“Please step over here and remove your dignity…”
Have you ever tried to teach a dog to piss in the back yard?
It takes patience and determination. (As my friend and long-time client Bob Pierce says: “Sometimes, you gotta be smarter than the dog.”)
You’re forcing an animal that has already been perfectly tuned-up by Nature (to hunt, scavenge, and survive in the wild with his pack) to conform to some very unreasonable (in his eyes, anyway) demands.
I mean, it’s nice and warm inside. What’s so wrong about peeing on the sofa, anyway?
To Fido, you are a harsh taskmaster with silly and hysterical notions about elimination.
And yet… you have opposable thumbs, and know how to open the fridge and the front door and other amazing things.
It’s confusing. But Fideo obeys, eventually, because there is a payoff. Belly rubs, happy humans, jaunts on the leash (not quite like running down deer with the pack, but close enough), and big wet dishes of food at shockingly regular intervals.
Oh, it can be good to be Fido. Yes, it is, and who’s a big goofy mutt, huh? Big belly rub…
Uh, sorry. The black Afghan just wandered into my office to see if I was hoarding any food (maybe some squirrel road kill, or even a peanut butter sammie-wich!), and required some cooing and scratching to overcome his abject depression when nothing edible was discovered on my desk.
And now my gorgeous and ancient mutt-terrier Rosie — who hates it when the other dogs get any attention at all — has plopped herself down near my feet to re-assert her territorial dominance of my office.
Big happy dog-ruled family here.
Everything’s in order again.
This little commotion has reminded me of how miserable it can sometimes be to leave on business trips.
I was just talking with my buddy Rich Schefren this afternoon about the toll traveling takes on you. He’s been on a bender lately — Texas, Britain, California, Mars — and is exhausted. He asked me how I deal with the rigors of travel.
He’d rather just stay home, where all the comforts are.
It’s a very relevant question right now. Several of my colleagues who built their business by being road-warriors — traipsing the globe to speak at seminars so often they sometimes forget where they live — have recently announced they have hung up their suitcases and Dopp kits. No more seminars, ever. Done. Stayin’ home.
I understand the urge to hole up like Howard Hughes. I really do.
I’ve been thinking about business travel for a while now. What’s bad about it… and, even more importantly, what’s GOOD about it.
Cuz there is a reason we do it.
We just forget sometimes.
And I think I’ve figured out what’s causing so many of us to turn up our noses at jetting off (first class) to exotic locations.
You can break it down into 3 separate stories, too:
1. The Freakshow of airline travel and hotel survival…
2. The actual Adventure that often gets buried under the stress…
3. And, finally… the Payoff. Which I’ll get to in a moment here…
First, the Freakshow.
I was lucky enough to catch the last of the “Golden Age” of commerical airline service… before deregulation put a knife through the heart of air travel.
First class on Pan Am (the first — and gold standard — of the international airlines) (gobbled up in the early 1990s by Delta and erased from the earth for absolutely ZERO good reason) was like being King For A Day.
If you ever get the chance to fly Air New Zealand, or any of the tricked-out Asian airlines, you’ll get a whiff of what a treat it USED to be to fly in the US. (Actually, I missed the real “Golden Age”, which was in the mid-sixties. I have older Hollywood-connected friends who can curl your hair with endless tales of debauchery and fun on the first jumbo-jets — where you climbed a staircase to get to the piano lounge, where talented stewardesses in fetching miniskirts forced delicious cocktails into your hand… and, oh, hell, it just makes me sick to remember any of those stories. It truly was a different world back then…)
Then greed took over, and somehow the air lines decided they were essentially gonna be more like Greyhound buses with wings. Pack ‘em in, send the mess hurtling across the sky with as little thought to comfort as legally allowed, and screw customer service.
Did you know, by the way, that NO other country makes people take their friggin’ shoes off during security checks? They LAUGH at us.
Pisses me off. Going through security in Orlando last month was like being processed for a Gulag — six hundred people being squeezed through four screening entrances… because it was lunchtime, and most of the TSA staff were off on break.
