Engage an enthusiast in conversation, and by the time they’re finished discussing their passion, chances are you’ll want in. Regardless of the subject matter, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the infectious enthusiasm that pours out of a true aficionado talking about their “thing”.
A few years ago, while working for Sterling-Rice Group, I produced an on-site live webcast for the unveiling of a new Bernina product. Most would agree that a Broadway-style production whose ultimate climax consists solely of yanking a sheet off of a sewing machine is nothing to get excited about – and I just wanted it over with. Nonetheless, after a week of being immersed in this intense culture of dealers and super-customers, I found myself in my hotel room at nights sketching designs for a back pack concept constructed from dog food bags (you know, those heavy duty, foil lined ones). I was into it! The subject matter literally couldn’t be lamer, but they got their hooks in me. And we’ve all been there.
This sort of palpable enthusiasm and energy is a powerful thing. It has a profound effect on your perception of what’s possible. It brings something out in us – probably a remnant of a selected-for trait in humans that naturally gets us excited about whatever others in close proximity are groovin’ on. It makes sense.
So, how does this relate to business, or more specifically our business? Having worked with the Akavit clan since September 2008, I’ve always had a sense that there’s something different about this team. There’s an “it” factor that I couldn’t put my finger on. The week before Christmas, while jamming with the team on a hairy deadline, it hit me.
Number one, we love what we do. It’s December 23rd, we’re under the gun yet we’re still having a blast, staying on brief and right until the end we’re tossing out ideas to make the product the best it can possibly be. There is a genuine, fanatical enthusiasm generated by this team when we’re together getting shit done. In those moments, that product is our “thing” and we’re all about it. Mind you, I’m not talking about the synthetic, contrived Salesman style enthusiasm; I’m talking about boys at Christmas opening slot car tracks.
Number two, we love this company and we love our customers. This is key because it keeps the enthusiasm up and passion flowing through the glamorous and un-glamorous projects. Because of this passion for the work, it’s easier to stay focused on the bigger picture.
Since it’s already too late to avoid full-blown pontification with this post, I might as well say it. Akavit rules as do our customers. And I’m honored to be a partner in this fine organization. Here is to growth, integrity, class, quality and profit for years to come.
Originally written while working at Akavit – used with their permission.