Monday, 27 June 2011

Are You Used To It?

Mt Hood

I am here in Portland Oregon for work. Yesterday I took a drive out to the Colorado River Gorge. I call it drive by tourism. I took some photos as I drove. If you look past the bugs on the windscreen you will see Mt Hood in the background. I was blown away to be driving around and have this amazing snow capped mountain in the background.

I guarantee you that many locals will not even see it. We get used to things and don't notice how special they are. It is not taking it for granted, because I am sure the locals love it, it is just that you see it so often you get used to it and it blends into the background.

Are some of your customers, your team members, your support staff or your family the same? I am sure you know how special they are, how much they mean to you but it is easy to get used to having them around and having them do things for you.  

So are you Used To It? Make sure they know how much they mean to you and your business.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Lessons for the Lazy Traveller

As some of you may know, I am off to the USA for some work.

With all of the recent ash cloud sagas, my first concern was getting off the ground!  In fact, after a long wait, my 6am flight got cancelled.

I thought I would be on hold for ages and it would just be one long nightmare trying to get away. Ah the delights of Qantas!! I was on hold for about 3 minutes.  After a few more minutes on hold, the delightful reservations person had me on the direct flight leaving at 9am (rather than the one that goes via New Zealand at 6am) and had shuffled my connecting flight so I was only delayed by about 2 hrs.


I was so excited.  No rude getting to the airport at 3am - I could be there at 6am!  No 3 hr stop over in Auckland, simple straight line flight to LAX.  It was almost too good to be true!! 

And then I got to the airport!!

I was so excited to go, and I am only a boy so I don't need much stuff, that I was able to pack everything I needed for the 12 days into my carry on bag. The plan is to do some shopping to get more cloths and so on and buy a new suitcase to bring it home.  How slick was I!!  The Lazy Traveller!  No waiting around for luggage for this little black duck!!

If only I could have chosen the security guard!!

Check in was a breeze.  Then went I went into the customs area, a security guard said he had to weigh my bag.  At 13kg it was too heavy and I had to go back to check in.  My little balloon of re-scheduled happiness burst and I plummeted to travelling hassle reality!!

I got back in the check in queue, which had grown dramatically.  The security guard has said, they may issue it with a sticker and I would be fine. The Qantas checkin person had no idea what I was talking about. She presented me with a sturdy plastic bag and said I had to spread the weight and check one bag in.

All my books and non-essentials (clothes) went in that bag. This left my laptop, Tim Tam's and essentials in the carry on.  Then back into the check-in queue for a third time.  There was a delay because some Dr kind of person from Medecins Sans Frontieres had a medical box with dry ice and they had to be sure about it.  By then I was thinking, "Damn their good work, just get out of my way!"

I asked every so sweetly, jovially and manipulatively if I could have two carry on bags (now that one was 4kg and the other 7.8kg). The check-in person politely said "No".  So now I have luggage to wait for.  In a flimsy plastic bag!!  I am expecting when I get to LAX for there to be a stream of jock's, socks jeans and books come streaming around on the luggage carousel!

To make it worse, when I went through customs the second time, the different security guard had no interest in weighing my bag!!  Arrrggh!!  If only I got him first. If only you could choose your own security guard!

A bit of healthy perspective though. I am now sitting in the Qantas lounge, checking email, writing my blog and planning my direct flight to LAX and then Portland.  It seems that my problems are high quality problems.

Such is the life of a lazy traveller!!

Monday, 20 June 2011

How Do You Deal With It?

On the recent holiday to Bali, I came face to face with nature. It was an interesting and unexpected encounter. Luckily we got some of it on video. Click the image below to watch it.
It is not often you have a monkey on your back! The guide had mentioned if a monkey did interact with you to remain calm. I did get a bit of a fright. I had no idea what it was going to do. I didn't know how the situation would end, I didn't know what the monkey wanted and I certainly was not prepared for the second monkey (who seemed to want to take my shirt off!)
Life is a bit like that too. Things happen without prior warning and you have to deal with them as best and as quickly as you can. You can find yourself in a situation you didn't plan on and like the monkey, you need to remain calm and deal with it.
So how do deal with these situations?

Monday, 13 June 2011

Why Do You Do It?

Book Cover

Today I am enjoying the Queen's Birthday Holiday. It always makes me laugh that the UK don't get a holiday for her birthday but we in the colonies do! 
What better way to start the day than staying in bed reading a book. One of my favourite authors is Stephen King. Not because I am a horror fan (far from it) I just love the way he writes.

His short stories are some of my favourites. Many don't realise he wrote (among others) The Green Mile, The Mist, Running Man, Stand By Me and Hearts in Atlantis.

In the introduction to Just After Sunset (my current read), he mentions that he writes not for the money, not for the fame and not for himself.  He writes for those who will read his stories. He writes to create a better experience for them. He is also serious about his writing. In his non-fiction book "On Writing" he says if you are serious about writing you need to read 4 hours a day and write 4 hours a day.

So why do you do what you do?  Is it for the money, to provide for those you love, to master the art of it, is it a game or is it to improve the lives of your end customer? How much effort do you spend at your skill?  Why Do You Do It?

P.S. This is the blatant promotion piece.  I have just had a new demo reel created.  You can see it here.  To celebrate, as well as it being the end of financial year, any bookings made with deposits paid before 30 June 2011 will get over $300 worth of books, CD's and eCourse's PER ATTENDEE. Send an email to warwick (at) warwickmerry (dot) com for more detail.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Are You Crazy?

Toe nailAre You Crazy?

Wifey and I had a great week in Bali. On the last day, we had time to fill in between checkout and our midnight flight. So we went for massages, manicures and pedicures. As they were pedicuring my toes I asked, "Can I have purple toenails?"

The young girls just laughed at me. Then they realised I was genuine. So we went through the colours until I got the purple I was after.
As she was painting she jokingly asked, "Do you want a flower?"
Naturally I said, "Yes please!"
Again she laughed but did it. The photo is the finished result.

Their reaction was one of "are you crazy?"

Many times I have done things and normal, sane, professional people have asked "are you crazy?"

Sure I could have done the normal thing and not had my toes painted. But I would never have seen an artist at work creating flowers with nail polish.
Sure I could have stayed in Melbourne and not taken a job in Wahgunyah 3 hrs from Melbourne but I would never had the exposure to head office that I had working on a small account rather than a large one
Sure I could have not competed in Raw (the Stand Up Comedian competition) but I would not have been able to get the experience in honing my funny bone or know how to hit other peoples.

My biggest fear is that my life will be "beige". Being crazy or doing crazy things gives me experiences that most don't have, understanding many search for, perspective few ever see and joy many seek.  So when people ask me "Are you crazy?" I reply, "Yes, and thanks for the compliment."

What about you?  Are you Crazy? Try it, it does wonders for you.