THEN, of course, after an hour wait in line (with screaming kids going through post-partem stress from leaving Mickey and Goofy behind), a horde of security personnel descended and opened five new screening positions… but didn’t even attempt to be fair about who got through. People who hadn’t yet left their house when I first got in line waltzed up and were ushered through the new stations… while the line I was in inched forward like a bad zombie movie, trapped by dividers and glass walls. People missed flights, so Suzie Security could enjoy her pizza.
Okay. I get it. The TSA folks have the power.
And reserve the privilege of scowling at you if you leave your belt on and light up the metal detector in the scramble.
And you can be publicly scolded like a…
… like a dog who just peed on the carpet.
Boy, I have new insight to why the Afghans howl to be let out. The indignity!
It’s a Freakshow to travel today. Dirty taxi’s, crushing crowds, long periods of utter boredom interspersed with moments of panic and chaos (“I’m sorry, sir, the computer shows you’ve already left on the previous flight… and we have no seats open on this one…”)… it’s just fucking unpleasant.
So, whenever I have a trip coming up, I feel an increasing anxiety as the departure day nears.
If you’re not clear on WHY you’re travelling, that anxiety can put you in a mindset where you’ll cancel the whole thing with even a weak excuse… or refuse to engage at all from the get-go.
The Freakshow can ruin what SHOULD be…
… an Adventure.
You know why I continue to suck it up and go through the indignities of air travel for business?
… once I arrive (to the utter astonishment of my ape-brain, which was certain we were all gonna die from the first jostle inside the plane as we taxi’d to the runway)… and navigate the hotel gauntlet (in Atlanta, they tried to give me a room next to BOTH the ice machine AND the elevator — that builder had quite a sense of humor)…
… then, finally, the Adventure can begin in earnest.
Listen carefully: There are a thousand reasons not to go to seminars.
I totally understand why most entrepreneurs and small business owners never even consider attending a workshop or seminar or other event requiring them to travel to another city.
Heck, most biz people wouldn’t attend something for free, across the street from their office.
For excellent reasons, too.
I’m telling you a story, right now, about why I (and everyone else with a shred of dignity left) SHOULD just say “no” to any kind of airline travel.
… I have several trips planned just for the upcoming Spring. Down to San Diego for a Frank Kern event, off to South Carolina for something with Ron LeGrand, and…
… well, there are some other interesting things coming up, but I won’t bother you with them tonight.
It’s all very hush-hush just now.
However… the Adventure is real, if you have your head on straight.
Despite all the excellent reasons not to travel for business — especially not for seminars, for crying out loud — there are a hearty bunch of entrepreneurs and biz owners and professionals who DO travel.
And, like childbirth (or so I’m told), once we’ve all leaped the hurdles of the airport and the clueless front desk… we forget the tribulations of travel… and sink into the magic of being at an EVENT.
For me, it’s often like Old Home Week… because I get to see so many colleagues I never see otherwise.
As you no doubt know, the Internet Marketing community is packed solid with some of the most delightfully batty and whacky and brilliant weirdo’s in business. I dearly love ‘em, and look forward to every encounter (especially in the bar after a tough day of seminaring).
But even when I go to seminars where everyone’s a stranger, it’s still an adventure.
Because fresh NEW networking is happening. And the wheels of business spin on exactly the kind of inside info you learn at a hot seminar. And…
You know what? There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who understand the value of going to a live seminar (even though it means enduring the Freakshow)… and those who succumb to the excuses (excellent excuses, too!) and say “Nah.”
And I’ll tell you something about the first group: They are almost always the folks who are kicking butt and taking names in their market.
The “adventure” of going to a seminar is in the expanded awareness you experience… the new shit you absorb… and the networking you do. It’s in the energy, the “juice” you soak up… and the thrill of investing in something that can directly launch your ass into the front ranks of your niche.
Demolish the competition, impress your staff, shut up your skeptical brother-in-law.
Just for starters.
And all that leads to the Payoff.
This is, in fact, the crucible of business travel. I know that — sadly — there are a number of seminar junkies who never seem to get anywhere.
They’re kinda weak on the concept… and forget that the key to maximizing the advantages of any seminar… is to MOVE on what you learn when you get home.
I’ve been producing and speaking at seminars for almost 25 years now. (God, I’m grizzled.)
