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Monday, March 24, 2008

What Happens in Vegas, Shows Up On My Blog...

Just got back from Las Vegas - working, not partying...seriously, I was! Don't believe me? Here's one of the things I put together while there: http://www.HowToThinkQuick.com It's a free audio on how you can think quicker on your feet. Feel free to sign up for it and please, pass the link around to anyone and everyone you know.

In addition to creating some new stuff, I learned some interesting things:

1) I saw the Cirque de Soleil show, "Love" - the one featuring just Beatles music.

It was awesome! My first Cirque de Soleil show. Now let me put this out there: Vegas is a pricey place. The tickets were expensive. But, unlike many other shows where you pay a lot of money and walk out thinking, "well that was nice and all, but where did my money go?" with this show, you see why the tickets are so expensive. Just licensing the Beatles music must have cost a pretty penny, and then you add in all the sets, props, acrobatic equipment, and stage effects, and it adds up. On top of that, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the performers must train an insane amount to be able to do the things they do. I walked out in awe of the dedication the performers must have to be able to put that show on.

On a side note, the episodes of American Idol the week before and week after the Cirque show also featured all Beatles music. Big Beatles week for me. There is something odd about seeing Cirque de Soleil performers doing these amazingly acrobatic and beautiful things to original Beatles music followed by watching American Idol hopefuls butchering great Beatles songs - a country version of "8 Days a Week"?! Are you kidding me?? They had less than one week rehearsal, and some of them even sang songs they had never heard before! Made me appreciate "Love" even more.

Lesson: There's no substitute for being amazing, and no better way to get amazing than to put in the time and effort to practice, practice, practice!

2) There really are slot machines are everywhere in Las Vegas!

I was actually staying just outside of Vegas in Henderson, NV, and there were actually slot machines in the grocery store. The grocery store! You may have seen or heard of the slot machines in the airport, and that to me makes sense. You've got time to kill, nothing to do, so why not throw some money into a slot? Plus, it sucks in the people who are just passing through Vegas on a connection. But in the grocery store? I don't know about you, but if I find myself in a grocery store with nothing to do, I just go home! I can't imagine running to the store to pick up supplies, seeing the machines, and saying, "you know what would be a good idea right now? Let me throw $100 into one of four slot machines they have sitting in the depressing entry-way of the Albertsons." I think that would be the sign of a problem. Gambler's Anonymous probably provides those slots as part of a sting operation where they just sit in surveillance, and anytime someone plunks money into a grocery store machine they burst out of their van and drag the person away to a GA meeting...

Lesson: I don't really know. Depravity has limits? Vegas has an identity as a gambling town and is sticking to it? There's a market for anything? I don't know, you tell me.

3) I was crazy productive!

The point of the seminar I attended (http://www.FredInfoBootCamp.com) was not just to learn a bunch of great info, but to actually record a product and put together the website(s) and marketing stuff for it. Not a passive affair at all. And I have to say, I was way more productive there than I really ever am at my own office. I attribute this to three things:

a) New Environment - I get into routines at my own place. Here I was in a new place, with one focus, and without most of the distractions I face in Philly.

b) Peer Pressure - There were a few other people there, all for the same reason, all working diligently. I didn't want to be the one slacker who didn;t get anything done!
c) Deadlines - There was a hard deadline (the end of the seminar), external pressure (Fred had certain things he wanted to make sure we got done before we left) and internal pressure (I created my own list of what I wanted done before I left) And I actually hit all those targets.

It's almost depressing to me how productive I can be when I want, vs. how productive (or unproductive) I am on "regular" days. Rather than getting depressed, I will be inspired. What can I do to carry some of that Las Vegas productivity back to Philly? (Wow, "Las Vegas productivity" sounds like one heck of an oxymoron doesn't it?) From the list above, it seems obvious - change up my environment to reduce distractions, create peer pressure by committing externally to others, and add short term deadlines that are important to me (long term deadlines never work for me - I just procrastinate until they become short term deadlines).

Lesson: When something goes right for you, figure out why and then and repeat it. A lot.

1 comment:

Jeff Porten said...

Lots of thoughts:

1) Slot machines are everywhere because they're easy to get, and they make money for the stores that have them. Plunk one spouse in front of the slot while the other one shops, and suddenly you have a gambling session.

2) I'm not in the least bit surprised to hear about Las Vegas productivity. Done right, that city can be the most energizing place on Earth. Done wrong, it can kill you.

3) Long term deadlines: read Neil Fiore's The Now Habit. He has an excellent method for dealing with long term deadlines.