Final Thoughts on Team (From 35,000 feet).

When you see graphs of successful businesses, the arrows always head one way: up.  But in reality, that’s not how business works.  Like life, business serves ups and downs; a successful business has more ups than downs, and a very successful business has ups and flats.

And it’s funny.  I look forward to the time of year when our business slows down — usually around Christmas — until it actually DOES slow down.  Then, after two days of watching re-runs of Game of Thrones, I’m wondering when my next fight leaves.
Right now, business is on fire.  We’ve rolled out a bunch of new services, and I’ve been busy investing, inventing, and testing new stuff.  On top of all that, I have my normal responsibilities — small things, like shooting the opening of the Indianapolis 500 for Honda and Team Andretti, while at the same time running a major green screen photo execution in nearby Fan Village.
Here’s our summer schedule:  Wednesday, leave for race.  Thursday, set up.  Friday thru Sunday, green screen experiential photo executions at Fan Village, Sunday, shoot opening of race.  Monday, fly home.  Tuesday, return calls and deal with any postponed planning sessioins.  Oh, and book travel.  Repeat.
In some cases, things shift just a bit, and Tuesday – Thursday are spent with another client, another event, in another city — and I don’t get home.
That’s why team has become so important to me, and why I’ve spent the last few blog posts talking about my amazing partners.  If I’m with another client on Thursday?  Matthew sets up Fan Village.  While I’m on the track shooting the race?  Again, Matthew steps in.  All those old clients we’ve shot for years?  Mom covers those.  The other events throughout the country that pop up? Melanie and Bob.  Taking care of David while Matthew and I are on the road?  Merilee, Matt’s niece.  Taking care of the house, so it’s not a pile of rubble when we return for our 48 hour lay over?  Mirna, who God sent down directly to this earth to keep my OCD in order.
Without all those people, well, I’d be shooting weddings.  You all know my thoughts about shooting weddings.  I’d rather pick lint out of the dryer vent.
But there’s even more.  There’s the skycaps, the Southwest gate agents, the flight attendants, the pilots, the hotel desk agents, the house keeping staff, the bell men, the Indycar security teams, the folks at Fan Village who get there 2 hours before us to make sure the electric is on (and we get there at least one hour before we’re to start!), the support staff provided to us from Fan Village managers (some of who we’ve added to our team), taxi cab drivers, even the hotel breakfast crew — all work as a well oiled machine that permits our success.
It’s amazing when you think about it.  No wonder I’m addicted to the energy.  No wonder I do what I do.  Anything else and I think I’d cry.
Though, I am starting to look forward to catching up with Game of Thrones.  Later.  They are calling my flight.
One of my new responsibilites is shooting the opening of the race for Honda and The Fastest Seat in Sports.  Here I am at the Indy 500 last weekend.  Ashley, my client, took the photo.  

We always get into Fan Village 1-2 hours before live time.  In this case, that’s 4:00 am.  But you know what?  The marketing team for FV beat me in.

Sometimes help pops up in unexpected places.  Here I am with two members of the national media.  Security was having a fit, and demanding I leave the track (despite my credentials), so they stepped in and put me with them.  Security had to back off, and I was abe to get my shot.
And here’s that shot.  Mario Andretti sits in front of his two-seater, and the athlete who won the Olympic Gold Medal in Figure Skating, Gracie Gold, is in back.
Here’s Gracie and Mario together after they finished thier laps — in other words, after they opened the greatest race in sports, the Indy 500.
Want to see more?  Go to http://www.USeventPhotos.com