“I’m walking here! I’m walking here!” Ratzo Rizzo (Midnight Cowboy)
If you don’t mind… I’d like to take a little informal poll here.
Here’s the question: What are your plans for the summer?
I’m serious. I wanna know.
In fact, I find myself obsessing on how people plan for seasons. I grew up quite happy to be told (in vague yet restrictive terms) what I could do each new season: Go to school. Go to school some more. Okay, now you can go to school, and play baseball in the evenings. Good. Now, school’s out, so you can do anything your vandalizing heart desires. Just be home in time for dinner.
That routine didn’t work out so well when I reached adulthood.
I still have trouble making too many plans. I have goals, and I’ve laid out “time maps” for reaching them… but as far as specific plans, I’m all about avoidance.
Part of it is superstition. That old saying “If you want to make God laugh, make plans” was tailor-made for guys like me.
It’s like taunting death and nightmare, pretending in June to believe the world will still be here in, say, August.
Nevertheless… I find myself on the precipise of yet another summer… with plans up the yin-yang.
How did this happen?
I’m not complaining. I used to complain about plans being made with me involved, because part of me feared that committing to anything months down the road might keep me from doing something more fun. You know, something else that might come up, last-minute-wise.
I don’t know what.
Back when I was a slacking hippie loser, there really WOULD be cool stuff that popped up enexpectedly. Especially during summertime.
A party, maybe. Or an adventure in Yosemite, or an invite to someone’s cabin near the beach, or…
My more organized friends, of course, were off traipsing around Europe, and apprenticing with mentors, and building thier resumes. That doesn’t happen by accident.
You gotta plan for it.
Anyway… I just made my four-way plane reservations for the first of several trips I’m taking this summer. A little business, a little pleasure, a little grey area mix of the two.
First up: Noo Yawk City.
Where — if you bothered to read the email I so thoughtfully sent you today — Stan and I will hold a rare one-day Hot Seat workshop with five fast-on-their-feet attendees.
If you’re on my list, you’ve been invited. But you gotta score one of those five seats — no one else will get in.
If you somehow missed seeing that email, go here to check out the opportunity:
New York City. What a concept.
We’ll do a full day of hot seats on Monday, June 30 (and then take you out to dinner in the city). We’re offering this because so many people have told us they wished we’d do a Hot Seat seminar on the East Coast, and have it during the week (because some folks just can’t make it for a weekend). So we’re doing this on a Monday.
This is gonna be so cool.
Now, I’m in New York that Monday, because I’m also scheduled to speak at Ron LeGrand’s “Information & Internet Marketing Bootcamp” in Myrtle Beach, SC, on Friday, June 27th. (To check this ultra-cool event out, go here:
I get to South Carolina via Las Vegas, a day before… where I’m meeting up with Jeff and Jon Walker and a whole mob of other top marketers for a big damn brainstorm.
I just booked the airline tix: Reno to Viva Vegas, Vegas to Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach to NYC, NYC to Atlanta, Atlanta to… Reno again.
I’m off on a circular adventure!
Meanwhile, my partner Stan (who hasn’t enjoyed a calm, home-bound summer in a decade) won’t set foot in their San Fran house for six or seven weeks… bouncing between New Joisey, Europe, meeting me during each leg of my trip, back to Europe, back to Joisey…
What do you got going?
I think we’ve scored a cool beach house for part of a week in July. In August, I’m going to eastern Washington to see family, then Portland (one of my favorite cities).
And there’s a nagging notion in the back of my head that I’m forgetting about some committment for a seminar or something in late August.
I’m afraid to bring up the calendar and look.
I’m speaking in Dubai (!) in December, I’m pretty sure (along with pals like Mike Filsaime and Joel Comm).
But that’s a looooooooooong way off.
Summer used to last a lifetime, when I was a kid. More things would happen to me in a day than happen to me in a month now. I could get sunburned in the morning swimming, heal by afternoon into a bronzed tan while climbing trees in the park, and get in thirty games of over-the-line before inventing another “monster in the back yard” game at dusk. Then watch sci-fi films until our eyes bled, and be forced into bed at the very latest hour possible, still pumped.
I miss that sense of endless fun.
I miss living life like I was in a Beach Boys song.
So many biz out there think summer is “too slow to consider serious business projects”… which may still be true, for some markets, in the brick-and-mortar world. (Most of Europe still abandons the joint for August, I hear.)
If you’re online, however, summer isn’t recognized by the Web. Some of the most profitable launches in history have been pulled off during the Dog Days of summer. (John Reese made a point of pulling off his breakthrough Traffic Secrets launch in August, cuz he enjoyed the story value.)
One man’s vacant parking lot is another man’s teeming virtual mob of cash-in-hand customers.
I’d love to take the summer off. Do nothing but read, lounge, noodle with music, play with the dogs, soak up some culture and sea air, and let my mind wander wherever it pleased.
I’ll have to plan ahead to make that happen, though, this season. Otherwise, the calendar will be filled by opportunities that despise a vacuum.
Man… I better get Golf Week pehciled into the schedule. (Stan and I haven’t missed Golf Week — where we leave the homestead and the ladies and trundle off somewhere shockingly-cool to do nothing but play successive golf games on bitchin’ courses — in 15 years now. It’s a tradition.) (The best part is explaining to the other guys on our impromptu foursome each day that, yeah, we’re doing this for a whole week. Eat, golf, drink, golf, sleep, golf, golf, golf, golf. The look in most guys’ eyes is priceless — every golfer wants to do something like this, and most just cannot make it happen. The power of goal-setting and planning, right there…)
You doing anything interesting?
My pal Dave Kekich (a close bud of the dearly-missed Big Ugly Guy, who I keep in touch with) has spent a lifetime pursuing specific strategies to live just a little bit deeper each year. One of the ways he motivates himself is to keep a little chart close by… which lists all the summers he has left.
If you figure you’ll live to be 75, you can simply subtract your current age from that number… and that’s how many summers are still on your dance card.
It’s kinda abstract.
Yet, when you see it in black-and-white, on a chart… that number looks so pitifully small that it can clench up your gut.
Summer’s are precious. Heck, every day is precious… and I love each season for the peculiarities they all have. I often consider autumn to be my favorite… except when summer is sliding up fast on the tail of spring, and the nights start getting warm and achingly pleasant…
A dying man would give up all his millions for just one more summer day. Never forget what’s irreplaceable in your life, and what’s just shallow bullshit.
Hell. I’m signing off, and going outside. The Milky Way is blazing tonight, and nothing on TV can come close to that kind of glory…
C’mon, let’s discuss summer plans. Business, pleasure, obligation, rare opportunity…
What d’ya got going?
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