All posts by Tim at A-List Marketing

Creativity Is Currency. Put It In The Bank.

Creative thoughts on creativity!

Farberisms

Ideas flourish in the minds of all of us. We just need to have the balls to push them forward. Sometimes they work; most often they don’t. I actually like it when some of my ideas don’t work, because it means I am getting closer to one that will. Also, I try to be dogmatic to prove a point. I put myself out there and fail to teach someone a lesson. Sometimes it’s my staff; often, it’s me.

There is risk here; however, I have never cared about the downside. If you’re worried about failing, you will never stretch yourself and maximize your potential. You don’t want to be lying on your death bed thinking you should have done something or tried harder. I think it would be much more rewarding to feel good about your accomplishments, pass on some wisdom, and call it a day. I have come to…

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I walked into a small bar and Prince was playing…

OK, on the first anniversary of his passing, I’m recalling my first close encounter with the Artist: At the 1992 Winter Music Conference in Miami our group stopped by an up stairs club called Le Loft. We were drinking in the almost deserted front bar room when someone said Prince was playing a pickup gig in the back room. We headed back there and sure enough Prince was jamming with a small band. There were maybe 50 people in the room. We grabbed a booth and hung out for a couple of hours. On breaks Prince mixed with the crowd. Not real talkative but friendly to all. It was one of those magic late nights you can’t plan for. Little did I know we’d interact again in Chicago when Prince played a surprise show at our club Excalibur, and then came to be a regular visitor every time he came to Chicago.  His death is such a shock even 1 year later. Thanks for the Magic, Sir.

Prince was known to do pop up performances at small clubs, the photo above is from a club show in Sydney, Australia.

Check Out My New Vinyl Music Site

Well, I finally started selling my giant stash of vinyl, as well as a couple of friends’ big collections and some bulk purchases I made over the years. I am using the Discogs site and it makes it easy and fun to sell vinyl. And there are a huge number of record collectors on Discogs. Very cool group and site!

I was a DJ all through the 80s working in clubs, and a reporter for Music magazines. Thus I was always in records pools and getting journalist review copies. I have many rarities including test pressings and most of the original Chicago House records in excellent condition. Because I used to buy out sections of record stores when they went out of business, I also have a lot of sealed and duplicate copies.

With the combination of sources, all genres and eras are pretty well represented. Vinyls and CDs from the 1950s to the 2000s can be found in my store. Albums, 12-inch singles, EPs, Box Sets, CDs and even 45s can be found in my collection. There’s something for just about every musical taste.

Anyway, visit my site and my store if you are a vinyl picker, DJ or just want to check out some Beautiful Discs!

https://www.discogs.com/seller/BeautifulDiscsUSA/profile

dolly parton pink record

Our bars know the lesson United Airlines is about to learn.

“Back in the Day” bars had bouncers. If a patron “mouthed off,” interfered with business, got into a spat with a regular, or numerous other offenses, we threw them out, by force if necessary. “You had to be tough” in our business. Then somewhere around 2000 we realized we were spending a lot of our days off going to court!

It was then the ultimately wise operations leaders in our company developed a security policy which placed the highest priority on avoiding violence. Forget being “right.” Forget ego. If someone is running away, let them go. If there’s immediate violence, surround a perpetrator to diffuse – strength in numbers. Cameras everywhere. Up the security staff. Stop hiring big tough guys and hire savvy normal guys who can defend themselves, but also grew up having to talk their way out of situations now and then. We stopped having bouncers and started having hosts.

We asked the question: do we want to be “right,” possibly have staff get hurt in a fight, and spend our days off in court? Or do we want to put ego aside and do whatever we can to diffuse situations creatively and be done with it? Our leadership decided on the second option and it was one of the smartest things we ever did. Injuries and lawsuits plummeted for our group, and insurance rates stayed in line.

United Airlines, Republic Airlines (the actual carrier operating the plane within the United system) and even the O’Hare Airport Police are waking up today wishing they didn’t have to deal with the disaster of yesterday’s videotaped assault of a passenger to remove them from the plane. As we learned in our business, it doesn’t really help if you’re “right” when you still have to clean up a huge, expensive mess.

Perhaps if the authorities involved adopted a policy that before using any force (except in immediate physical threats) the Captain is notified, everyone stands down, and there is a meeting of the minds on how to otherwise solve a problem. On a plane, like a ship, the Captain is the ultimate authority and can make virtually any call. Captains should be trained to be creative and not enforce rules mindlessly to the detriment of all. I’m sure United wishes someone would have just offered more money for a volunteer until someone could not resist taking their invitation to get “bumped.” It would be a lot cheaper than what’s going to happen now!

Any threat of force in a business needs to be seriously and creatively evaluated before moving forward! It’s not about who is “right,” it is about what’s best in the situation, short term and long term. We think of business creativity as innovation on a conceptual level, but it’s needed in all parts of any enterprise in order to avoid disasters.

Ego and rigid rules are dangerous to a business! Smart and flexible is a road to success.

There are still a lot of “old school” bars out there. Anyone who needs help updating their customer service – that’s one of the services offered at A-List Marketing! Reach out anytime and let’s talk.

 

Welcome 2 new clients and thanks to another!

I’d like to welcome my 2 latest clients, Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group in Chicago and Portillo’s Hot Dogs (nationwide).

And a quick thank you to everyone at Nestle and their agencies for being such a pleasure to work with while opening their pop up bakery and managing their Nestle Toll House “100 Days of Baking Some Good” program from Sept – February. For our culmination event, our bakers set a world record for continuous baking!

Cheers!

Tim

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