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The time I watched the bats in Austin with the co-creator of Lollapalooza

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

South by Southwest. The international music festival and conference that has become a global phenomenon, which now includes Interactive, Gaming, Film and more in its programming.

1991. My first trek to SXSW. I was 18. It was held in only one hotel in Austin, Texas. The Hyatt. All the panels, speakers and exhibitors were housed in this one spot. The music showcases did take place in clubs, mainly on or right off 6th Street, but, for the most part, it was a small affair.

And it changed my life. I met Marc Geiger, co-founder of Lollapalooza, which, that very summer, started its own phenomenon. I had just heard him on the A&R panel, and he had that spark in his eyes, and that edge in his voice. The one I recognized in myself and the one I soooo admired in others. He spoke of passion, and he spoke of vision and innovation. I wanted to know what he knew. I wanted to learn from him.

So…. I called his room up and told him I wanted to hear about his work and his journey. Yeah, I was a ballsy (or perhaps naive) young kid with big dreams of being in the music biz. I just asked the front desk to connect me to his room, and bam, I was able to leave a message on his room phone.

I got a surprise knock on my door an hour later. It was Marc. He invited me and my buddy Paula to go watch the bats. Now, if you have yet to visit Austin and haven’t gone to see the largest urban colony of bats in the world come streaming out from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge, it’s a MUST SEE experience. At sunset, the bats take flight in search of food. It is a gorgeous sight. You can stand or sit on the banks of the Colorado River, or stand on the bridge itself, and watch.

Congress-Avenue-Bridge-and-the-bats-Austin

For the next hour, Marc talked with me about how he and Perry Farrell created Lollapalooza, what their vision was, how they brought it to fruition, what was next for him, and so much more.

From then on, I always, no matter how scared I was, made that call, sent that email or found a way to meet, interview or incite storytelling out of my idols.

I am heading back to Austin in March. This time I will be meeting with friend and mentor Hugh Forest, the executive director of SXSW Interactive, which welcomed 40,000 attendees last year.

For a woman who is about to host the five-year anniversary of her lil book and writers convention that will bring in over 1,000 attendees, and which continues to grow, you can see why reaching out to Hugh a few short years ago when UTOPiAcon was still in its infancy was such a big and important step for me.

I wrote that email. He answered. We have since spoken on the phone, and exchanged book recommendations, advice (mostly from him to me), and laughs over the “be careful what you wish for” variety. I value his experience more than I can say. I value his vision, his approach to his team (they go out for beers and share in the successes and failures together). But mostly, I am so very grateful that he is the type of leader who found the time to answer an email, and who generously gave of his time and his expertise to a stranger with a dream.

What I’m trying to say to you is this —

If there is someone out there you think is out of reach, but they seem like a kindred spirit, take a chance, make the ask. It has worked for me more than twice. My life, my business, and my vision have grown and been dramatically, positively impacted by taking the chance.

But, please, remember there is a difference in reaching out and badgering to death. There is an etiquette to follow. It’s mainly called common sense and common courtesy. Treat someone as you would like to be treated. Do not always be the taker in the equation. You have gifts, as well. Be mindful of time, of how often you “impose,” and of how you speak to these people, who are busy and also have lives and families and demands on them that have nothing to do with you. They don’t owe you anything, so when they do give of themselves to you, be thankful. And don’t get so used to it that you start to feel entitled to their time or energy. Do the work. Only reach out when you are truly stuck or want to share a success.

I will be in Austin the first week in March of 2016. If you want to meet with me, email me at TuneIn@theSocialDeviants.com.

 

*****

Post Script: Marc Geiger got his start back in the 80s booking bands in college. He loved the Australian band The Church. He called information in Australia and got their manager’s number. He called and said he wanted to get the band a deal in the U.S. The rest is history. MAKE. THE. CALL.

Posted in Advice, entrepreneur, SXSW | No Comments »

SD Expert Interview: Personal Branding Expert, Christina Morassi

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Mad Scientist or Synergistic Career Alchemist? You decide in this fun and extremely informative interview with the vibrant Christina Morassi.

Christina has risen from being the unique “heartshot photographer” to a leader of women seeking to put all of their gifts together into their own unique Ecstatic Brand in record time. She has created a multi-six figure business in just a couple of years, and has had a blast doing it.

Watch the video to learn:

* how body and movement play a role in your business

* how to put an end to struggling to find your niche

* how to easily make money with a small list

* how social media played a role in Christina’s multi-six figure success

* how to live on brand with Transmission Marketing

* how Christina created her own Ecstatic Brand and how you can too!

[while my audio is on the loud side, Christina’s is a bit more subdued. Please adjust your audio accordingly]

Visit http://YourEcstaticBrand.com/janet to find out about Christina’s free call series on how to create your own ecstatic brand.

 

Tags: business niche, list building, online marketing, personal branding
Posted in brand, entrepreneur, marketing | No Comments »

How You Do One Thing Is NOT How You Do Everything

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

sk8er girl by Roberta Tocco

You see it everywhere. You know the quote: “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” I call bullshit. I don’t write books the way I read them. You probably don’t cook or garden the way you clean house or nurture your spirituality or follow football.

Here’s a case in point. I am crap at an exercise routine. I’m crap at a blog writing routine. Does that mean that because I am not disciplining myself enough in those areas that I lack discipline in all areas — like say, parenting my child?

When I set my mind to something, I am full-f**king-throttle. Nothing can stop me. Nothing can distract me. I am so in the zone. My ideas are flowing like water off a duck’s ass. It’s ridiculous how blinders on, laser-focused, adrenaline-laced I can be.

I’m crap at those other things because I haven’t made them a priority…clearly. You can say that something is important, but you can truly tell when something is or isn’t. It falls through the cracks, down the list, shoved to the backburner. That doesn’t mean squat to how you treat everything.

Enough with the blanket statements. Enough with the excuses. If you want something bad enough, you make time for it. You do it. You do it so easily, blindly, passionately that it isn’t even a thing. It just is. It takes on a life of its own. So let it breathe.

So what one thing is pushing all that other stuff out of your vision? It’s probably that thing that consumes your desires, thoughts, actions. If it isn’t, then it probably should be.

Share in the comments.

 

Tags: business building, desire, discipline, life coaching
Posted in Advice, Coaching, entrepreneur, Start-up/Entrepreneur | No Comments »