Carnegie became a telegraph messenger boy in the Pittsburgh office of the Ohio Telegraph Company, at $2.50 per week, following the recommendation of his uncle. His new job gave him .50 cents per day, but he received many benefits including free admission to the local theater. His capacity, willingness to work hard, perseverance to do the job right and his alertness soon brought forth opportunities. Starting in 1853, Thomas A. Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company became Carnegie's coach and mentor and employed him as a Secretary & Telegraph operator at a salary of $4.00 per week. At age 18 the youth began a rapid advancement through the company, becoming the Superintendent of the Pittsburgh Division. Scott also became his private business coach and mentor, plus helped the young man with some of his very first investments. His employment by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company would be vital to his later success in the steel industry. The railroads were the first big businesses in America and the Pennsylvania Railroad Company was one of the largest of them all. Carnegie learned much about management and cost control during these years and from Scott in particular. By the 1870's, he became an entrepreneur and eventually ended up launching the Carnegie Steel Company a step which cemented his name as one of the "Captains of Industry". By the 1890's, the company was the largest and most profitable industrial enterprise in the world. Carnegie sold it in 1901 for $480 million to J.P. Morgan, who created U.S. Steel with the holdings of the Carnegie Steel Company. Andrew Carnegie then devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy with special emphasis on local libraries, education, scientific research and world peace. His life has often been referred to as a true "rags to riches" story. Carnegie's philosophy in life regarding education, work and money was "get an education to make a lot of money, make as much money as you can, give all your money away to worthy causes and don't die a rich man in disgrace."

    Forbes Magazine calculated that Carnegie's current day net worth in 2007 would have been valued at $398 billion, which would far surpass Bill Gates ($72B) and Warren Buffet $46B) in today's U.S. dollars.

    Mr. Napoleon Hill (pictured below), who had the very unique opportunity to interview Andrew Carnegie as a newspaper reporter in 1908, was engaged by Carnegie as his protege'. He introduced Hill to what he called "The Mastermind Group", who were among the most successful men and women in both the world of business and political arena Circa 1900. Carnegie's goal was to have Hill find out why and how these and other individuals became so successful and to ultimately write a book detailing his findings. Hill spent twenty years before he tied all the 'golden threads of success' together and wrote the still-famous Think and Grow Rich, which is a all time best seller and still available to this day in book and digital format.

"Laws of Success": L1 - Master Mind (1927)

A Best Seller: "Think & Grow Rich" (1937)

Best Selling Author & Speaker

(1835 in US - 1970 in US)

1913 Photo via Wikipedia

    For those who don't know about "The Mastermind Group" it comes from the protégé' of steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie. Hill wrote a timeless, great and classic book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. In case you haven't read it Think and Grow Rich is nothing less than an incredibly-researched blueprint for creating success. The idea being the writing of such a book was born in 1908 when Hill interviewed Andrew Carnegie who was the Bill Gates of his time...the richest man in the world Circa 1900. After the interview Carnegie took a liking to Hill and gave him an assignment that would change his life and the lives of many who wanted to be successful in the business world. Carnegie asked Hill to go out and interview the most successful people Carnegie knew...the first being Henry Ford. Plus, because of Carnegie's vast network Hill would find more successful people through referrals. The goal was to find, document and write a detailed book that would finally give the 'formula for success' to all who were interested in reading and following that specific formula. Finally, over twenty years later, Hill completed his research and eventually boiled it down into his incredibly famous book, "Think and Grow Rich". Having sold more than 30 million copies it is one of the most successful books of all time. One of the main concepts to come out of the book is the idea of "The Mastermind Group" as Carnegie and Hill named it. Carnegie attributed much of his success to his own hand picked group. Hill learned about the concept of 'peers helping peers' during his three days of interviews with steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie, in 1908. Hill asked Carnegie what he had attributed his phenomenal success to and he replied:

Dear Mr. Hill,

"Well, if you want to know how I got my money I will refer you to my team of experts; they got it for me. We have here in this business a master mind. It is not my mind and it is not the mind of any one particular individual in my hand picked group. However, it is the sum total of all these minds collectively that I have gathered around me that constitute the power of ''The Mastermind Group" at my company that's number one in the steel industry. It took me many years to gather these top notch, creative and successful individuals around me to build this great master mind group. Each person in this group contributes an important part to the building of this mind. I do not always agree with all the individuals on my team in all matters nor do they always agree with me. Perhaps some of us do not even like each other from a personal viewpoint, but I know that I need these particular individuals. Equally, they also know that they need me in the maintenance of this master mind that is necessary in carrying on the business of the Carnegie Steel Company."

Andrew Carnegie

    Hill concluded that, "No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind." The Mastermind Group could, he argued, geometrically increase each other's percentage toward being a success.

