Monthly Archives: February 2012

Day Maker

“Back at the ranch” looks like heaven when you are traveling. The hassle of travel can add to stress and thoughts of home, comfort, family, and friends pushes you to get to your gate and on your way.

While traveling through the airport on a recent trip I became hungry and dropped by a fast food restaurant to get something to eat. I looked at the menu and decided on number 1, but from that point on my experience was almost worse than the hunger, definitely more frustrating. They served the meal in random order, one item at a time, the sandwich, the fries, and the drink in non sequential places and not in that order. I watched the customer ahead of me; I copied her as it was more than a little confusing. Getting something to eat should not be this complicated, it should be a pleasure, and dare I say a fine dining experience even if it is fast food.

With meal now gathered I sat down to eat and noticed an elderly couple approaching the order window.  I watched them as they shuffled in confusion just as I had done. After some conversation his wife sat down not in disgust, not in a mad or argumentative way, but more of pure frustration and fatigue. Her husband stayed true to task, he ordered his burgers, found his fries and drink and made his way to the checkout stand only to have the person who was helping him go on break. He was rerouted in another direction, shoulders dropped he completed the transaction. I would guess that this couple valued a quick, hassle free meal; they did not get it and neither did I. The experience made an impression and not a good one; I am still talking about it.

Warning: Beware of the nice customer.  They rarely complain, and they don’t make noise. They may go unnoticed, but they don’t come back.  The nice customers, multiplied go away. I know it’s an airport and the odds of being there, being hungry, and visiting this establishment are slim, but the point is this story can be found every day. Experiences like the day I went to buy a jacket. I was treated with a lack of respect, almost like I was interrupting their day.  I went next door and purchased from the store next to them.  I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, I wanted to walk back in there and say “Big Mistake, Big.” I just wanted to say it!

As consumers we have more choices than ever before. Where there was once competition there is now a runaway herd. Consumers can buy and sell in any number of places, “We are not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.”

Day Maker

In today’s market as a person/business/ brand you must stand out in the crowd. It is show time, everyday in every way.   It has been said before “you may not get a second chance to make a first impression.”  Show your customer the best at what you do; capitalize on the things you do well and then identify what your customer’s value.  Whatever the customer values blazes the trail, cater to their values as it aids in credibility and results in delighting customers through the experiences.

As consumers of goods and services you are empowered and can access information 24/7, you are the jockey. What can you do about it as a business/brand/person? Do what you do best; make a difference, take nothing for granted, and add value.

doWIT: Make someone’s day the right way

Warning: Beware of the nice customer

Know:   Your product or service, know what your customer values

Provide: Value added meaningful goods and service

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Opportunity Horizon

Lead the way, enjoy the view

Miles and miles of beauty unfolded before us as we crested the hill, the view presented a fresh look at the world and gave me an immense appreciation of the majesty of it all.

I found myself thinking about nothing in particular and about everything under the sky, all at the same time. I breathed in a breath of gratitude just to have this opportunity to take this ride, and began enjoying the view from my saddle. It was breathtaking; we were trailing cattle back to the ranch from their summer pasture. The hard work was done as we had made the push up the mountain successfully, and with the trail stretching out below I began to relax and enjoy the ride.

Quite by accident I glanced at the ground and spotted a funny looking rock. It is true, I am amused by many things and this rock reminded me of a  turtle, which are a source of fascination not only for me but also for my dog.  While headed to the barn last summer I saw a rock get up and take a step. Ok maybe not exactly but it looked that way. Both of us unsure of what we just saw , we stood there,  frozen in time watching to see if ‘the rock’ would move again, our heads both cocked as we waited in anticipation taking a fresh look at this curious object.

It can’t always be easy for the turtle to venture out and push forward, just as it is never easy for people or business to take the steps necessary to break new trail.  But somebody has to lead; they always do, is that why cream always rises to the top?

If you treat each day like a milk run, routine in nature, you can find yourself at a stand still lacking creativity, energy, and the drive it takes to lead. It is safe to tread water and go with the flow, but true joy and gratification come from not just surviving but thriving.

Last year’s arena record is this year’s rookie’s template; the bar is continually being raised. Take the opening provided, like the coach who tells his team, “you can’t make baskets if you never shoot the ball.”

