Goals, Aims, Ideas, Dreams

Light and Cloud

Ideas and dreams are wonderful, the first step towards goals and aims. Goals and aims are fine, also, but less valuable without specificity.

 

I’m often big on ideas and short on completion. One reason is that I always seem to wake up with something new and interesting in mind. That is the death of focus. Some ideas do linger in the back of my mind, simmering for a long time – years sometimes. They simmer on an almost imperceptible heat.

 

Which leads us to this blog. I have found myself totally wrapped in an idea, a new business that I plan to pursue. It’s been a long time coming. In fact, I can even tell you exactly how long: since December of 2004. That’s over eight years now.

 

The reason I’m here is to introduce myself to the world. Selling is hard enough, but folks are skeptical of anyone or anything that’s unknown to them. Changing their way of shopping is even more of a stretch. Seems like I’m up for a challenge.

 

Oh, and here’s a link to a site that will help me turn ideas into reality.

 

Link.

 

Thanks to my friend, Amy 🙂

 

 

Enter The Zone

TimsZone

If someone was watching me, they’d wonder what I was doing. The answer would be simple enough: I’m deciding on a domain name, figuring out an appropriate theme and organizing the site so it looks nice.

 

All that takes time, with lots of failed attempts and mis-steps.

 

Still, here  we are at the beginning, with a couple of photos and words of my own.

What’s In A Name?

I have a jaded view of the limousine industry. That attitude grew from observation of how limo company owners operate, specifically their treatment of people – customers and workers both.

My experience is limited, of course. But of the three or four big operators in my area, I know drivers who work for all of them, and they tell me the same story; the guys and girls who run these places are big on vision but light on the down and dirty business of working in a luxury/discretionary area. It’s tough out there, and drivers often take all the heat, from crappy money to disgruntled customers.

Which is why the naming conventions of limousine companies gives me reason to smile. They are all so chipper:

~ Above All Limo and Town Car

~ Prestige Limousines

~ Diplomat Limo

~ Regal Limousines

~ Diamond Limousines

~ Elite Limousines

~ Royal Coach Limousines

~ Premier Cars

~ TLC Limousine

~ High Class Limo

…and so on.

It’s a joke to believe that they’re ALL the BEST, because it simply isn’t possible. Just once, I’d like to see someone advertise a limo business as “…decently priced with okay cars…” or “…mostly good drivers…” or “…you get what you pay for…”

As far as I can see, only habit keeps people returning to a specific company (if they’re regular users) and either price or recommendation if they’re one-offs.

Naming therefore reflects the lack of imagination of owners, making practically zero difference with any individual consumer’s choice. Clearly, owners haven’t figured out this fundamental fact.

My favourite name for a limo company is “Rollex Limousine”. Yeah. Just like the fine Swiss timepieces.

Pffft.

Living in the Light

Daytime limousine rides are a rare but sweet kind of fruit. Obvious advantages over night-time runs are the fact that it’s light (yes, obviously, but very importantly) that you generally feel better (not exhausted by being awake when the body says go to sleep) and that they finish at a reasonable hour (therefore I can get to bed at the same time as regular people.)

The people who book a stretched limousine from noon until 10:00 pm are different from the night-time crowd too. They tend to be older, richer and happier. Often, the booking is made months in advance.

A recent run was representative. I was to meet eight folks in the parking lot of a local restaurant in The Boss’s super stretched SUV. Naturally, he has given me NO details…no idea of who the customers are, where we are going, nor if it’s a special occasion. All I have is a time and a place.

But experience told me the people would be fine, as indeed they were. As is usual, the organizer introduced himself to me, and gave me the outline of the day. His friends all arrived, and they’re loaded with food and booze and in very high spirits. That’s good. Happiness breeds happiness. When I see bottles of champagne, I too am happy.

But not everything is rosy. The airconditioning in this machine works satisfactorily, but not brilliantly. It’s a constant refrain from the back, asking that the a/c be turned up. All I can do is to tell them that it will cool down as we get under way, and that it’s a big volume of air to cool on a hot Florida day. They don’t care. If the least thing is wrong, people bitch. Sigh.

Another pending problem is that I have a navigator on board. A navigator is someone, almost always a guy, who wants to know every turn you plan to make. If you don’t describe precisely the route, they’ll pick it up and correct it. Unfortunately, this turkey is sitting right at my shoulder…which leads me to raise the divider. Thank goodness for the divider.

The plan was a common one: to Tampa for a matinee live performance (The Jersey Boys) then to an early dinner at a fancy steak house, and then home. That part was easy, and almost quite fun. I had time to read three newspapers, finish my book, make a few calls, spruce up the interior of the limo and take a half-decent lunch. (The latter’s not always easy, given how tricky it can be to find a park for the beast.)

After dinner, I was looking forward to dropping off these people and getting home. After all, I’d not finished until 4:00 am the morning before. (More bullshit scheduling from The Boss.) And then came the kiss of death…they wanted to stop for ice-cream. Oh, great. No-one can agree on where to go, and everyone’s tired, so they’re not communicating. The difficulty for me at a time like this is that I hear three different instructions from the back, but when I try to clarify which ONE I should follow, no-one speaks. It’s like I have to play the parent to a bunch of nine-year-olds.

Mr Navigator then springs into action. Okay, if you just make a U-Turn here, he says, pointing hopefully at a break in the median. My eyes roll in their sockets. This thing takes about TEN lanes to make a U-Turn, and gently suggest that another, wider intersection a little up the road will work better. He starts questioning me, asking what I’m doing…

…until he observes for himself PRECISELY how much real estate this damned machine needs for a U-ey.

But it all worked out. And it turns out that they were all real estate agents, on a pep-up trip, hoping and talking themselves into a better year ahead. Good luck with that, guys and girls.

And for a bunch of people who LIVE AND DIE on percentage sales commissions, the tip was abysmal. But I didn’t care. I was home in bed before midnight.