Jim Cramer, Mister "Booyah" himself, is bloody brilliant.
In an effort to clear up the tottering piles of print magazines that are always accumulating in this writer’s garret, I was going through said piles and tossing any that didn’t grab me with their cover. (Magazine 101 – gotta grab ’em with your cover.) And there it was – the June 4, 2007 NY Mag, with Mr. Mad Money himself on the cover, figuratively punching the viewer in the face and posing the question "Who the @#$%! does Jim Cramer think he is?" , bylined by his own self.
I couldn’t resist. I abandoned the clean-up, and settled in to see just who the @#$%! Jim Cramer thinks he is.
Turns out, he thinks he’s a loser and a bit of a jerk – but he also is a glutton for attention, and has a deeply held belief that his audience is pretty damn smart.
That’s a refreshing change from most of the talking heads on the financial networks, who either read headlines between breathless reports from the floor of one exchange or another while spouting "Market’s up!" or "Market’s Down!" or "Market’s Flat!"…or pontificate on some piece of news that purportedly explains why the market is up, down, or lying there like a turnip. All with an air of "we’re waaaay smarter than you."
This goes a long way toward explaining Cramer’s Q factor – he’s one of the most recognized faces in financial news – and his popularity with the under-30 audience, particularly the college crowd, where "booyah" is a war cry heard on campuses across the land. Cramer regularly does remotes from colleges and universities, and he’s greeted like a rock star at each and every one.
Love him or hate him, he’s a powerful force – and he’s bringing a whole new generation head-long into the real American pastime, making money. The American Dream is built on the idea that you can make a killing as a savvy investor. You can, if you educate yourself – that’s the "savvy" piece.
Authenticity and passion. Stand up, tell the truth, back it up, and if you’re proved wrong, admit it. Cramer gets so passionate about his topic that he ends up "sweatin’ to the market wrap" – given a choice between that, and the usually predictable pronouncements of the rest of the financial networks’ talking heads…I’ll take the sweaty guy, please.
I asked in my last post if you were the genuine article – Cramer is a great example of the point I was going for there.
I’m a communication consultant. My customers want to become better at sharing their message. Initially, they think that what I’ll help them do is become letter-perfect, to rehearse and prepare so they’re 100% "ready". I then show them that rehearsal isn’t what they need – they need a focused message, and an authentic, passionate delivery of that message.
It’s not necessary to demonstrate passion at the Cramer level to be seen as authentic, but you do have to walk your talk. You have to believe what you’re saying is truth, and have your message resonate with your market, and your team.
If they need to see you sweat, then sweat.