Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Whale of a Tail

Whale TailMy buddy, Dave Bodner, asked me to talk a bit more about our experiences with the whales on Hawaii. How could I disappoint a friend?

Lisa and I arranged a sunset cruise with Blue Dolphin Tours for Sunday evening. Not surprisingly, given it was Superbowl Sunday, the crowd was fairly sparse. There were probably about 30 of us on the boat with three crew members, including the captain. We had pretty much perfect weather -- warm, with a slight breeze and no significant waves. A gorgeous evening.

We departed the dock around 4:15 and within a few minutes of clearing the harbor we spotted our first whale. To be completely objective, they really aren't much to see. We didn't see any do a full breach, leaping out of the water to come down with a huge splash. Mostly we would see the plume from them surfacing with a brief glimpse of their back and occasionally a tail flip as they dove back underwater.

Subjectively, it was probably one of the most exciting moments of my life.

Seeing a spout and knowing the tremendous size of the creature below is more than enough to send shivers down your spine. They have an aura of playful serenity and peace about them, almost magical at times. Pictures can't do it justice. I tried to snap as many shots as I could, but even the best photo pales in comparison to being near the real thing.

Can we learn some sort of life or business lesson from the whales? Maybe. One thought came to mind as I was writing this. While the passengers on the boat were rushing from side to side to catch any minor glimpse of cetacean presence, the crew just went about their duties. They had seen everything so much that it wasn't particularly magical for them.

I think the same can be said for almost any business. Whatever we do, whether we do someones taxes, design their new home, or set up a website for their business, to them, whatever we do is almost incomprehensible, magical. That may be one of the secrets of success in business: Amaze your customers with (what for you is) the everyday.

So, what businesses can you think of which are almost "magical" in what they do?


Debby said...

Specifically, I felt the magic, when Terri Maxx of Maxx Grafx, Toledo, OH, designed my new business card. I am so extremely visually uncreative, that when I first saw the design, I had an immediate, "Yes!" While I could not even begin to tell him (and his wife Leasa) what I wanted, Terri seemed to be able to read my mind. Now that's magic.

David Bodner said...

Wonderful story on the whales. You have inspired me to go whale watching. Although I probably will not see one on the muddy Maumee!
You also taught me a new word...cetacean.

The guys at Toledo Auto Care (Gary Pontious and son Gary)really exceed your expectations. First of all, its a very clean place. Contrast that thought with all the filthly auto repair shops you have been in. They are honest and straightforward every time I have been there. What are shift of expectations!

Anonymous said...

Well....isn't your little story about seeing the whales just magical.....I am not bitter, nooo I am not bitter that I have yet to see a whale. ohhh I have been to Hawaii and to Alaska,and to parts of the north and south Atlantic. I've even lived on a boat in the Pacific for 10 days and NOTHING. I think the whole "whale" thing is just a myth. :)

Unknown said...

You're right, JoAnn, it's just one big government conspiracy. The department of tourism is just using it to ensure that people go to places like Hawaii which they would otherwise avoid. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I think stripping is a pretty magical way to make a living.

Not that i could make a living that way.