South Coast resident and former knife-fighting teacher Bill Poett will discuss “What’s Your Response to Today’s Economic Opportunities and Challenges?” from 8:30 to 10 a.m. September 14 at Girls, Inc., 4973 Hollister Avenue in Goleta

“America has lost her competitive edge and world standing — for 100 years we led the world in standard of living and technology,” Poett said. “We now rank fourth in standard of living, 21st in math, and 25th in science.”

He said as a society the nation has grown fat and complacent. “We are becoming addicts,” he said. “We are addicted to food, medication, consumption, and big government.”

However, Poett said, small business can pull the country out of these trends. “Individual and small business leaders have always been this country’s great strength and in order for us to reclaim our position as a global beacon of possibility, opportunity, and freedom, then we must rebuild our country and our economy from the ground up, not from the government down,” Poett said.

Businesses succeed or fail, based solely on their “ATR,” or Ability to Respond, to the opportunities and challenges they face on a daily basis, he said. “The individuals and companies that win are those that develop a culture of excellence based on constant education and training,” Poett said. “True confidence comes from real competence, and real competence comes from maintaining a high physical, mental, emotional, and team ATR.”

The “Business Boot Camp” is for any company team member from CEO to receptionist who is interested in learning what and how leadership and peak performing teams are developed and maintained, Poett said.

“I began my career as a close-quarter combat instructor, with a specialty in knife fighting, and over a 25-year period trained with and taught members of America’s most elite civilian and military teams,” Poett said. “We trained in an environment where failure and mediocrity were unacceptable because the cost of failure was just too high.”

He said California is facing a critical economic challenge and unless the state can create the same commitment to leadership and teams within its business community, the Golden State will be looking at very dark times.

Poett is an author, performance coach, inspirational speaker, radio personality, adventurer, and fitness enthusiast. He has studied, taught, and trained military, law enforcement, and corporate performance experts throughout the United States and Asia. As a master in martial arts and a close-quarter combat instructor, he has more than 20 years of experience working with individuals and teams for whom peak performance is a matter of life and death.

“These radio shows you’re doing, the book you wrote, and your attempts to instill leadership values in this nation are invaluable,” Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of Carpinteria-based CKE Restaurants, Inc. said of Poett. “You’re a hero in this nation, and please keep it up.”

Refreshments will be served at Poett’s event, which is sponsored by the Santa Barbara office of Express Employment Professionals. Those attending are asked to RSVP by September 10 to

Joint Networking

Two of the fastest growing South Coast business groups plan to join forces for a joint networking mixer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. October 12 at Business First Bank, 1035 State Street.

Members of the Santa Barbara chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, or NAWBO-SB, and the Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host their second annual joint networking event, which this year is sponsored by Business First Bank.

Admission is $10 with reservations or $20 at the door. Organizers say it’s a great opportunity to meet and network with a wide cross section of business owners in Santa Barbara. Appetizers, wine, and prizes will be featured.

The South Coast Biz Blog is a roundup of the latest business news in the Santa Barbara area and is written by Ray Estrada, who has covered business in the region for numerous publications over the past couple decades. See more at and


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