This September I had the pleasure of speaking at, hanging out in the pool, and MCing the Royal LePage National Headstart conference. I didn’t have any expectations going in other than I knew Realtors liked to have fun, and well I like to have fun so I thought we may just get along!
I was blown away.
The people were incredible. I’ve only spoken at a couple of conferences, this was by far my favourite. I basically made 300 friends that week.
As I was reflecting on an amazing couple of days it was it dawned on me, these Royal LePage folks really get it, I learned a TON. And here is what I learned.
1. If it’s not fun it’s not worth doing!
Supermench, the legend of Shep Gordon. So I’m listening to the Timothy Ferriss Podcast and this guy who Tim’s about to interview has one of the coolest introductions, Shep’s done a lot. He’s cooked for His Holiness the Dali Lama, entertained who’s-who of Hollywood, and managed some of the most amazing musical acts, then the most amazing chefs in the world. He was a brilliant story teller and had accomplished so much. He seemed content, I wanted to know more. So i bought the book, They Call Me Supermench: A Backstage Pass to the Amazing Worlds of Film, Food, and Rock’n’Roll. This post is inspired by the book. I highly recommend it. Entertaining, funny, and thought-provoking, one of my favourite books this year.
This quote pretty much sums up Shep.
Shep Gordon is one of my hero’s, here are a few reasons why.
1. Create history.
Don’t wait for it to happen, you can create history. Most people believe all you have is what you’re dealt, like you can change your future if you want to. What a lie! Create history. When Shep first started managing his first artist, Alice Cooper, these were his marching orders, to create history. Quite literally working with Alice they didn’t try to “market” Alice Cooper, he didn’t “advertise” Alice Cooper. No that’s what the other managers would do, if he really wanted to stand out he needed to create history.
Whether it was wrapping an album in Panties or shooting Alice Cooper out of a cannon, Shep tried nearly everything. The first time Alice was to play in the UK they needed a really aggressive stunt as ticket sales were nonexistent. Shep got a flatbed truck with a giant billboard on the back displaying Alice wearing nothing by a large snake. Oh and he paid the driver handsomely to ensure the truck “broke down” several times in Piccadilly Square downtown London during rush hour. The driver was subsequently arrested, but they sold the show out! Create history.
Or the time that they promised to shoot Alice out of a cannon on stage in Pittsburgh. The problem was the cannon didn’t work. The night before the big show, Shep invited media to a “pre-concert party” where they were going to demo the cannon shot, how exciting! Shep was up to something, because when the cannon fired, Alice (or a dumby, who knows!) fired but only went ten feet. Panic strikes, the star is injured! Rush him to the hospital!
On the news you’d hear of the “accident” and how Alice was hurt with “non-life threatening” injuries. He played the show the next night in a wheel chair with hospital staff on stand-by if anything should go wrong. But how could it? It was all staged, Alice wasn’t hurt at all. It worked perfectly.
Create history, don’t wait for it to happen.
The video footage was shot by Brandon and Andy, then Andy edited the same day. What an amazing result. As a part of Strategy Lab it’s moments like this that really make you smile and reflect on why you do what you do. We’ve had a long relationship with Pride Week (long relationship for @StratLab, Ha!), so this ended up being the best support we could have ever offered Dan and his crew. Even with the rain Pride Week Regina pulled off an amazing day.
We couldn’t have been more proud to put the video together as well as capture some amazing stills (photos thanks to Lauren, find out more about her on our About page). You can see by her work she does some amazing work behind the camera.
He stands up for what he believes in. Love him or hate hime, Banksy makes you think different.
One of the most prolific artists of our time and the most famous street artists in the world. Banksy’s style of anti-authority and entertaining political commentary within his art, makes him loved by many and hated by some. One thing is for sure, you can’t ignore street art. It makes your city look better and it creates inspiration out of a blank space. The more artists the better.
“This was not my dream.”
“Let them eat crack” beside the infamous Banksy Rat. A spin on the ol’ “let them eat cake!”.
A caveman delivering a fast-food meal.
The crying kid might be my favourite, I think it sums up our society quite well.
Einstein with a bottle of Jameson is the funnier part of this Banksy piece. To top it off he adds “Just Google it!”, another comment on society’s addiction to simple solutions and no longer worries about the bigger problems in our world.
Many people recognize the original sayings he’s using, then he makes it “Banksy” by adding “cancelled” by the desperately looking painter.
The stop and search painted in Palestine.
Enjoy your lie.
Making sure he’s go to go for school. A constant reminder that unconditional love is unconditional love.
“No Ball Games!”
“Graffiti is a crime”
What we do in life echoes in eternity.
