At any given moment, my brain is typically tying everything it is experiencing to either Hamilton lyrics or quotes from comedian John Mulaney. On the plane ride back from CEDIA Expo, it was a bit from Mulaney’s New in Town comedy special (available on Netflix and highly recommended) that was winning: “It is really easy not to go to things. It is so much easier not to do things than to do them, that you would do anything is totally remarkable. It is 100 percent easier not to do things, than to do them.”
I have had a busy year as far as travel goes, and the weeks leading into CEDIA Expo were no different, with a number of off-site visits taking place as I was prepping for my trip to Denver. Residential Systems is not deeply staffed, and when I’m away from my desk, it is a challenge to get the day-the-day work done.
I am sure you feel the same when you have to leave your business for…other kinds of business, whether it be education, networking, manufacturer demos, or anything else. And, if you are like me, right as the event approaches you start regretting ever agreeing to do it. To paraphrase Mulaney, it would be 100 percent easier for you not to do it and continue getting work done in your own shop.
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However, after each and every event I went to, I was happy I had gone and definitely left with more insights, knowledge, and ideas. And somehow the work back at office got done, too. Maybe with a bit more stress, but that passed just like the pre-meeting pangs of regret.
Looking back at the times you took business trips through the past year, can you honestly say that there were ones that you learned nothing from? Even if the event was not directly a class or training program, just seeing the industry from someone else’s perspective can give valuable insight — sometimes that insight is simply confirming that you are already using the right techniques for your business.
We are fortunate enough to work in a very generous industry. Manufacturers open their doors for tours, demos, and training; CEDIA and our buying groups all offer ample education and networking opportunities; and integrators are always ready to share ideas, solutions, and techniques. They just can’t all get to your office to give it.
I know that I will not be able to magically remove the anxieties and stresses I feel leading up to an event — that pull to drop everything and stay in the office and get things done. But I will try to remember that feeling I get leaving the event, and the excitement of getting to apply what I learned.
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So yes, I am going to try and fit more out-of-office experiences into my year — at least as much as my schedule and travel budget will allow.
After all, you’ve got to be in the room where it happens (and Hamilton takes back over…for now).