Hard work is a timeless attribute. But if you are working with antiquated information and tools, how far can you really get? In business, it's not enough to rely on past successes. As you read in my last blog, I took my family to Disney World last month. We rode "It's a Small World" at least three times. I don't think the ride has changed since I was a kid. It's timeless.
Yet Disney World doesn't rely on the nostalgia of its oldest rides to attract new customers or encourage repeat customers. Disney continues to reinvent itself with new attractions, new technology, and new experiences. It's the combination of timeless and fresh experiences that bring people back over and over again.
I am trying to enjoy the last season of Mariano Rivera's amazing career as much as possible. His performance this year, at the age of 43, is simply spectacular. It sometimes seems as if his cut fastball, the key to his long success is timeless.
However, as with every athlete, time will run out on his career. After 17 years and over 600 saves, the Yankees will be forced to find a new closer, reinvent the bullpen, ever evolving as no player can stay forever.
No one ignores his success more than Bruce Springsteen. Just last month, Bruce Springsteen was #1 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now." Having attended the last two shows of the European Tour in Ireland, and countless more in my life, I share that opinion. During one of the shows in Ireland, he played the entire Born To Run album, giving me goose bumps several times. Yes, the music is timeless.
He has an arsenal of classic hits, but his shows aren't about the hits. What makes him #1 is that none of his three-plus hour shows are ever the same. This tour alone, he has played over 200 songs and he continues to reinvent himself, putting out new music, developing new messages, and he has an audience that embraces that new material.
Driving my kids to school earlier this week, I played Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by The Beatles and my 2-year old daughter insisted I replay it five times. When I saw Paul McCartney over the summer, no song garnered a more enthusiastic response. It's a timeless song.
While McCartney has one of the most timeless catalogs of music, there's nothing new about his live shows. While he may sprinkle in a new song here and there, there are fans that frown when he plays a song from his days with Wings. Perhaps that's why he's #15 on Rolling Stone's list and not higher.
It's obvious to me that those who truly excel continue to evolve, continue to learn, and continue to add new skills. Those are the people that I emulate.
It wasn't enough for my friend Michael Beckerman to have the leading PR firm in our industry. First, he acquired another firm, expanding from real estate in to other business areas including clean energy and technology. Then, once this expanded firm was established, he started The News Funnel, a web site that gathers news and delivers a customized feed to its users. The News Funnel is getting rave reviews within the industry and has taken off nationally.
My aspirations are to emulate Springsteen, Disney, and Beckerman.
I've been very fortunate in my career to have represented some amazing clients and have completed some great deals which I am extremely proud of. Relying on the past isn't something I am interested in. I truly believe that if you aren't moving forward, you are moving backwards.
Focusing on what's next, how to stay relevant and how to improve is my focus, both professionally and personally. Timeless is great, but I certainly don't want to be sitting around talking about my Glory Days before I am ready call it quits.