multi-media vacation

I’m on a working vacation. Anyone who has their own business — forget it — most of us — know this isn’t the oxymoron it sounds like. My life and my work are fully integrated, which is how I like it to be, actually.

My son, who is almost 11, is on Spring Break which means that I get to enjoy the things I wouldn’t do if I didn’t have him for my excuse. Yesterday we went to Universal Studios and today we’re off to the Science Center. I think of these excursions as part of my work because while I’m experiencing these environments I’m always thinking about how they work, who’s done the work to create these attractions and what it takes to keep the jobs that these people have. How did this all develop, what skills are needed to create these entertaining and educational, creative and profitable (I think) businesses humming along? I know and work with people who work in these and other similar business environments. I know the difficulties that many of my clients, and friends, experience working in the ‘entertainment’ business. We watch The Apprentice and the projects these brave souls take on. All of these people inform my experience of these day trips.

Roller Coaster Tycoon, Sea World Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon and other games have given my son and I the opportunity to analyze how much souvenirs and the price of admission need to be for us to keep our businesses running. We’ve discussed where the food and bathrooms need to be located and why snack carts are everywhere in a theme park. These games offer parents and kids a great opportunity to learn about economics and marketing. I recommend them to anyone. Business and entertainment are intracately interwoven — we all know this. And our world is only going to get more creatively drawn — the skills we and our kids need to be successful in this world are decidedly changing. We all need to be nimble and see how everything is connected to everything else. How entertainment, marketing, design, finance and engineering, law and health are all connected. That’s what makes our world so fascinating and stimulating. Seeing the broader connections will help all of us navigate through these increasingly rapid changes in our world.