I’m a frigging pioneer in creating the model of most seminars now available. (Karen, you never thought of yourself as a pioneer while working with the Big Ugly Guy, did you. But you were…)
There’s a breakdown of who really benefits, too. You can spot ‘em in audience the first day. They aren’t necessarily the ones taking the most notes, either. (I know people who literally write down every word said from the stage, which boggles my little brain.)
But they take CERTAIN notes, very carefully. And they are “present” the entire time… soaking up the Adventure of learning and tasting the wonder of the very cutting edge of marketing. (Seminars are where the best of the new stuff is percolating, perfected, and often revealed for the first time.)
And it’s the Payoff, the day after they get home, that makes it all worthwhile.
Lately — especially with Eben Pagan’s insistence on having “follow up” events for his Altitude stuff — I’ve been able to meet more and more people who are focused on the Payoff. They take what they learn, and APPLY it to their business as fast as they can.
The results can take your breath away.
Look… I’m not gonna try to talk you into attending any live event.
I know you have excellent (excellent!) reasons why you “can’t” travel.
But if I can put the bug into just one person’s head with this post… then I’ve done my job.
Too many people allow the Freakshows of life to dictate their behavior. They get scared, and stay home.
And wonder why there’s no adventure in their lives… and why that big payoff seems so elusive.
My achingly-beautiful terrier just shuffled into my office here, and plunked herself down in a comfy impromptu nest. If I’m gonna insist on writing into the night, fine… one of her jobs is to check on me and hold down the fort while I work.
She thinks I’m crazy for sitting here, pounding away at the dirty plastic keyboard all the time… expecially when there’s FOOD in the fridge, just down the hall. And I’ve got the opposable thumbs to open it, too.
Silly human. Always pushing life, and even inviting the Freakshow in.
Sometimes, though, you gotta be smarter than the dog.
What do you think? You got a good horror story about air travel? They’re addictive, you know — I often go to several blogs that specialize in sharing the lastest outrages in the friendly skies. It’s like a modern-day sci-fi story I get to actually partake in.
Or… could you share with me your reasons for not going to seminars?
You know — if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time — that it wasn’t too long ago when there WEREN’T that many opportunities to go to ANY kind of marketing seminar. They didn’t exist.
There may be a bit of a glut today… but, again, that’s just another excuse not to get excited about any particular one. People are getting lazy about opportunity.
Love to hear from you.
P.S. Oops… almost forgot WHY I wrote this post.
I’ve been thinking about a NEW workshop for over a year now. It’s an intesely interactive model (so I can only handle maybe 20 people) that force-feeds the same internal “checklist” of essentials that I go through, myself, every time I sit down to write sales copy. Or do a video.
Or anything else requiring an honest (and effective) sales message.
I test-drove a “Beta” version of this workshop in Orlando, in the days just before Rich’s big seminar last month. We packed the room, of course, and people were ecstatic with the process. (I forced them to actually write, in five minute chunks, to “get” the feeling of what it’s really like to write pro-level pieces of copy. It was revelatory.)
After the success of that “Beta” experiment, I’ve decided to take what I learned about the teaching process for this “checklist”… and present this new-and-vastly-improved model to a small group of qualifiied entrepreneurs, small biz owners, and pro writers.
I don’t have any details yet — I just recently decided to pull the trigger on this new project.
It’ll be SOON, though. Anyone wanting to jump on this opportunity will have to act fast.
And… there’s a huge surprise in store for folks who are interested.
Rosie needs to go outside and pee…
P.P.S. Last note for this post: For some reason, we’ve seen dramatically increased “action” on the http://www.marketingrebel.com page.
I’m always happy to see this… but I want to warn people: That page is scheduled to be fussed with, in serious ways, very soon.
The hyper-generous offers still up on that site are all on the table for surgery… including price increases where applicable. And, like my long-lamented Insider’s Club, they could be sent to the cellar for permanent storage, too. (The Insider’s Club offered way too much personal attention from me, and had to go. It was a screaming deal while it thrived… and the current batch of offerings on that site include what may become an increasingly rare opportunity to still get personal attention from me.)
Just fair warning.
Okay, gotta go…