A few years ago, on the return flight from a business trip to the West Coast, my business partner reminisced about the days we had just spent trying to seal a business deal. He made reference to several paintings in the conference room where our meetings were held. He described these six-foot tall paintings with details about the colors, the background, and even the frame. He talked about the meal we had at one of his favorite restaurants. He praised the wine I had selected for the dinner with our clients. He replayed the sunset as it beamed across the Pacific late one afternoon on our last day.
I remembered seeing chairs and a table in the conference room. I couldn’t tell you the name of the restaurant or what entree I ordered, but remembered pressuring our clients for another deal. I remembered drinking wine, but couldn’t tell you how it tasted. And I remembered bitching at my partner when he wanted to drive out to the beach before catching our flight home.
In those days, this was a typical trip for me. Fly in, get it done, get out and plan the next gig. I’ve been to most of the major cities in America but couldn’t tell you anything about them. I’ve treated these cities, my clients, and myself with disrespect.
We didn’t get their business. I can only guess they understood what it took years for me to find out and what my business partner already knew: “How you get there is as important as getting there.”