Recently, Maureen and I went to New Orleans to strategize with the principals of other marketing agencies – during Mardi Gras. Focusing on and doing business during Mardi Gras may seem like an impossible task but in reality it highlights some of the best ways to work, so I submit, five things that Mardi Gras and business have in common:
Networking/shared experience: You are there with all ethnicities and ages celebrating life, sharing an experience that is joyful. A shared experience brings us together and that’s what branding and marketing are all about.
Teamwork: You have to collaborate, plan ahead and communicate well on the plan, or, make sure you have a plan “B” if someone gets off track. (Thanks to organizer, Drew for planning ahead and my friend, Dawn, for guiding me back to the group via text.)
Time planning: Everything takes longer than you think it will, so make sure you don’t over-commit and put a little extra time in for problem solving – because things don’t always go according to plan. We discovered that walking to places was faster than driving.
Focus: There are so many distractions that it can be confusing and overwhelming sometimes, so it forces you to focus on the things that really matter. It’s like Ben Franklin’s quote, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” Laser focus happens when you are confronted by “too much”.
Empathy: We all benefit when we empathize with people around us – sharing some beads with a small child who was distraught and then jumped for joy, helping someone in a wheel chair get through the crowd – there are things we can do in business every day to make life better for each other to build each other up – not tear each other down.
I have to admit, I expected the worst from Mardi Gras and I was pleasantly surprised that I got the best. I hope you benefit from this too.