The marginalization of distance

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downtown vancouver
100th birthday
My uncle Gordon celebrating his 100th birthday

Today marks the beginning of the  annual Construction Specifications Canada convention, this year in Winnipeg. I’ll wake up at my sister’s place in Vancouver, take a taxi to the airport, and head east on the 2.5 hour flight.

I came to Vancouver from my Ottawa home in part to celebrate my uncle’s 100th birthday. As outgoing chapter chair, the CSC chapter reimburses travel costs (including economy air fare and four nights hotel) for the national conference. With a bit of airline magic sleight of hand, I found a points ticket (business class) to Vancouver, allowing for a stop-over in Winnipeg — and the chapter will reimburse the cash equivalent of the economy air fare. Since I’m staying with family in Vancouver, this means there are no hotel or accommodation costs, the taxes on the points ticket to Vancouver and Winnipeg cost less than the cheapest direct economy ticket from Ottawa to Winnipeg, and so with some creativity, I will have cash in hand after this trip is done.

Fun, sure, but still work to do, and this is where the world has changed in the last decade. With the internet and mobile communications, massive file storage and data transfer services for virtually no cost, instantaneous communication means the day-to-day challenges of running the business and overseeing the production of several publications can be done anywhere. And so the job got done as I enjoy something of a vacation.

Most of the observations here, of course, have little direct relevance to you or your business. But there are messages underneath the surface which may be worthy of your consideration.

First, if you are ready to commit sincere energy and voluntary contributions to relevant client=focused associations, you may reap a double or triple reward; direct business, insights into trends and relationships expanding your network, and (after these are accomplished) maybe enough status that your travel expenses are reimbursed.

Second, I believe there is much to be said for combining business and pleasure in life — obviously within ethical bounds, and never sacrificing your balance between personal, family and business time. But if you can combine things effectively, then do it. You’ll have a much more rewarding life.

Work. Have fun. Contribute to the community. And you may find as a result you have a much healthier business and personal life (and your marketing thrives, as well.)

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