"God has to have a sense of humor -- otherwise, would she have
created the travel industry?"
That's one of the lines that provoked audience merriment during
Scott Friedman's presentation at the ASTA Eastern Regional
Conference, held recently in Bermuda.
Friedman, billed as a "motivational humorist," presented ideas
on how to "play the game on your terms again," even if "you're
having another bad air day."
"Change can make you bitter or change can make you better," he
said. "But if you don't have challenges, you don't have too many
opportunities for growth."
Much of his presentation focused on the importance of "wielding
your sense of humor."
to Friedman, when Inc. magazine surveyed its readers (most of whom
own small businesses) on what the No. 1 survival skill for the 21st
century is, 88% answered, "a sense of humor."
Here, some of his favorite stress-busting smile-inducers:Call your own home answering machine during the day and record
a message: "Hi, Scott, this is Scott. I just drove nine miles in
rush-hour traffic to deliver a ticket -- and then I remembered it
was an e-ticket! Love ya, Scott."
When you get home and listen to your messages, the first thing
you'll think is, "Who is that?""Put on your favorite hat that looks most like an official
policeman's cap, take your blow dryer out on the highway, point it
and see if cars keep slowing down. People will be asking each
other: 'Honey, was that a policeman with a blow dryer?'"
Friedman, encouraging the audience to "take risks and try new
things," said, "My favorite definition of success is moving from
failure to failure with enthusiasm, because you only really fail
unless you stop."
Discussing technology, he noted, "I used to think microchips
were the little ones left in the bag. But if you haven't made a
commitment to technology, then you might as well retire now."
Among the technological wonders to come, said Friedman, are cars
that won't start until you blow into a breathalyzer. But "that
won't work," he said. "You'll have a couple of cocktails, and a guy
will come up to you in the parking lot and say, 'Buddy, for $20
I'll blow-start your car.'"
Good for a laugh
Here are more witty words of wisdom from motivational humorist
Scott Friedman, taken from his Web site, www.funnyscott.com:
Value values. The best things in life are not things.Keep your words sweet, in case you have to eat them.Embrace what's important. He or she who dies with the most
"joys" wins.Be kind. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be
vague.Tell the truth. That way you have a lot less to remember.Get better, not bitter. Pain is a blessing when you learn the
lesson.Never argue with a crazy person. Outsiders don't know who's
who.Slip into something less comfortable. Comfort never produced
greatness.Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.Dear IRS: I would like to cancel my subscription.I am in shape. Round is a shape.I hope life isn't a big joke because I don't get it.If you're living on the edge, make sure you're wearing your
seat belt.Therapy is expensive, and popping bubble wrap is cheap! You
choose.A message to applaud
A new series of radio commercials ridicules the Internet as a
way to book travel, providing reasons to use a "professional travel
agent." The spots, now airing in major markets in the Midwest from
Omaha to Chicago, have been developed by Travel and Transport, a
$600 million plus, Omaha, Neb.-based agency chain and its
advertising agency, the Clark Creative Group.
60-second ads, which all end with the tag line "Next vacation --
I'm back with my travel agent," dramatize the pitfalls of using a
dot-com to book travel. One begins, "So there we were -- stuck in
the Salt Lake airport at 2 a.m., the second day of our family
vacation to the islands," and ends: "Well, I've got a message for
everyone who told me the Internet was the cool new way to book
family vacations -- www.never again.com."
Another ad deals with honeymooners who book on line, only to
find their flights canceled and their "oceanfront bungalow" three
blocks from the beach and surrounded by howler monkeys and
Each of the ads is followed by a brief promo of the agency's
Amy Halverson, Travel and Transport's manager of marketing, said
the campaign was developed because of agency principals' feeling
that the airlines and the Internet pose a greater competitive
threat than other agencies. She reported a "very satisfactory"
consumer response to the campaign, with several locations tracking
specific bookings from clients lured by the commercial.
While most agencies are joining the lemmings in a mad dash to
turn their clients into Internet users, Travel and Transport is
taking a big first step to pointing out that faceless travel
planning may not be in the consumer's best interest when it comes
to vacation planning.
Richard Turen is an industry consultant and travel agency
Contact him at [email protected]