Before you start reading, I want you to find a place of solitude, plug in your best headphones to the largest screen you can muster, turn up the volume and watch this:
Now, watch it again.
Excited? I don’t think I have the literary ability to elicit the same feelings in you as this piece does. But there is a story behind it I would like to share with you, and this backstory is at the core of what our 2018 conference is all about.
Have you ever noticed in life that you are at your best when you face your biggest challenges? Isn’t it amazing how adrenaline can keep you working at a frenetic pace when you should be passed out off your feet? Or how the most dangerous version of yourself comes out when you are backed into a corner? Why do we only see the best in people when tragedy strikes? How come it takes an illness to motivate me to get into better shape? How come it only makes sense to plan for a rainy day on the day you lose your job?
Unfortunately, it’s too easy to be comfortable. Why rock the boat when you are sailing through life? If your job is good, why look for a better one? If your small business is making a profit, why risk with foolish international expansion? If your team always makes the playoffs, what’s the point of dismantling it to try to win a championship?
Successful complacency is not a bad place to be. It’s safe. It’s reliable. It’s comforting. It’ll be there in the morning.
I don’t mean to project but I feel like my life goes through ebbs and flows. I’ve faced countless business, fitness or personal motivational challenges. But just when these problems become big enough to get dangerous – like the time I ballooned to 240 pounds for example – do my strongest instincts kick-in. My brain, my heart, and my parent-instilled tenacity kick in, and I end up kicking butt. So when I am gliding along, enjoying life, feeling healthy, happy, and humming through my day – I realize that those are the worst feelings in the world. Complacency is contagious. As one of my friends likes to say: “Good is the enemy of Great.”
The other day I was moaning about my complacency to a friend who sent me an awesome video. It’s a 2015 commencement speech by former NCAA football coach Lou Holtz. In this video, Holtz talks about how maintaining success was his greatest regret while coaching at Notre Dame. His message: If you aren’t growing, you’re dying. This message resonated with me and stuck with me when I was thinking about the evolution of CSFX to sponsorshipX for 2018. And this inspiration is what gave life to this video. It’s the mountain. The mountain that represents the everlasting climb to become your better self. And now the mountain that will host you and your colleagues at sponsorshipX.
As you think about your career, your role, your future, I want you to think about what you can do in 2018 to make this year different – how can you escape the clutches of complacency and become the best you, ever? Should you run a marathon? Switch jobs? Travel? Lose 10 pounds? Lose 20? Learn how to play the guitar? Ask for a promotion? Fight for a promotion? Build your network? Reconnect with old friends? Tell your family you love them? Climb an actual mountain?
This is not a list that I loftily suggest I have or will accomplish. But I can say that as I think about shaking the rust off my personal flywheel, one of my commitments is to help you do the same. In 2018, sponsorshipX will carry on some of our great traditions we have been known for with CSFX: we’ve again partnered with a unique event, we’re going to go behind the scenes, and offer our participants great networking. But 2018 is going to be different – we’re scaling the conference to a whole new level.
There are few places in the world more grand than Whistler, our host community. There are few events more electrifying than Crankworx, our host event. There are few business communities more dynamic than sponsorship marketers, our participants. And when you combine all three of these elements – Mighty Mountains, Amazing Athletes & Sponsorship Soulmates – you get sponsorshipX.
I invite you to join me on the mountain. To find new ways to tackle your business problems. To find new tools to reach the summit. To meet new people to help guide you to a place higher than you could ever imagine. A conference isn’t about the speakers, it’s about the truth they speak. A conference isn’t about how many leads you make, it’s about the leadership lessons. A conference isn’t about the slides you steal, it’s about the slides you share.
There is no doubt that a long road exists between the you sitting at your desk right now, and the you you see yourself becoming. So why not start that journey today?
Chairperson, sponsorshipX – The Sponsorship Experience Forum
A Live Action Marketing Conference
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This post was written by Mark Harrison