Trip to Jamaica Clears Slate; Provides Focus; Rum Soaked Wisdom Accepted

by Kent Sterling

This isn't a conference room, but I had a series of meetings in this pool that beat the hell out of anything I have had under fluorescent lights.

This isn’t a conference room, but I had a series of meetings in this pool that beat the hell out of anything I have had under fluorescent lights.

At some point, people just need to take a fire hose to the dry erase board.  It doesn’t take many lists to turn clarity into clutter, and what was once a reasonable thought process morphs into a cacophony of clutter John Nash – the Russell Crowe character from “A Beautiful Mind” – would be proud of.

My process is to pull up stakes and head out on a long weekend trip to someplace warm with people who enjoy laughing as much as I do.  The laughs bleach my mind, and then ideas come that replace the mess.  The best part is that the process is about as much fun as I can have.

The destination this time was Lucea, Jamaica – about 20 miles west of Montego Bay, but the place has nothing at all to do with the level of fun.  This was the third time in five years we have roamed south during the winter, and the only difference between Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, and Jamaica is the level of convenience in travel.

I’m not a demanding traveller, so as long as the amenities are within a reasonable range of decency, there is no reason to complain.

We always head for an all-inclusive place because vacations are supposed to be times of relaxation, and making sure I have enough cash in my pocket to enjoy the day is a worry.  Worry doesn’t work for me.

As much as I enjoy the routine of my life, it’s key to occasionally jettison it in favor of something different.  Given spouses, kids, business, and other responsibilities, it’s tough to find a few days to gather with friends, but the results are always so positive that it stuns me we don’t do it more often.

The conversations with Paulie Balst and Jim Priebe are always the same.  Lots of laughs and messages of empowerment for people who stumble into us, and they aren’t always communicated with patience.

When you are going to be somewhere for a couple of days, there is no time to consider feelings, and why the hell would you anyway?  There are thousands of people in a resort like the Grand Palladium, and if what we are going to tell people is to believe in themselves, there usually isn’t much chance of being punched.

The payoff is what we are told.  Sure, people are drunk, and they blather on a bit about the minutia of their lives, but there are nuggets of wisdom that resonate and find a place in our databanks.

What was most engaging on this trip was the number of people we met who are facing a major decision.  They can continue on a worker bees – making money for an employer while drawing a salary – or strike out on their own by making a bold decision that will test themselves.

Our message was always the same – bet on yourself.  Two things happen when you push your chips into the middle of the table.  Either you win or you learn what would have caused you to win.  That is called a no-lose scenario.  Failure only exists in our imaginations.

That’s a pretty good lesson to hear reaffirmed while relaxing on vacation – as long as you aren’t so filled with rum that you can’t remember it.

The timing of the trip couldn’t have been better for me.  Writing is a celebratory pursuit for me, but it’s also executed in isolation.  Being surrounded by friends and happy strangers for four days was re-energizing.

Four days laughing is not only good for the soul, but also good for business development.  You will see that development on this website and on all media over the coming weeks and months.  Hopefully, our conversations with others in Jamaica were just as productive.

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