“If graffiti changed anything-it would be illegal.”
Pretty relevant in our world today. We’re so quick to call the boss, manager, Mom, teacher or whoever, and call in a preverbal Airstrike.
“One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings.” -Diogenes
We here on the prairies have grown quite fond of some of the pleasantries your fine cultured citizens have the pleasure of enjoying year on year. We feel it is our duty to inform you that we will be politely (and with the utmost respect) be stealing your Mural Festival as well as a few other ideas from your wildly addictive city.
Your streets are nothing short of beautiful. We intend to do the same to our fair city in due time. Not only do I want to steal the idea of the Mural Festival, I want to take back to Regina a few other parts of Montréal.
Thank you Montréal for your cooperation and willingness to share in your Mural Festival. We from the City of Regina (unofficially), thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.
A Regina citizen that appreciates your fine city.
First of all Montréal is 375 years old, yeah that’s older than our country! So you can assume Montréal is doing something right, otherwise it wouldn’t be around. There’s a lot of history there, a lot of history this author had no idea about. The people are proud of their rich cultural heritage, far more than I witness on the prairies. It’s about time to start that rich, cultural, artistic, prairie heritage.
If we want to become a major destination in Canada we need to believe we can be a major destination in Canada.
What you want? CHEESEBURGER!! CHEESEBURGER!!
They Get Hospitality and Customer Service – fast service is a win-win
You don’t wait for meals very long at all. Be it crêpes, burgers, or a famous smoked meat sandwich, the service in most places in Montréal was remarkable. They are FAST! Sometimes you are served literally in minutes after ordering. This is a huge win-win! The restaurants like to have more people through their doors and customers don’t want to stay in one place too long. Serving meals fast is a way to impress customers and help your bottom line!
The “cooler” the dining experience the better your odds of success
Montréal really gets outdoor dining. Patios, terraces, tables in the middle of nowhere, some of the most romantic places to share a meal with someone are in the most unique places. We can easily steal this idea. We just need to talk to the City of Regina about allowing dining establishments more leniency on “where” they can setup tables to serve you. “Creating Instagramable Moments”.
Does It Cost To Get In? Nope.
Never short on fun (free) things to do
We went on a Tuesday till a Saturday and there was the Mural Festival, The Francofolies Festival, as well as a beer fest going on near by. They were all free to attend. That means the organizers must have some great funding to be able to put on acts like that throughout the week. The Mural Festival was an entire street blocked off and shops, restaurants, and artistic acts lining the way. Amazing art pieces now cover the not so boring concrete jungle most cities become.
There’s a free app called Cite Memoire that tells the history of old Montréal in 22 different projections telling the history of Montréal. Some of these projections were literally hundreds of feet in the air and you could only see them after a certain at night (had to check the app). They were breathtaking. Talk about “creating Instagramable moments” what a smart idea!
Got street art?
It’s beautiful just to walk around, the Street Art is amazing
Many of the most spectacular ones were from last year and 2015, Mural Festival is a way to keep making your city more artistically beautiful. The amount of tourists walking around snapping pictures of the Murals was also amazing (guilty!). What a brilliant way to make your city more beautiful, once a year hold a “mural fest” invite famous artists from around the world, and BOOM, every year there are more places with stunning art for everyone to enjoy.
One day in the StratLab office Eddy says,
“eh, chew guys ever see Aaron Draplin’s Ted talk?!”
Me: “What did you just say?!?”
Eddy: “Just watch this….”
Meet Aaron Draplin. A crazy hat wearing, beard grooming, design denim god. He’s what we strive to be one day. Just happy to be able to wake up and create art every day. That’s something to get excited about.
He’s genuine (I mean he wore a hat and swore in a Ted talk, haha!).
He does not care about awards (they just inflate ego).
He’s incredibly excited to be able to do his art every day.
1. He’s genuine
He cares. He cares so much about his audience he wants to show them how to be original. When someone swears in front of your it’s a sign of respect, they’re comfortable enough to be themselves. When Aaron takes to the stage you instantly realize this isn’t going to be your regular speech. His outfit makes him look comfortable as well, jean jacket, trucker hat? He’s making it okay to be yourself.
2. He does not care about awards
In the marketing/advertising world it’s hard to get very far without finding out about “an award you could win!” or better yet “you should apply for this award!”. Apply for an award?!? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?!? Yet it happens all the time. Agencies attach “awards” they’ve won to proposals not knowing that clients want to hire them to create value for their organization, not simply win awards.
Winning awards can send you down a dangerous path. Always striving for the next award. What there is no more? You can’t control that outcome hence why this author thinks it’s very silly to focus on winning awards.
