Do you have incentives?
Following a thread on the nano board led me to stock up on treats for Nano to bribe myself to complete my daily and weekly word counts. I have chocolate covered espresso beans. I have promises of a massage. I have spiced apple cider.
Seriously, all I want to do on this crisp fall afternoon is crack open the cider and sit under my sugar maple tree and write! But alas, I need to rest my fingers before Monday night.
How do you get ready for a big challenge?
Check out my full incentive list here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/kellyinca
In terms of my writing (you know, the actual challenge part) I have a really good grasp on my characters and I’m working on my outline. I like to outline by hand and color coordinate it (yes I’m a nerd).
This novel will have 3 primary acts and each act is going to span a dozen or more scenes, each one set in a new location.
Here’s my “start of the month” synopsis:
Agent Abigail Mackey of the FBI would never admit that she enjoyed studying the behavioral sciences, interviewing cult leaders, tracking psychotic killers and profiling criminals and she would certainly never admit any of this to her family.
As far as they know she’s running campaigns for a little known lobbyist on the Hill and never makes it home for the holidays. They pretend not to notice her sidearm.
This year everything changes with a narcissistic, sadist stalker after her boyfriend, re-certifying weapons training for the Bureau and baking the perfect apple pie for the holidays.
Holidays at home will never be the same.
“Givers motivate themselves to avoid complacency by focusing on the benefits to others if they succeed and worrying about disappointing them if they fail.”—Adam Grant, professor, Wharton School — Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead? - NYTimes.com
“Decent people, virtually by definition, do not seek to exercise political power over their fellows. The enigma is that so many citizens continue to admire and defer to the reptilian wretches who rule them. … People who lack pugnacity do not succeed as prize fighters; people who lack a talent for lying, stealing, and if need be, abetting homicide do not succeed in modern politics. ”—Robert Higgs, “Public Choice and Political Leadership,” mises.org // Independent Review, 1997
Texas schools have had their budgets dramatically cut in the last couple years. They lost $5.4 billion in the last legislative cycle. By the time they lost that money, Texas was already spending the 11th least amount per student in the country. So, they’re already at the bottom of the heap on what they spend per student and they cut it further. ….
It’s a little difficult to talk about exact causality, because … the general fund of a state is like a big bowl of the water … [Y]ou pour a little out on one side, well, which part of the glass, or which part of the bowl, did it come from? It’s a little hard to say, but certainly this amount of cash out the door in Texas, and foregone tax revenues but through different incentives they have and tax breaks, is money they don’t have at a time they have been cutting the school budgets.
Jamaica, Jerk Chicken and Shrimp Eaters
This blog actually has very little to do with Jerk Chicken but I wanted everyone to know how much I really love jerk chicken.
This trip to the island wasn’t pleasure or with a group. I was for CMITE a Caribbean meeting of venues, DMC’s and of course buyers like me.
I don’t think you can put a price on spending 4 days with your competitors. Once everyone puts their guard down and their swimming suits on it actually becomes productive.
What I learned
The average company has many options in regards to events and incentives. There is the Hotel Acquisition company who hands you a block of rooms and wishes you good luck. This one really scares me.
There is the freelance TD that will work any program anywhere with a smile. I have to question how much commitment these people have to a client’s success. After all there’s a very good chance that this is a one night stand kind of relationship. I mean they were fun when we were younger but I’m not betting the farm on this type of relationship.
There are of course the veterans of the industry. That guy who knows everyone that walks through the door. He knows everyone because he’s worked with them at one of his many agencies. So much for consistency and commitment.
Then there’s “us”. A small group of (as the big boys call us) “boutique” agencies. We are the group huddled on the shady side of the pool watching the “shrimp eaters” talk about their next big deal. There is certainly a place for those other guys. No one can deny that. Someone has to service the Microsoft’s and Ford’s of the world. We like our clients. We like our relationships. We like that we grow as our clients grow and hope that our clients remember that.
We need to be on the ground when our clients take their best people on an incentive. Who prescreens rooms if you bought them from a mammoth company who isn’t even on site? We do that. We check mini bars, hair dryers, lights and even flush the toilet before our clients hit the ground. We’ve checked the menu at every restaurant on property to make sure it’s up to par. It’s the little things.
Keep in mind that when I say “we” I mean the “boutique” agency. We still care. We care about your success and ability to not worry about a thing. It’s what we do.
So, here’s hoping that there are still some clients out there with their eye on successful programs as well as their budget.
I raise a glass to long term relationships, quality of service, personal touch and successful programs.