The opportunity on the horizon is- the best of you.  Keep taking steps, keep moving forward, take a fresh look at your surroundings, break trail just as the lead cows were doing this day and the turtle did as he made his way that sunny summer morning. Establish yourself as an expert in a distinct area. Focus on your strengths and do what it takes to keep yourself motivated and fresh, develop your talents, have faith in your ability to adapt and react. Be exceptional.

doWIT:

Lead the way, enjoy the view.

Keep Moving-take a fresh look, inspiration can come from anywhere

Keep Focused-Utilize you strengths and develop your talents

Be Exceptional- do what you do best!

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It becomes you, “Some of the best cowboys are cowgirls”

“Keep your eyes on the road,” talking, excited, in the moment, we hurried as we drove to make the rodeo.  I wasn’t expecting ‘it’ that day, like most things in life ‘it’ shows up when you least expect it. This was one of those moments in time that gets branded permanently into your memory and on your heart.

This defining moment happened some years back while sitting in the stands at an evening performance of a PRCA rodeo in Casper WY. I was waiting to watch my daughter Tiffany run barrels in the short round on Dreamer. Her first run was a good one and we had made the trip back and forth from the National High School Rodeo Finals in Gillette, WY where she had also qualified for the short round. This had been an amazing week.

I made my way to find a spot to sit at the end of the grandstands overlooking the contestants as they warmed up.  As an observer of people and trends this was a perfect opportunity and I began observing this “event” of core customers as my laboratory. Many WNFR competitors were there in attendance and an enthusiastic diverse crowd provided me a wide variety of observations.

A woman caught my eye. She was walking in front of the crowd, nicely dressed in black jeans, no belt, a cowboy hat, turquoise shirt. She was walking with an intermittent limp and steadied herself occasionally along the arena fence, something about her was familiar but I could not put my finger on it. I wondered who she was.

My attention went to the arena as they were finishing up the saddle bronc riding and had cleared the arena for intermission. Trick riders, 3 of them performed. Then I spotted her, Lori of Ram Rodeo. I had no idea she had this talent. This professional woman had been trick riding her whole life. She told me that trick riding was her release. It was awesome.She is in shape, an athlete, and having fun! I could not help myself and I stood up giving them a standing ovation, I was so impressed. I asked Lori if she had a picture of her trick riding and she sent me this image along with the rest of “the story.”

"Some of the best Cowboys are Cowgirls"

“This photo is from Okeechobee FL the last year it was held in the old arena. This was a huge outdoor pen where it took over 30 seconds to make a lap. I rode with John Harrison that year, I think it was 2002.

The horse is “Junior” aka Parker JR, he is a 1984 model. Mike and I got him when he was 6.  I didn’t start trick riding on him until he was 17. He was always my back up horse as well as Mike’s team roping horse until I lost my regular “Joker”. He was so fast and it took a lot to get my head in the game and not be scared.  He turned out to be fabulous – one of my top two horses in my lifetime.  I wish I had a whole herd of horses just like him.

Dally (Lori and Mike’s daughter) has been riding him since she was born and by herself since she was 3. She currently rides him in barrel racing and poles and is learning to trick ride at age 6 on him.” Lori Orman

Much to my delight the evening was not finished with surprises. I went on to watch my daughter compete in short round of barrel race, she made a great run but tipped a barrel to place. And the lady I had observed earlier in the evening walking along the fence had just entering the arena. Turns out (Ruth), a WNFR qualifier and was making a run that had the crowd behind her, she was a cowgirl, a legend in her own right.

That was “it,” once again I had to stand up and cheer, these three women were everyday heroes. On that day I had observed three great cowgirls who had my attention from the start, each from different generations, each at different times in the lives shooting for the stars while keeping their eyes on the road of their dreams, and each an inspiration to me.

That day I witnessed character, talent, spirit, courage, cowgirl. I knew it to be true, there was no doubt in my mind “some of the best cowboys are cowgirls!”

doWit: Harness- Ride- Rope- Be- “It”

  • Harness your passion
  • Ride your vision -till the horseshoes fall off
  • Rope yourself a great life
  • Be an Everyday Hero

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