    Of all the famous and successful individuals mentioned above business magnate, Andrew Carnegie, is best known for developing the 'peers helping peers' concept in the world of business circa 1900. He created his then-famous team of fifty successful entrepreneurs that he named his 'Mastermind Group'. Carnegie hand picked this team that became his own business advisory board that helped him develop and create both his business success, personal fortunes and philanthropic plan to help others. Before his death he gave the credit for his amazing success in the business world to his 'Mastermind Group', which is equivalent to our AMG Business Advisory Board.

    Our principals, Cicardi A. Bruce and Richard T. Pisani, have collectively amassed over five decades of corporate America and entrepreneurial experience between them. Also, they have been involved in over seventy groups as a volunteer founder, officer or board member working collectively with a variety of business, civic, charitable and political organizations in the St. Louis Region. Because of this type of experience they understand the value of a 'team effort' and like-minded peers putting their heads together to accomplish a common goal. During their endeavors they literally have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a multitude of very good local non-profit causes, including the Forest Park 'beautification program', the St. Louis Zoo and other local charities. Between their business experience and charitable involvement they have been able to offer volunteer consulting, coaching and mentoring services when needed to help worthwhile causes that help the people in our community.

"So, what's the difference between a

consultant, coach and mentor?"

    Our hand shake with a client means more to us than any written agreement that we execute with a client and we try our best to always 'under-promise and over-deliver'. Since 1978 AMG has been consulting, coaching and mentoring new and seasoned entrepreneurs and top-tier managers in small and medium sized company's. We are able to do this because for over three decades we have focused and channeled all of our energy on four areas of business for clients, which are business brokerage, franchise consulting, business coaching and sales training. Because of these activities we are now able to share our over fifty years of combined experience with business people through our AMG Business Advisory Board.

    We've helped individuals start their own business, appraised and marketed privately held company's, assisted firms in franchising their concept and increased clients revenues with our sales training program. A natural by-product while conducting our own business has become business consulting, coaching and mentoring individuals from all walks of life. This enables us to be the best Group Facilitator that a member of our Business Advisory Board program could ask for. We have the experience and we are ready, willing and able to share it so you can be the beneficiary and improve your business.

A business 'consultant' is an expert who

'answers questions' to help a business person achieve their goals.

    Consultants are there for a client to first 'answer specific questions' that the client came up with to help them identify symptoms and fix real problems as quickly and best as possible. They are able to offer an individual or a group their expertise on a particular subject to help them achieve specific goals. Everyone that owns a company or is on the top-tier management team has answers that they think are right...but, are they? A consultant will find out and share this with their client to make sure.

    When choosing a consultant it involves finding someone who is knowledgeable about an individuals specific business product or service that can help you identify and sort out the symptoms, diagnose the real problem and find a solution. A business person may end up hiring different consultants for different needs. Your information technology consultant will not be able to appraise or market your privately held business or help franchise a successful business model. A consultant is a 'human instruction manual' who can help you with all of your how-to needs. This type of support and service is commonly confused with the coaching and mentoring process. Trusting your consultant is an absolute must or it will be a waste of time, effort, energy and money. Don't hire someone that you don't trust...period.


A business 'coach' is an expert who

'questions answers' to help a business person achieve their goals.

    Coach's are there for a client to first 'question specific answers' that the client came up with to help them identify symptoms and solve real problems quickly and as best as possible. They also are able to offer an individual or a group their expertise on a particular subject to help them achieve specific goals. Again, everyone that owns a company or is on the top-tier management team has answers that they think are right...but, are they? A consultant will find out and share this with their client to make sure.

    A trained, experienced and professional coach has to have talent, ability and skills in a specific area of expertise, extraordinary people skills, exceptional leadership qualities, unquestionable training skills and the innate ability to instill self motivation in others. The coaching method itself has often been described as directing the actions of a person or group with a specific goal in mind. Examples include business training programs, workshops, motivational talks, forums, seminars, etc. A coach's mission is to deliver a plan with the right information to an individual or group that has the desire to win and is willing to both listen and learn from constant practice. The coaching process can yield amazing results if the coach has a willing participant who wants to be trained, guided, directed and supported by an expert they is the operative word here. If an individual doesn't trust their own coach the training will fall upon deaf ears and a big waste of time, effort, energy and money.


A 'mentor' is an expert who - often at no charge -

'asks questions, questions answers and offers advice',

plus shares their own talent, ability and successful experience.

    Mentor's are successful individuals who have already reached their own goal and are willing to share their experiences with others who want help from them to achieve their achieve their own success...with help, guidance and support. An individual seeking help from a mentor may have very similar goals and realizes they need help from an expert they can trust. The mentor an individual chooses is a person whose footsteps they wish to follow in every step of they way using their own talent, ability, personality, style and technique. Normally a mentor who has the true desire to help others will work with an individual on a close and personal basis. Some mentors have reached a level of success in which their time is spent assisting the masses through seminars or classes, as well as working with individuals in a one-on-one environment thereafter.

