Archive for May 2011
A couple of weeks ago I went to my first baseball game at Turner Field to watch the Atlanta Braves play host to the Washington Nationals in front of a crowd of 16,692. The evening was very warm with a first pitch temperature of about 90 degrees. The Braves blew a 2 run lead in the top of the 9th and lost 7-3 by giving up 4 runs in the top of the 11th. I had very good seats behind home plate in the lower level. We sat in section 101, row 7 in the Henry Aaron seats. I think I was closer to home plate than anyone else on the field except for the catcher, batter and umpire.
Turner Field opened for baseball in 1997 upon completion of modifications after the 1996 Olympics. It is known as a fan friendly park with many TV monitors throughout the park as well as an old and new feel to it. I have been to 3 other “new era” ball parks that were built beginning in the early 1990’s to replace the cookie cutter, multi use design popular in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The other 3 that I have been to are PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Progressive Field in Cleveland and Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. In my opinion Turner Field ranks last of those in overall fan ambiance while watching a game. It is not bad by any means but it does not have the same dramatic sight lines the other 3 have. While doing some research on this topic, I found one surprising fact about Atlanta baseball. Prior to the Colorado Rockies joining the league in 1993, Atlanta’s altitude of 1,057 feet was the highest in the Majors.
One area that I give it the highest marks is the fan experience outside of watching the game. The area outside of the playing field or the plaza area is a unique concept that gives an amusement park feel to the outer concourse of the facility. The concession areas are well-organized and offer traditional ballpark offering and also choices with the Atlanta touch. Below is the description from the Official Braves web site:
The most unique feature of Turner Field is the Grand Entry Plaza located on the north end of the ballpark. The Plaza is a ticketed entertainment/concession area consisting of two food and game-filled pavilions, Scouts Alley and Cartoon Network’s Tooner Field. A 100-foot diameter photograph of Hank Aaron’s actual 715th home run ball dominates the Plaza-side scoreboard and provides a popular backdrop for photographs in the Plaza. Every home game features pre-game entertainment in the Fan Plaza. Meet the Tomahawk Team girls and design your own sign, get a picture taken with the Braves mascot, Homer, and get in step with the Heavy Hitters. You can also get involved in some of the pre-game and/or in-game features for your chance to win great prizes and merchandise!
I have included a picture since each one is worth a thousand words.
I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day holiday and have a great week.
Lately I have been hearing a recurring theme on radio commercials. Whether it is an investment strategy, weight loss scheme or a “work from home and make a million dollars” ploy there seems to be a new, hot phrase. That phrase is; my proven system. For some reason people want to paint by numbers or buy magic in a bottle to become successful. They are always looking for a way to get rich quick. It reminds me of the fortune teller who has a shop in a run- down part of town advising clients of their future for $10 a pop. The logical question is; if they can tell the future, why are they still working for a living – at $10 a pop no less!
The same goes for these people with the proven system – especially those who have a business idea. For a small fee they will share their method to success – just call and leave a voicemail with your email address and they will send you the all the details. My question is; why are they selling this if they already made their millions? Why are they not able to give it away? Perhaps their proven system is to take advantage of people.
I think what is going on is they are trying to “franchise” an idea or method that worked well for them to other people. In my opinion, the problem with this is there are too many intangibles when dealing with a system dependent on replicating results achieved by another person. Inevitably, the steps are followed but results not achieved. Either the steps were not followed correctly by the disciple or the author of the proven system failed to realize a certain item that was the catalyst for his original success. Sometimes what works for one person just won’t work for another because we are not robots who can be programmed to do all the subtle things in the same subtle sequence that the original person did.
My advice is not to worry about getting rich quickly. Go to work every day giving your best to your customer and being true to yourself and enjoy the ride. If you do that, I think you will find your journey to be personally and financially rewarding.
A brief reminder:
For those of you not familiar with my blog and for those of you who forgot, I post a new blog every Monday and alternate between business topics and non-business topics from Labor Day until Memorial Day. That means this will be the last regularly scheduled business topic until September 5th. I will occasionally post a business related blog throughout the summer as the mood strikes me.
Have a great week, great Memorial Day and enjoy the ride.
The weather this spring has been very wet from Chicago to the east coast. Much rain is expected in the coming week for most of that area. Despite all the gloom and doom and the flooding of the Mississippi river, the skies will eventually dry out and summer will arrive with warmer temperatures and sunny skies. For all of those affected by the flooding let’s hope the dry out happens sooner than later.
