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What I’d Do: Grab Your Stick(s), Ride the Lift, but Don’t Ski

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I sometimes feel I do too much critiquing and too little suggesting. Like, somehow, I’m the 400 pound, mullet-sporting guy on his 3rd beer at the baseball game yelling at the 2nd baseman to hustle. So, every once in a while on a Wednesday I’ll try to balance the scales a bit and put my own ideas up for display, analysis, and critique. (view all ‘WID’ posts).

See that picture above? That old, crumpled lift ticket? That there ticket represents a turning point in my life because that, my dear friends, is the lift ticket from the first day I went skiing. It’s kind of fun to think about and reminisce on that little piece of nostalgia from nearly two decades ago: how tightly I held to the sides of the chair lift, how steep the blue runs looked, how cool I felt as a poor kid in a poor town wearing my lift ticket to school the next day.

It’s been a fun road full of deep powder, flunked classes, close calls, stuck cars, lots of hard earned cash, and a smile on my face every time I strap on the board and feel my edge cut into the snow.

Well, that’s flowery and all, but where are you going with this?
Okay, I’ll get to my point and keep this short. Sometime today (or soon), strap on your stick(s) of choice, take a ride up the lift, find a nice view and the top and just stop for a few minutes and let the awesomeness of skiing sink in. Watch the beginners laugh their way down the mountain, watch the veterans who can still carve beautiful turns in their 70s, and take a step back.

Don’t take photos, don’t tweet about the view, put away the GoPro, and just think about your skiing story and why you love the sport as much as you do.

If you are anything like me, skiing will start to make sense again. The cobwebs from the rush of deadlines and projects will slowly go away and you’ll start to see skiing like skiing should be seen.

Ideas Will Come
My iron clad, double your money back, no questions asked guarantee is this: you’ll get marketing ideas when you do this. The shower is one of my best thinking spots simply because there is nothing to look at and be distracted by and the water drowns out other sounds that would otherwise grab my attention and derail my train of thought.

When you stop skiing and just watch, the only distractions you have are the sport you are trying to sell. In that setting, the ideas will come. If they don’t, I’ll buy you lunch. If they do, write ’em down and make it happen…and give me a 10% cut of whatever increase in revenue results (unless you lose money, in which case, blame it on global warming).

The SlopeFillers Secret
I’ve had a lot of people ask how I come up with ideas for and write a post every weekday in the <10 hours I put towards SlopeFillers each week. To me, this idea of stepping back from the desk is a secret to my "success". Almost every day I two things:

  1. Spend at least 2 straight hours without social media up on my computer.
  2. Go for a walk

Those walks used to be down the hall and back a few times (it’s a long hall), but now with the weather warming, I’ve been wandering down by the river and letting my brain go wherever my ideas take it. Those 15 minute walks are worth hours of productivity.

So, unplug, find a good view and think. That’s what I(‘d) do.

  • Luke Shelley

    Great post. I think far too often resorts examine their audience through social media & data instead of spending the time to get out there and actually connect with their customers. The power of observation is strong, provides a platform for fresh out of the box ideas and ultimately more effective ways of using technology. As ironic as it sounds, when you take time to unplug you end up with a stronger connection.

    • “When you take time to unplug, you end up with a stronger connection.” I like it!

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