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Boat Club Memberships & Missing Moments
Boat Club Memberships & Missing Moments

The Cost of Missing Moments

As a business owner and entrepreneur, I am often asked to speak and write about opportunity cost and how businesses can minimize missed revenue opportunities. While I find great value in helping businesses to maximize marketing budgets and operational systems, I also have had a variety of recent wake-up calls. These wake-up calls have taught me to look at time with family and friends as something to be maximized with just as much intensity or more than the intensity I put into refining business operations.

Just after starting a marketing firm at the age of 29, it became obvious to me that one of the areas that most marketing firms fail at is capturing images that evoke emotion. This lead to mediocre brochures, websites, billboards, etc. Most of them relied on stock imagery that simply did not tell an authentic story. I knew that we had to start a photography division and after procrastinating for far too long I finally decided to purchase the costly equipment even though we had nobody on staff qualified to use it. What this did was remove the financial hurdle of starting the photography division, it also pushed the team and I to take classes, hone our skills, and set up test shoots to become the best we could be. Within three months, we had all found a passion for photography and our work became better than it had ever been before thanks to the authentic images we now had to use in our client’s marketing materials.

The way our firm ended up with a rewarding photography division is very similar to the way a group of business owners I was recently speaking with approached maximizing rewarding time with friends and family. Upon mentioning that I need to make family time a priority one of the business owners I was speaking with challenged me. He said I should remove hurdles to rewarding family time the same way I would remove hurdles to missed income opportunities in business. He went on to explain that when it comes to spending quality time with family there are issues that can be eliminated. For example always finances are an issue, scheduling is always an issue, and coming up with a specific activity is a hurdle that many never get past.

In order to get past these hurdles this business owner shared how he took the same approach to family time that he would in creating a successful new division of his business. After seeing how fast his children were growing up and how many moments were there for him to savor or miss, he decided to remove the hurdles that stand in the way of us and great moments with our family and friends. He made the decision to purchase an RV and a lifetime membership with a network of campgrounds. He explained that since doing less than eighteen months prior to our conversation his family had gone on more than twenty camping trips of varying lengths. He then admitted that prior to this he was lucky to take 1-2 small vacations per year. He went on to explain that an RV is a great start but without the campsite membership the financial hurdle would still be there as a nagging reason not to take a weekend trip. The campsite membership also allowed the family to decide that they were camping this weekend. All they had to do from there is select a campsite that they wanted to visit, and the entire trip was planned by simply pointing to a campsite on the membership map.

After hearing how an RV and campsite membership transformed one of the business owner’s family life entirely, he shared something similar he had done. He told us about a company in Minnesota that has created a boat club. Being a member allowed him to pay a flat fee, and boat on eight different lakes without having to worry about slip fees, fuel costs, maintenance fees, cleanup, etc. He went on to explain that due to the nature of his business he never could be sure if a weekend would be free or not until the weekend arrived. If a client called on Friday with an opportunity he would end up working the weekend to provide for his family. This scenario should sound familiar to most CEO’s and business owners. He then explained that he would almost never plan things ahead of time as he was always afraid of having to disappoint his family. He had to cancel on them so many times in the past, the fear of breaking a promise stopped him from enjoying family time almost entirely. He shared with us that after joining the boat club near his home in Minnesota that he can wake up on a Saturday and over breakfast loudly proclaim “who wants to go boating” and have the kids jumping out of their seats to get ready. The funny thing about his story is he had owned a boat for years. But because he was not able to spontaneously use it like he can with a membership he rarely used the asset. For him, the key was being able to surprise the family with an outing without having to commit to prepping days in advance.

What amazes me is that when I speak to CEO’s about not missing revenue opportunities they get it. Not only do they get it but they aren’t surprised by the concept of committing funds, buying equipment, removing hurdles, and building what it is you need to build. But in a group full of intelligent CEO’s and entrepreneurs we all seemed surprised by how well the same concept worked for the two CEOs that spoke up and discussed doing the same thing when it comes to something so much more important, like spending quality time with our families. So I would like to challenge everybody who is reading this to think about what your family loves and remove the hurdles to doing more of it. If it is an RV and campsite membership, go for it. If boating at a moments notice without the cost or time commitment of ownership is for you, don’t wait.

We all understand not missing opportunities in business, but our families are why we started the businesses in the first place. Whatever you do don’t wait to remove the hurdles that are causing you to miss time with your family. Business opportunities can come around again, a missed moment with your family cannot.

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