“Lately it occurs to me: What a long, strange trip it’s been.” –Robert Hunter, “Truckin'”
Going to Burning Man is like spending a week in an alternate universe. It’s an event that is almost indescribable to somebody that hasn’t been there, and it’s even more difficult to define exactly what it’s all about.
Having been to Burning Man before, I experienced this year’s festival through a slightly different lens. In fact, this year’s week in the desert turned into more of a business planning retreat than anything else.
Some readers from the accounting world may be familiar with the concept of an annual retreat. Traditional, this consists of several days each year wherein the partners of a CPA firm disappear into the wilderness together in order to evaluate the hits and misses of the previous year. This is usually conducted shortly after tax season.
Due to the cost of such retreats and the questioning of results obtained from them, this practice has seen dwindling popularity in recent years. I think this trend is a mistake — particularly when the annual retreat is properly applied.
DUring my week in the desert, I had zero access to the Internet. There was no temporary cell tower erected off-site this year, so nobody had cell service. It was 8 glorious days of absolute communication blackout.
When we disconnect ourselves from the constant ringing, beeping, and blinking of our modern digital universe, we can obtain a clarity of thinking that is simply impossible to achieve otherwise.
From this year’s Burning Man event, I don’t have any super-crazy tales to share. I even kept all my clothes on for the entire week (which my camping companions were very grateful for!). In fact, by the standards set by almost any other burner, this was a boring Burn. I didn’t imbibe to excess, and spent a significant amount of time actually in the RV. Defeats the purpose of going, some would say.
I’d say quite the opposite. By taking the opportunity to unplug and disconnect from the default world, I was able to make monumental leaps in my business life. I had the time to work ON my businesses, rather than just IN my businesses.
I was able to take the time to formulate my zero-to-hero marketing strategy for the new tax office in Washington. I was able to determine what I really want out of that tax office, and how it works … Continue reading