The Evil Empire

I attended some meetings last week for work hosted by TicketMaster.

I know, I know.

Ticketmaster.

The word alone has been known to make people cringe.

If you work in Sports, they have always been a kind of necessarily evil. If you don’t work in sports or live events & you are just a customer, you’ve probably found it hard to find any reasons to like them.

Well, I’ve been both.

In fact, I once spent the better part of my life (and a job) looking for a ticketing solution, ANY ticketing solution actually that could do what TM did solely for the reason I actually hating using them for anything. I hated the fees & the fact they just would not negotiate.

Guess what? I couldn’t do it.

At the end (and by end I mean a solid 14 months of talking to anyone and everyone) no one could deliver what I needed. Or more importantly, no one could deliver what TM did. In short, TM was a monopoly.

So, what’s my point?

I wasn’t real excited to go spend 2 days listening to them tell me why they are a Giant in the world of ticketing and saying “no” to everything I ask for on behalf of the customer or my team. In fact, I kind of expected it to go like this…

httpv://youtu.be/h6sj89xgnl4

So, imagine my surprise when our new contact at TicketMaster started off the meeting with “feel free to Tweet about anything you see/hear here”

Hold up. Wait just a second.

Does he mean even the bad stuff? What if I disagree?

Yep, apparently he meant ANYTHING we heard. Then he actually launched into a bit about the Evil Empire and even played the soundtrack.

Who was this company? This is not the TicketMaster I was expecting. Next, they introduce a new SVP. Fresh off the tracks of a little company named Google. 

Hold on a second…hiring smart people, encouraging feedback and actually listening to it and acknowledging past mistakes. Is it possible TM is changing?

Apparently, it is.

I’m hear to tell you that TM’s brand image IS changing. If you don’t believe me, read this. or this.  They are starting to work with other brands for the good of the consumer and other partners like they did here.

They are focusing on the future.

In fact, as a marketer I learned more about TM and the awesome marketing power they actually are in the last 48 hours than I had in my previous 15 years.

There is an honest-to-goodness FOCUS on making things better for the consumer and better for their clients.

I came away excited about the changes and the future of ticketing as we know it. It was refreshing to see a company eager to change & grow with the world around them.

Good people. Good buisness. Here’s to the future TM!

Limitless

Definition of Limitless according to Websters is boundless. Or for those of us that are slow “Without limits”

I’ll give you the quick movie recap:

Hot guy Bradley Cooper is offered a pill that helps expand your brain. Takes the pill and he can truly operate as his best self. Sure, there are some side effects and people are trying to kill him but apparently, it’s worth it b/c he’s a smarter, more attractive version of himself.

In short, he’s got his A game 24/7.

Which got me to think, how often do I bring my A game? What are things that I do when I know I have to be my best self?

Some of them are easy.

I try to get 8+ hours of sleep. I eat well. I exercise.

Some of a little more in depth…

I do research. I analyze data. I play out each possible scenario/outcome in my head and practice reacting to it.

So, why don’t I do it every day? Why don’t I try to be my best every day? Is it impossible to keep up the pace? Sure, some days it won’t happen but what if I focused on it more? What would become possible?

If you haven’t seen the movie, I do actually recommend it.

Here’s a preview:

httpv://youtu.be/THE_hhk1Gzc

Guilty

Kaleigh & Noah tubing down the Itchnetuckee River
Isn’t it a horrible emotion? Yet, how do you avoid it?

 I’ve been sad all week. Well, sad and guilty.

My brother and family have officially moved to Dubai. I miss them terribly which is interesting since I would only see them about 4-5 times per year as it is. But, Dubai is a whole nother country (Literally). And for the next 3 years we’ll get one visit per year from them to the States and a whole bunch of Skype (which although amazing is not the same as sitting in your lap or getting a “group hug”) as Noah would say.

But the guilt is over the fact that for their last 10 days in the US, I worked for 7 of them. The guilt is over my missed chance at making more time to spend with them. I honestly don’t know how people work and have kids. It must be so hard to balance.

Granted, I had a choice. I could have taken time off but…  it’s crunch time at work and my staff is buried. It’s not the greatest time to miss work and I try to lead by example.

So, did I really have a choice? Or am I just trying to justify my actions?

If you are like me, you want to do a good job. In fact, I want to do a great job. I want to do the kind of work that people talk about. The kind of work that truly makes a difference.

And yet, family is so important to me. And so are friends. And there just doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day to be good (or even available/present) at everything.

And so, i struggle with guilt. And I’m not real sure what to do about it. Balance is such a hard thing to attain? Does balance equal mediocrity at everything?

I don’t have the answers. If you do, please share.

However, I do know this. Raising children is one of the hardest jobs in the world and I applaud those that are doing it.

And at the end of the day, I hope that my niece and nephew realize how much I love & adore them.