The group of naturalists wanted to get into the Guinness Book of Word Records by setting the record for the number of naked people who would simultaneously go up in a hot air balloon.
To see the story, click on the YouTube clip below. Don’t worry, while the story is about a nudist colony, you don’t see any nudity, thanks to some creative photography.
From the experience, I came away with a few lessons that can be applied to any business:
What You Expect Isn’t Always What You Get
I found the group to be a nice, friendly bunch who were fond of not wearing clothes. I did not see a swinging, orgy loving crowd determined to bring back all the decadence of ancient Rome. And for many in the group, diet and fitness did not appear to be a priority.
In business, it’s good to have expectations but it’s better to be able to adjust your goals when things turn out differently than expected. You may have projected great sales number but if after the first quarter, they are lower than expected, you need to find out what’s wrong. Your projection has probably entered into the realm of fantasy!
Think First, Strip later
While I enjoyed rolling up my sleeves as a reporter, I decided it wasn’t a good idea to pull down my pants on this story. While the nudists were welcoming, while on the job, it wasn’t a smart move to join them.
On the job, you may be tempted to follow the crowd or sign a contract that seems like it would be fun. You don’t really think things through before you act. That can lead to some big mistakes. Before doing anything, consider whether the action supports your brand and your bottom line. Also keep in mind whether you’re making a business decision based on it being fun or profitable.
You Get Used to Stuff
After spending hours around a bunch of nude people, I started to become accustomed to seeing them in their birthday suits. The shock value was gone.
In your organization, do people follow old processes or procedures because they’ve become comfortable? Are people sitting at broken desks that they mean to fix one of these days? Are you still paying the same price for a service because you’ve worked with the vendor for years? It’s easy to get used to stuff that isn’t working out all that well but is familiar.
Don’t Take Anything For Granted
The nude balloonist story was a fun one to put together. But it’s not the kind of story that’s going to change the world. But for me, feature never meant fluff. So I was going to give the story my best effort. It’s also important to remember that a TV station’s ratings are created one viewer at a time. The nudists, quirky as they may be, are all perspective viewers.
Never take a customer for granted. Too many companies are more interested in getting new customers than rewarding those who have stuck with them. A happy customer brings you more business. Plus it takes a lot more time and energy to get a new customer as opposed to continuing to make sales with a current one.