Vail Valley: It’s no fun to watch from the sidelines
As I write this column about a dozen of our more active members are in our conference room attending our monthly Leads Group, a session where individual companies supply other members with sales leads they can act on.Last night 100 or so folks attended our Business After Hours mixer in Eagle. About the same number will attend another mixer in Vail in a couple of weeks. Two dozen or so will gather at Manor Vail in June at the Vail Valley Partnerships Success in :60 Seconds speed networking event. You know, its great to see our members take advantage of the chambers valley-wide efforts to help develop business, make contacts and have some fun. But I cant help but think: Where are the rest of you? You know this stuff is going on. Those who attend these events know they help build their businesses and personal networks. You know were not the only ones doing this. Local merchants associations and other chambers are all over this stuff. So why arent all these events overflowing with hungry, enthusiastic enterprise warriors in these tough times? Ah yes, now I remember the Pareto Principle, also known as the 20-80 rule or the law of the vital few. In short, 80 percent of the results of any event (using the term event statistically here) come from 20 percent of the causes. I get it.I guess if I extrapolate that rule into my observations, Im probably shouting into the wind here. I can expect no more engagement than we already have from our partners (which, by the way probably represent about 25 percent of all business in the valley hmmm). The way I see it, though, the 80 percent are missing out. Maybe theyre doing so well they dont need to bother with extracurricular activities. Maybe theyre not envious of how well informed, street savvy and successful our engaged partners are. Or, maybe, the growth of their businesses and community connections are just not relevant. Frightening thought. Hey, I remember last fall when the town of Vail, Vail Resorts and a bunch of other committed groups hosted a launch event for the Vail all the Love promotion. (Which is happening again for the summer program at 8 a.m., on Wednesday, May 13, at the Cascade Resort & Spa). Out of the hundreds of businesses for whom this promotion was designed, funded and planned there were a handful of lodges and a few retailers present. Makes one think.What Im thinking is that the one result not addressed in Vilfredo Paretos principle is the no result that comes when youre not in the game. Golfers have an expression they use when theyre putting: Never up, never in. It means that you cant expect the ball to go in the hole, if it never reaches the hole. Maybe some businesses are having a hard time scoring, because their putts are falling short.My point is that there are plenty of people and organizations with a cadre of inspired, smart, hard-working professionals doing everything they can to help you succeed. However, if youre not on the field, the best coaches in the world cant do a thing for you. So show up. If you dont need help, come anyway and give it to someone who does.Hard work spotlights the character of people: Some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some dont turn up at all. Sam Ewing, HumoristMichael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.