Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation
Years ago, I taught high school. To this day, what I miss most about it is Summer Vacation. Think about it. Summer vacation is way better than regular vacation. When you go on regular vacation, the work doesn’t stop, you just get farther and farther behind the longer you’re gone. Not so with summer vacation…with summer vacation, everything stops and you get to enjoy yourself for a few months and then start fresh in the fall. It’s the ultimate “reset button.”
Well, I didn’t exactly get a summer vacation this year, but I did the next best thing. New client projects took me all over the country from San Diego, CA, to Tampa, FL, to Providence, RI, to San Francisco, CA, and a couple of places in between. And I’m happy to report: the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and (still) living in America. I’ve visited beer pubs, pizza places, good-for-you concepts, gastro pubs…you name it. And if you haven’t gone out for a market immersion like this lately, you are really missing something.
The beauty of these “market immersions” is that, just like summer vacation, it allows you to reset how you think about what’s possible. We visited Tony’s International School of Pizza in San Francisco… home of authentic Neapolitan Style pizza.

Tony Gemignani, nine-time World Pizza Champion and the first Master Instructor in the United States, is amazing. He serves five different types of pizza each made in a different type of oven with different flour, different styles, different sauces, etc.
Honestly, it’s amazing. Who knew there were this many types of pizza? It’s like the Eskimos having 11 different names for snow…the more knowledgeable you are in a subject, the more nuance you experience and the more possibilities there are.

There are great entrepreneurs all over the country doing amazing things that will make you say, “Wow… I never thought about that.”
Many companies are completing their plans for next year right about now. Restaurant companies who took time out for a little intellectual “summer vacation” to “reset” their thinking and “jump start” their creative problem solving skills are probably fueled with the power to think about old challenges in new ways. So if you haven’t gotten out for a real market immersion lately, do it soon. I think it will energize you and your team just as it did for me.

Until next time…I’d love to hear your thoughts.