    The 'mentor vs mentee' relationship is focused on the mentor’s life, goals, experiences, accomplishments and successful track record, which is over time shared with the one being mentored. Many mentors that bond closely with their mentee share both business and personal experiences because those relationships can have an impact on each other. If your unhappy at work you may carry a bad or pessimistic attitude home with you and vice versa.

   Also, there may be several ways to reach a particular goal, but the mentor offers a path that worked for them that might in turn work for the mentee as well...with some detours when necessary. Think of the mentor as someone who offers advice that is based on their own experiences, strengths, and resources. Mentoring is an action oriented support service designed to get an individual from where they are to where they want to be with the advice of a person who's 'been there and done that...successfully'. Again, trusting your mentor is an absolute must or you will waste time, effort, energy...but, no money. Mentors typically want to help someone be successful so they can get what is called ''psychic income'' and some bragging rights for an assisted 'win'. They are "paying it forward" as the old adage goes.

    Teamwork is what makes our AMG 'Business Advisory Board' service work for the owners who are final decision makers and top-tier managers who are high-level influencer's of small and medium size businesses. The program is lead by an experienced AMG 'Group Facilitator' that causes interaction among the team members to help them become better leaders and managers. This will benefit the overall health of your company and aid in its financial stability during these difficult economic times. In order for this concept to be effective and efficient each member must actively participate in a peer group advisory board meeting for four hours each month with all the members of the team. Plus, each teammate will meet with the AMG 'Group Facilitator' for a two hour monthly private coaching session to keep them moving forward and holding them accountable for what they agreed to do from advice given to them by their peers in the previous group meeting. In essence the Group Facilitator, along with the members of the Business Advisory Board, delivers consulting, coaching and mentoring to their teammates by sharing information, ideas and advice that will help them identify and fix problems. It's truly a team effort that helps each individual accomplish their business goals, which can also help their personal life, which is another benefit.

"Peers + Team Work: a rowing team with a plan,

in sync and heading in the same direction...together!"

    Using a sports analogy might better help a person understand the value of the 'team' concept, as well as the importance and benefit of each individuals position on the team. As an example, an Olympic rowing team has an experienced coach, a plan of action, trained rowers in specific positions, a peer team rowing in sync, all heading in the same direction via their navigator (cox'n), working together with a very specific goal in mind as a peer win each race- one at a time. The team needs an expert coach who has a plan and will teach their rowing team members how to properly handle their position in their boat, plus working together as if they were 'one' and to always be in sync with each other...a necessity to win a race. So, in order to have a good rowing team ready for the Olympics you will need and experienced head coach (expert trainer), the crew team members (expert rowers) and the coxswain (cox'n - expert coordinator and navigator).

    Along with the proper funding to purchase the best rowing vehicle and professional equipment a team can afford, these three entities (a coach, team and navigator) have to coordinate their efforts and energy in order to work together on their plan in order for the teams peers to be at peak performance to win a first place position...and don the 1st. place gold medal for all to see. All three positions have a very specific role to play and are extremely important to the entire team. But, once the coach does their job of explaining the plan and training the rowers and the rowing team sits in their positions to row in a race the cox'n then is the one unique person who can help the team as they actually "row for the gold"...navigates the boat according to the plan, which is to get to the finish line first without any penalties. In this rowing team (crew) example, the cox'n (navigator) is the final 'chairman of the board' of rowers and has a very special and key position in the boat who is the only person who faces the rower, faces the bow of the boat, faces the finish line, faces the competition and verbally instructs the team so they row in sync...the navigator is always looking ahead to stay on course. The cox'n (chairman of the board) can see where the team of rowers (peer group advisory board members) needs to go and heads (follows the plan) the rowing vehicle (company) and coordinates the power and rhythm of the rowers to properly navigate the boat with a rudder (continually updates the plan) in order to keep the crew and boat heading in the right direction to cross the finish line with the quickest possible time...every time and with a goal of winning. All this is being done as the cox'n yells aloud to keep their team rowing in sync and keeping them on course, plus in tune with the rules and regulations of the Olympic Committee; one wrong move and the team can be penalized and may have to forfeit their win. If you don't have the right funding to purchase the right equipment, hire the right trainer, engage the right rowers and have the right cox'n you simply are destined to spend a lot of time, effort, energy and money to surely loose each race. It's all about the 'team'...not any one individual. There's no 'I' in team, but there is a 'me', so be careful that no one individual thinks it's all about 'them.' Again, it's all about the spirit of the team and working together as a 'unit.'

"There is a light at the end of the tunnel and

we can help you get through it successfully"

Cicardi A. Bruce    &    Richard T. Pisani

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