Money...or Friends?

By Ron Rosenberg

Don't worry, this isn't some "ethical challenge" about choosing between making money at the expense of friendship, but, rather, an interesting take on how an unexpected situation can open up new opportunities.

If you've been on a plane recently, you've probably noticed that, more often than not, the flight is completely full - or if not, then it has only a few empty seats. This, of course, is very good news for the airlines, since a full plane generates significantly more revenue than one that's half full.

Empty Seats - Really?

Full flights have certainly been the case on most of my recent trips, so I was surprised on a recent flight from Raleigh to Seattle to find around a third of the seats empty.

It was unusual enough that I asked the flight attendant about this. He agreed that this was certainly unusual, but then offered an interesting observation:

Sometimes you make money - sometimes you make friends.

The implication was that when every seat is filled, it's pretty much all they can do to handle the meal service, snacks, and drinks. But when a six-hour flight is relatively "light," the cabin crew has more time to interact with the passengers, and establish a level of rapport that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

"Down Time" Can Be an Opportunity

Yes, it's exciting when there's lots of business and the cash is rolling in. But this can have a negative effect as well. If you're constantly running at full speed, it can lead to stress, fatigue, and burnout, which, in turn, can lead to missteps and mistakes.

Plus, when you're in constant motion, you don't take time to "sharpen the saw" by looking at new opportunities, improving processes, and becoming more efficient. So when business begins to slow down - as it inevitably does - you won't have a "Plan B" to fall back on.

When you find yourself in a situation where you have more time on your hands than you'd like, remember that this is your golden opportunity to identify and implement improvements that will help you maintain your success over the long haul.

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