Unlocks…an experience.

Think about that. There is a stark difference between the concepts of creating an experience  vs.  just trying to sell you a piece of apparel.

Since that last meeting with Rebecca Minkoff, I have been inspired by her continued work to create a new kind of retail experience through accelerated technologies and an inclusion of community. From pop-up fashion shows on city sidewalks to all day yoga workshops and cocktail happy hours held inside retail boutiques, if we the consumers are choosing to shop offline we are going to head towards the place that offers something memorable and Rebecca Minkoff is certainly at the forefront of these efforts.

Consumers choosing to purchase goods based on a connection to global community and causes, retailers electing to engage the tactile elements of the human experience and a rock legend tailoring his songs toward the goals of personal growth and genuine reflection….there is an element here of the values we live by, the values we choose to run our businesses by.

Our values are the blueprint by which we continue to build up our life. You can’t have two sets of blueprints to continue to build one structure just as you can’t have two sets of values to guide your choices.

We are constantly moving forward, up that mountain, but central to that goal is the ability to unlock an experience or two along the way. We won’t find what we are looking for at the top if we were never present for the journey. There is great merit in pausing and reflecting and allowing time to process every step we take. The missteps and the wins.

And I have found great merit in cultivating personal reflection set to a rocking play list of songs.

Music is power.

A few years ago I was fortunate to be in the audience once again for a great U2 concert, this time for the inaugural performance of the newly constructed TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Within the first set, Bono again sang “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and as always it resonated with me deeply. But not long after that…it began to downpour.

He and the band remained on stage.

They continued to perform.

At some point, someone handed Bono an umbrella and just before he began to sing “City of Blinding Lights” (a song written partially as a tribute to the great city of New York) he instead danced and skipped around in the puddles pooling on stage around him, playfully crooning the chorus of “Singing in the Rain”.

And I thought, “Wow. It really is what you make of your circumstances that sets us apart.”

Any set of circumstances is grounds for determining what you’re made of. Do you exit stage right at the first sign of rain clouds or do you grab an umbrella from the nearest roadie and keep on dancing?

Only one will get you applause, guarantee ticket sales to the next performance and plant the seeds of loyalty.

The album “Joshua Tree” turns 30 this year and my own company, Elevate97 turns 20. U2 will celebrate by going back on the road and performing an international tour.

My plans aren’t nearly as elaborate or requiring of a passport, but I do intend to celebrate the passage of time and the journey thus far.

There are days we find ourselves at the summit and there are days we find ourselves still climbing. We can and will continue to celebrate the wins, but the greater joy is in knowing we allow ourselves to remain open to reflection and genuine change. That’s how we grow. That’s how we get better.

Always seeking excellence. With every step.



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