May was certainly an interesting month, kind of like the Chinese curse blessing, "May you live in interesting times."

Wedding RingsThe month started with a fantastic opportunity to introduce the Repeatable Successful Acts platform to a group of top financial portfolio managers in beautiful La Jolla, California. I then flew back east to Austin, Texas, for a quick client meeting and a visit about wedding plans with my oldest son Dylan and his beautiful fiancée Amanda.

I followed that by working with a team looking at developing an advanced sales curriculum with exciting new ideas on how to engage participants and develop the type of thinking that connects to revenue growth.

In addition to all that, I presented one of my newest strategic platforms, The Opportunity of Meeting, where I have begun a movement that I hope will change the face of the traditional meeting process throughout American business.

A highlight of the month came when Cheryl Hall, the outstanding business writer for The Dallas Morning News (a top 20 National newspaper servicing the Nation's fifth largest media market) did a fantastic profile piece on me. It was a wonderful experience and to have the opportunity to be interviewed by a writer in Cheryl's class was a career highlight. I'd like to share it with you. (Page 1, Page 2)

LightningThen they hit, a series of the most horrific thunderstorms I have ever seen. The weather throughout the Midwest threw my travel plans into complete chaos. On one trip it took me over 10 hours to get from Dallas to Orlando. Once I finally got to Orlando, I presented the ideas of simplicity to a packed audience. But then, when I tried to head back cross-country to Phoenix, I was introduced to how angry Mother Nature can really get! This was biggest storm I have ever seen. Winds, rain so hard you could not see the runways, and hail the size of baseballs peppered DFW airport, damaging planes and breaking the windshields of the emergency vehicles. We were all sent to the emergency tornado shelters where the hail sounded like we were under attack. A tornado had touched down near the airport. Needless to say, my flight to Phoenix was cancelled, as was every other flight. I then had to fight for over an hour to get a cab to make it home, and that ride from the airport was damn scary itself. Unfortunately, this forced me to miss only my third engagement in 27 years of business. I was heartbroken not to be able to get to Phoenix. Our prayers and thoughts are with the thousands of people affected much more dramatically and long-term by those storms.

The month ended with a fantastic series of meetings that will be moving new projects forward. Interesting times indeed!


Ordinary to Extraordinary - the trip to Dazzling Blue

"And we'll build a wall that nothing can break through and dream our dreams of dazzling blue."- Paul Simon

Blue PencilThere is a big difference between ordinary and extraordinary. Ordinary slips by our consciousness and becomes hidden in the daily routine of our regular lives. Oh, but the extraordinary makes us sit up and take notice, it piques our senses, it often makes us exclaim, "Wow!"

Here is a simple pathway to help you grasp this idea. Picture the color blue. Just close your eyes and picture "blue." I'll bet you'll find your imagined color in a standard spectrum of blue. Maybe it's navy, or royal, or even periwinkle. Now close your eyes and picture "dazzling blue." This simple modifier changes ordinary to extraordinary. I want you to think about your product or service and what you can do to move from blue to dazzling blue, what you can do to become extraordinary.

Dazzling Blue ButterflyHere is the interesting part: the journey from blue to dazzling blue isn't very far. It starts with the simplest of steps, a desire to be accountable for an extraordinary level of performance and a willingness to dedicate the energy to sustain it. Dazzling Blue is about the quality of the client/customer experience, a connection with the entire staff and the sales environment. Here is what I mean:


LegoThe Lego Store is all about the experience. They have open play stations where you can build anything. They have age-driven builder competitions on the weekends to allow everyone to show off their Lego skills. They have a trained staff that knows absolutely everything about Legos (the product). If they don't have a piece you are looking for, they will order it. Their stores are always packed. Here is what their customers say:

I successfully hid this store from my son for 4 years. Until last Halloween when some friends invited us to go trick-or-treating in Hillsdale Shopping Center and Ichabod saw the Lego Store for the first time.

(cue angels singing, clouds parting)

My 4 year-old LOVES this store. He's obsessed with Lego, and could spend hours perusing the selection, and playing on the computers and with the Lego at the table. The store has a fun vibe,

Simply amazing... from single block pieces to full sets and awesome displays

You have to let it all settle in, let the senses run wild that you are in a fun place. THEN you start buying!

If my son could, he would give this place 100 stars. He'd give up eating if he could get more Lego crack.

Translation: The Lego Store is all about Dazzling Blue.


Marketing IdeaNestled in a little strip center in the town of Haleiwa on the island of Oahu sits Matsumoto Shaved Ice. Humble though it may appear, it is an extraordinary place. Daily, fans of Matsumoto's micro-shaved cones topped with exotic flavors form lines around the block. Guests enter and see a flavors menu that stops them in their tracks. And--of course--it stops them in their tracks right in the center of t-shirt heaven, where guests fill bags with souvenirs of their Matsumoto experience. The place looks like a mishmash of hand-lettered signs with Polaroid photos of guests, BUT the experience, ahh the experience is Dazzling Blue!

Now for your own Dazzling Blue test. This is a field trip. Grab a couple members of your team and take a few bucks out of your petty cash box. About $20 per person will work (you can bump it up if you're on one of the coasts!). Now pick a large regional mall close by. Grab your team and the cash and head on over. Here is your Dazzling Blue task:

You have 90 minutes to go into as many stores as you can. You are to get a feel for their client experience. Here are a few things to look for:

Blue LightbulbWhen you find the best store, the store that in your sample group was extraordinary, spend your $20 on something.

At the end of 90 minutes reassemble and share the experience. Show what you purchased and decide what traits you thought were extraordinary. That puts Dazzling Blue into personal perspective with an experiential exercise. Ordinary or extraordinary?

Dazzling Blue begins with a mindset and then connects to an action, and the result... Well, the result can be extraordinary!


Interested in these ideas?


You can contact Steve at steve@creativeventures.com or give him a call at 972-490-7717.
See more at creativeventures.com and stephenharvill.com

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