Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Catching Up With Koios

While I am woefully behind on my blogging (as with many other areas of my life, it seems), I thought I would at least try to catch up on reporting about the new members of the Chamber whom I've been welcoming.

Back in April (April??? Was it that long ago?), I met with Mark Robinson of Koios Consulting Group, LLC. Mark has an office in downtown Ann Arbor. It's a neat old building on Washington Street and he's up on the fifth floor with a window looking out on the city.

Mark doesn't get a chance to look out that window very much because Mark is busy. He works developing economic evaluations of a company's intellectual property. Sometimes this is for lawsuits (perhaps where one company is infringing on the IP of another) and other times it is to help with the valuation of a company. Either way, as you can imagine, there is a tremendous amount of paperwork associated with these efforts. While the desks and tables in his office were organized, they were groaning under the load of work he had. Obviously he's providing great service and is much in demand.

It's always good to see someone thriving in these "challenging economic times".

Anyway, if you see him walking around downtown, be sure to say hello and ask him how business is doing.

BTW, watch this space for a completely underwhelming announcement next week!

So, how are you thriving in these "challenging economic times"?

First Class

I just got back from a trip down to Orlando, Florida for the Extreme Business Makeover 2008 conference. I'll talk more about that later, but for now I want to focus on something else:

On the trip back home, I decided to fly First Class.

Now, please understand, my spending tendencies formed when I was in college and perpetually broke. I never spent money on myself that I didn't absolutely have to and even then only grudgingly. First Class? Why would I do that? It's only a 2 1/2 hour plane flight. I can just tough it out for that long. Someday, when I'm rich, maybe I'll fly First Class.

One of the speakers at the conference said something, though, that made me rethink my position. He said that we filter what we think we deserve in life based on how we see ourselves. Something in me clicked when I heard that. I decided right there that if I had a chance to upgrade on my return trip, that I would. After all, I deserved a little bit of comfort.

So the day to return came and when I went to check in, the kiosk gave me the option to bump myself to the front of the plane. I inserted my credit card and punched the "Yes" button. The extra cost certainly wouldn't break me (though that college student who was still inside me winced at the thought of the number of Ramen Noodle packages I could have bought).

Soon I found myself in a comfortable seat in row 5. I had room to stretch out my legs and people walking up and down the aisle weren't continually bumping my shoulder. My goodness that was nice!

Then, I noticed something about how I felt. Suddenly I wasn't just some poor schlub crammed into a too small seat just waiting to get to my destination. I was a business owner on my way home from a fruitful conference at which I had picked up some good techniques and ideas to improve my business. I had enough room to pull out my notebook (and could have brought out my laptop if I had needed it). I worked pretty much the entire way, stopping only to eat my lunch (served on a real plate!). If I used my normal hourly rate for comparison, just the fact that I was able to work for those two hours more than paid for the upgrade.

I also arrived in Detroit feeling much fresher than I would normally after even such a short trip. That meant that, where I would normally have needed to rest when I got home, I instead spent a good portion of the afternoon getting work done.

Let's see here. Coach class -- monetarily less expensive, but cramped, uncomfortable, no food, no work done, my goal is just to survive it. First Class -- monetarily more expensive, but roomy, comfortable, tasty hot lunch, hours of productive work, left me feeling better about myself and life in general.

I think I'll be clicking on the "upgrade" button again in the future.

So, have you ever flown First Class? Was it worth it?