Finally Aaron doesn’t need an award to make him feel good, he just needs to look at the team he works with and the amazing volume of work they’ve created, and smile.
Awards are a false idol you’re seeking. Their poisonous, they change people, once you are an “award winner” you’re never the same. Stay hungry, stay thirsty.
3. He’s incredibly excited to able to do his Art every day
When I met Hugh MacLeod for the first time I asked which of his cards he created was his favourite. He said he had a lot he really liked but one always came to mind.
“If you have your health and you can make a decent living doing what you love, then you have little reason to envy other people.” -Hugh MacLeod
The way Aaron looks when he talks about being “able” to do his art every day. That’s incredible. That’s what I want to become.
The World’s biggest lie according to Tony Robbins, “achievement is greater than fulfilment.”
On the Tim Ferriss Podcast with Tony Robbins, Tony goes off on an amazing but very thought provoking tangent.
Fulfillment is greater than achievement.
His theory of what’s wrong with society is that we continuously put achievement before fulfillment. We’re always looking for the next big thing, the next toy, house, car, or vacation. Nothing is ever good enough and you’re destined to die a lonely death.
Tony talks about Robin Williams and how he asks about Robin to crowds all over the world. Everywhere Tony goes he says 98% of the crowd LOVES Robin Williams, the other 2%? He makes fun of them too.
He asks crowds about Williams because he trying to make a point. Robin Williams of all people had it all, he’d won every award in his field, he was widely regarded as one of the best comedians and actors of his generation. Then Tony get’s mad. “And what did Robin after all of those achievements? He hung himself. He still wasn’t good enough in his mind.”
We have a duty in the life to help others. One major way is to focus on fulfillment and forget achievement. How can you do this? It’s hard to forget about achievement, we’re built to want ti achieve. It makes us feel good, it’s an ego boost. But the problem with achievement is that it can get addicting, you can want it at all costs, sacrificing things you never would have. Eventually simply focusing on achievement will lead you to disappointment.
The wise owls always worry about fulfillment before achievement, for achievement is but a fleeting emotion, fulfillment feeds the soul.
Fulfillment is sustainable. Fulfillment is that feeling that makes you smile when you wake up in the morning and the reason you’re happy falling asleep. It’s challenging, it’s spiritual, it’s something personal, it’s your journey. It has nothing to do with anyone else, it’s your art and only you know if you’re putting in 110% all the time. When you do, you’ll get a weird feeling of contentment.
Marc’s first day
Kind of a motto around here. “If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far join us.” Stop trying to do things on your own and find an all-star team to help you.
We have a lot of “Super Hero” symbolism around the office. Jordan Mcfarlen told me a story about a time he visited Silicon Valley. He went to a place called “Draper University” and in the incubator part of Draper they had a “Hero Alley”. A place where the walls inspired you to be a hero. To be selfless, humble, hard working and to be a great teammate. We love it and our office will always have Superhero’s in it! Read more
“You can either fit in or stand out but you can’t do both.” -Seth Godin
Ladies and gentlemen I introduce to you Alex Painter. I met Alex years ago on a Realtor competition. He wore a bowtie then and he still wears a bowtie.
Yes he IS Gumin’ At You!
Alex is a different character, he’s creative, well spoken and generally the type of guy you want to be around. Alex was moving to Banff and wanted a job in the hospitality industry, but not just any job, an awesome job. Thinking there would be a lot of competition for jobs in Banff, Alex wasn’t going to make a resume like a shmuck, Alex needed to show potential employers who he really was. He needed to show them he was “Gumin’ at them!”.
He’ll tell you the idea came from a friends Dad who was trying to help him standout amongst all the other boring job applications.
“Chews Me!” it reads along with Alex’s contact information and a picture of himself. If you cut open the pack, his references are on the inside. To cap it all off included is actual spearmint gum*(see the comment section for the type of gum).
Off to Banff he went with several packs of “Chews Me” gum in tow.
So the real question is did it work?
You better believe it. Of the first three places he dropped off “gum” at, two places offered him a job on the spot. Wow.
The next time you want a “cool” job, remember how many people are handing out resumes. If you want to standout to a potential employers don’t be afraid to do something that shows who you really are. Alex is a one-of-kind gentlemen who isn’t afraid to push the status quo of resumes and job applications.
In a world where we’re dying for creativity, it’s ideas like this that get talked about and shared. When you risk doing something different, usually you get the reward you were never expecting.
You want to keep people around you who aren’t afraid to push the boundaries on what is possible. You never know what the real benefit is until you try.
* – I actually have no idea what kind of gum he used, I assumed it was spearmint but who knows! See the comment below…
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