Living for a living

Posted: February 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

I heard this phrase for the first time in late spring of 2010 when I took my wife, Liane, to see Ani DiFranco for her birthday.  Ani’s opening act was Buddy Wakefield.  I had never heard of Buddy prior to that week and did very little research before the concert.  I expected a musician to come out and warm up the crowd.  What I saw was an incredibly talented wordsmith doing an awe-inspiring spoken word performance.  I honestly believe I experienced that evening differently than 97% of the attendees.  Buddy’s words reached deeply into my psyche and helped me think more clearly. 

There is however one defining moment of Buddy’s set that stuck with me over everything else I heard and it was the phrase, “pretend…you live for a living.  pretend…inside your skin you’ve got a friend who’s willing to give you everything you ever wanted in exchange for all you’ve ever been”

Pretend…you live for a living.  Wow.  What does that mean? 

Well…here’s my interpretation.

Lastnight I witnessed something that I can confidently say VERY few people have experienced.  I watched as a global figure interviewed one of the wealthiest men in the world for four hours, live in front of my eyes.  And as I watched this conversation unfold I realized that this man, the “interview-ee”, did nothing spectacular beyond living.  And his ability to live on his terms allowed him to make a VERY handsome living, doing nothing more than living.  He personafied the phrase “living for a living” in my eyes.  By being who he truly is, and being unwilling to compromise his guiding principles and convictions, gave him the resources and foundation to build an incredibly successful, fulfilling life by his own measure. 

Live for a living?  …yeah, I’m gonna do that.

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I wanted my first post here to be relevent and current, and I hope you find it to be just that.  

Where have all the good guys gone?

Seems like a simple question, right?  Right.  The difficult part is finding an answer.  It has been six weeks since the Greater Boise Auditorium District(GBAD) board of directors voted 3-2 to end their funding of one of the most successful convention and visitor bureaus in the west, to be sure, and quite possibly the whole country, citing they could do it better and for less cost via the Boise Centre.  This decision was made with no approved marketing plan or strategy.  

            Based on tax revenue figures and other statistics it is believed that the Boise Convention and Visitor Bureau(BCVB) is responsible for bringing upwards of $30M into the local economy comprised of lodging, venues, restaurants, and retail.  And that is with 28 years of effort and experience marketing Boise to the world.  Yet few, if any, business owners have said so much as “peep”.  We’ll come back to that.

            GBAD Chairman Mike Wilson said the following in an article by Simon Shufrin of the Idaho Business Review when asked about the mediation Mayor Bieter has agreed to pay for in an effort to find a compromise between the two organizations: “I’m not sure how that would work,” he said. “Usually, mediation involves meeting halfway, but if you truly understand the dilemma we’re in, you realize a government entity can’t just give money to a private organization.”  If there is truth in that statement why didn’t GBAD just ask BCVB to merge with the Boise Centre in a joint effort, instead of trying to duplicate what BCVB has been doing for 25+ years?

            So I return to my question: Where have all the good guys gone?  Why are none of the business owners, that stand to lose so much money, voicing their opposition to the decision to stop funding BCVB?  Where is the outrage over the Boise Centre now being, for all intents and purposes, the lone recipient of all RFP’s for meetings, conventions, conferences, trade shows, expo’s, gala’s, or any other event that requires venue space, thus rendering it a direct competitor for any other facility that has meeting/convention space?  No more bidding for meeting space? 

            Step up and speak out ladies and gentleman!  I promise you it can’t hurt your business anymore than the measures that have already been set in motion.