When the weather pattern does return to normal, I have a list of things I want to do. How about you? What are your to do items this summer?
My list (in no particular order):
1) Plant a garden
2) Drink sun tea with lemon (on last year’s list)
3) Go to a baseball game and root, root, root for the home team
4) Smell the roses, then water them, feed them and prune them (on last year’s list)
5) Take a walk in the woods with my wife
6) Go to dinner and sit outside to enjoy the warm evening breeze
7) Get up early and appreciate the beauty of the sunrise from my front porch before I begin to Turn Things On End To Achieve Results!
8) Take a drive in the country and eat at a local restaurant
9) Go to the beach and watch the waves …and what not
10) Listen to live music performed outside at a festival ,street fair or similar event (onlast year’s list)
To see last year’s list, click the link below.
Have a great week; summer is on its way. Really it is – no kidding.
Last week I had a small problem with an office supply order. I ordered some tinted window envelopes over the phone after reviewing an online catalog. The product was advertised as tinted but the picture on the website did not show tinting. So, I decided to call to talk to a live person before placing my order. I guided the sales rep to the item on the website and she agreed that it appeared to be without tinting but told me to place the order and if it was not to my satisfaction I could get a no questions asked return. With that knowledge I ordered the envelopes and when they arrived they were just as advertised on the website – without tint. I cringed, ready for a fight when I called to begin the return process and to my surprise the return was processed immediately and without question. They also told me they would investigate the problem. They made the refund and the next day I got a call back from a cheerful representative of the company and they told me that they called their supplier and it was the suppliers fault. The supplier made a bad batch of envelopes and she thanked me for pointing out the problem with the website before it became a bigger problem. She then ordered the envelopes and they are due to arrive tomorrow. Assuming all things work out and I get the correct number nine tinted single window envelope, I will be very impressed with the way this problem was handled. I was also told to keep the incorrect envelopes as it would not make sense for them to pay to ship them back to the warehouse. I will not reveal the name of the company until I am sure all things have ended well, but will tell you that this is not a small operation. This company has 9 warehouse locations in North America. The moral to the story is you can make a life-long customer by handling a problem the right way. You can also make an enemy for life as well. The choice is up to you.
To give you some more background to this story let me describe how I chose to write about this topic today. As I was, going through my very busy day today I had my blog in the back of my mind all day hoping to come up with an interesting business topic. Unfortunately, I came up empty at the end of the day so I decided to go to a business blog that I read which sometimes triggers my imagination. Today I went there and then stopped looking when I saw the following blog which was posted about 2 months ago. Take a moment to read it and you will see how fortunate I was to place that envelope order last week. I was lucky enough that it generated a blog post when I was in need of one. I hope you enjoy my blog and the blog that inspired me today.
Have a great week and be ready to turn a bad situation into a sales opportunity.
- Inflation – According to humorist Sam Ewing it is “When you pay 15 dollars for the 10 dollar haircut you used to get for 5 dollars when you had hair”
- Business Insurance – taking a second baggie when walking the dog – in case his “business” doubles
- The difference between depression and recession can be found with your GPS. If it is located at your address it is a depression.
- Bandwidth – this is generally thought to describe internet capacity. Another definition can be the gradual increase in the size of the band over time (waist band). Many people are affected by an increase in bandwidth which is not a good thing. Even famous people have had struggles with bandwidth. Have you seen Stevie Wonder lately? He’s not so “Little” Stevie anymore.
- Reform – taking something that is working improperly and (usually with government intervention) making it better by adding more regulation, cost, confusing double-speak terminology and announcing it has been solved and will save trillions in 10 years. See also: Boondoggle.
- Cloud computing – this is thought to be an internet based computing solution. I think of it along the same lines as creative accounting. Using it in a sentence may help my definition of Cloud Computing. Jim had a really aggressive budget for next year; I think his head was in the clouds when he did it. He must have used cloud computing.
- Large Carbon footprint – some would define this as the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by a person or organization. I would define it as a dinosaur which had very large footprints and were a carbon based life form, which is what oil comes from, which creates greenhouse gases, which can be measured in terms of a carbon footprint, which … never mind
- Radio (if you are under 20 years old) – the thing that your parents talk about when discussing a music delivery system that they utilized to hear songs over airwaves on music stored on things called LP’s. Can sometimes be found in a car near the input jack for the MP3 player. See also: Dinosaur