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The Habit of being a Lifetime Learner

swingHabits drive our lives. Good habits…and even those that don't serve our interests so well. But in either case, wherever we place our focus and priority… it is those "habits" and automatic behaviors that will determine where you end up.

Just like the habit of a lifetime of learning. You can finish your official schooling, find a job, show up for work and think you have it all figured out. Or… you can land that job, continue to search for new ideas and opportunities for improvement, always asking questions, and looking forward to continuing your lifetime of education and learning. In my life, it seems that those that don't want to operate in a vacuum, connect with peers, and always challenge their current performance are the ones that succeed.

That certainly applies within the amusement parks and attractions industry.

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Your First Job Matters!

bannanPeeling Bananas.

We all had our "first job". It was either a nightmare, a tremendous success… or somewhere in between. It may have had nothing to do with career aspirations, or it could have been perfectly aligned with where you saw your future going. No matter how it turned out, it became the start of your lifetime of work experience.

It was likely your first taste of having a boss, co-workers, needing to be on time, in proper dress code, being responsible, and even earning a paycheck….and then you probably asked your first question about… taxes!

You may have been pushed by your parents… or maybe you had to convince them. In any case, after that first "punch of the clock", there was no turning back from the working world!

For me, my first job was peeling bananas. Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas have been sold at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk since the 1930's. Tens of thousands are sold each and every year. And guess what... someone has to peel all those bananas!

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Low Tech Fun... In a High Tech World

successWherever People Gather to Have Fun...

That is typically how I explain the types of venues I work with. Theme and amusement parks, water parks, zoos, attractions, family entertainment centers, stadiums and arenas and other locations "where people gather to have fun ". They are all looking for new, improved or innovative ways to increase guest spending... and employee motivation, contribution and engagement. Thats what I do.

And they are all mostly about the next big thing. New Coasters or faster rides, taller water slides, entertainment, interactive and participating games, promotions, attractions, and exhibits... thats the engine that attracts new guests. They invest heavily in efficiencies to improve the guest experience and improve their bottom line. And often have elaborate training programs to insure their staff teams are creating memories for those that visit. All good stuff!

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You Are Never the Smartest Person in the Room

schI'm amazed at what I can learn from others.

I've worked within the same industry for a long time… far longer than I like to admit. Must have something to with age. However... anytime I gather with others that share an experience or expertise... I get inspired and motivated.

Recently I attended an annual workshop attended by others in the same industry. To one degree or another, we all do the same thing. For sure there are differences in scale of operations, years of experience and age of attendees... but none of that matters. Why?

Because everyone has found solutions to shared challenges. Everyone has new ideas and new ways of being successful. Everyone has challenges and questions... and that provides more meaningful dialogue.

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About The Author

ken whitingKen Whiting is an amusement park and attractions food and beverage operator, and industry consultant for improvements in F&B, retail and workforce productivity. Reach out with any questions or comments you may have at: