Sharing Daily…It’s Worth It

Seth Godin - maldives beach

Happy Birthday to Seth Godin. Seth is of my inspirations to the wide range of blogging that I do, the most prominent of which is Maldives Complete here. These days you can’t swing a palm frond without hitting a blogger (especially in the Maldives), but when I started in 2009, the whole medium was quite novel. Seth was one of the first to embrace and extoll the platform and provided lots of tip and insights both explicitly and through example of his own work.

  • This is post 7,000” – “The secret to writing a daily blog is to write every day. And to queue it up and blog it. There is no other secret…The discipline of sharing something daily is priceless. Sometimes there are typos. I hope that they’re rare and I try to fix them. Over time, the blog adds up. People remember a blog post a year after I wrote it. Or they begin a practice, take an action, make a connection, something that grows over time. The blog resonates with people in so many fields, it’s thrilling to see how it can provoke positive action. It’s true that I’d write this blog even if no one read it, but I want to thank you for reading it, for being here day after day. It’s more fun that way.”
  • Susdat” – “Writer’s block is a myth, a recent invention, a cultural malady. More important than the output, though, is the act itself. The act of doing it every day. When you commit to a practice, you will certainly have days when you don’t feel like it, when you believe it’s not your best work, when the muse deserts you. But, when you keep your commitment, the muse returns. When you keep your commitment, the work happens. It doesn’t matter if anyone reads it, buys it, sponsors it or shares it. It matters that you show up. Show up, sit down and type.”
  • Gaztelugatxe – “There’s an island off the coast of Spain that houses a church. The church has 230 steps to the top, and it’s said that it’s worth the climb. What a great expression. Gaztelugatxe can now mean, ‘it’s a lot of steps, but worth it.’ The opposite of fast and easy but worthless.”

The first two posts referenced above talk about ‘daily practice’ and while I may not post every day, I would say that I do something on Maldives Complete every day – respond to emails, update date, investigate leads, research pieces, etc.  His thoughts help to express the answer to the 2nd most frequently asked question that I get (the first being “What is the best resort”), and that is “Why do you do Maldives Complete?”.

Best of the Maldives: Pizza – Taj Exotica

Taj Exotica - bling pizza

Friday night is pizza night (and a tub of Haagen Dazs). And a pizza that just sizzles with Seth Godin’s “remarkability” factor is Taj Exotica’s “$200 pizza”…

“Inspired by the thousand dollar New York Pizza, Chef Kermani came up with the brilliant idea of the two hundred dollar pizza, which became a famous sensation within the whole Taj Exotica culinary experience. This pizza has captured the hearts of so many guests; people have blogged, photographed and written about it. This four quarters, fifteen inches pizza is filled with the best ingredients hand picked from around the world. The base of this pizza is completely covered with Philadelphia cream cheese with one quarter topped only with waygu beef carpaccio and kalamata olives. Second quarter of the pizza is topped with roasted French duck and Foie Gras with Italian truffles. Another quarter is topped with Italian Porchinis, white parma ham, completely covered with parmesan cheese. The last quarter of the pizza is topped with jumbo lobster medallions with Iranian caviar topped with a finishing touch of 24-karat edible gold leaves. This pizza is served personally by the executive chef, Kermani, sprinkled with thirty years old balsamic, trickled right in front of the guest. This is followed by two glasses of champagne and a photograph with the chef. This photograph is gifted to the guests upon their departure as a part of the memorable two hundred dollar pizza experience.”

In Godin’s “Purple Cow”, he describes how “remarkability” is literally the ability to get people to “remark” about your product. The way you would ‘remark’ to your friends if you passed a purple cow in the field, “Guess what I saw?…”
In the ever escalating arms-race of the super deluxe Maldives resorts, I often challenge them to ask themselves, “What is the story that your guest is going to tell on the golf course or at the Mah Jong table?” It won’t be the pina coladas, sunsets or palm trees. For the multi-millionaire set, these things are rather pedestrian. The “$200 Pizza” does pass that test though. I don’t care how rich you are, not many folks have had a “$200 Pizza”. It is a form of metonymy where a small part of the luxurious experience encapsulates the lavish extravagance of the whole holiday. And in this age of Instagram, where unless you take a picture of it and post then it didn’t happen, bling pizza is ideal Instagram fodder.

The pizza also provides a good illustration in “impact” gift giving.  The price of a gift is governed by two variables – 1. the general expense of the item, and 2. how high is quality of the version you got.  If you want to give a great gift, focus on #2….

  1. Determine your budget
  2. Divide by 10
  3. Identify items that generally cost that amount (the one-tenth)
  4. Find a version of the item that costs 10x the norm

The pizza is great example.  A typical pizza costs around $20 in many places in the world.  So the $200 Pizza is a 10x (order of magnitude) more expensive version.  Another good example is a Christmas gift Lori got me.  I needed collar stays (the little pieces that you put in nice shirts to stiffen the collars).  I like nice shirts and so Lori got special collar stays.  The regular brass ones normally sell for about $5 or so, but Lori bought me lovely silver ones with mother-of-pearl.  They cost $50 (the 10x rule).  The exceptional versions that she found made the gift special (and when I am going to special occasions, I always use them…no one can see them, but I know I’m wearing them).

The problem is that many people focus on #1.  They want to give an impressive class of item (like a watch or a TV), but then can only afford to get a crappy version to fit their budget).  No one if happy with a crappy watch, even if it is a watch.

Lori was able to get something exceptional without breaking the budget because she got a simple type of item.   Not all people can afford the $1,000 cognac and $10,000 suite, but many Maldives visitors can splash out on a $200 pizza and enjoy having a slice (yes, pun intended) of world-class extravagant luxury.

And finally, a lobster pizza in Maldives!!

Exotic(a) pizza with extra bling!

Even More Why Do I Do It – Ruckusmaking

Bruce Maldives beer

Criticism is easy. Very little is perfect in life and it’s easy to just call out all the imperfections. My recent Maldives tour brought home this realisation as one of the challenges I relish in my resort research is uncovering and highlighting the distinctions of each resort. Not what makes them special (being in the Maldives is what makes EVERY one of them special), but what makes them distinctive. That takes a bit more discernment and insight. It’s awfully easy to complain that the butter was too cold or not cold enough. It’s much harder to figure out what part of the meal was most unique.

This is my “Ruckusmaker” focus. Referring to Seth Godin’s concept of someone who speaks up for something they believe. My belief and my mantra is “There is no ‘best’ resort, only the ‘best’ for you. And with over 100 to choose from, there is something for everyone.”

Seth himself is someone who often gets asked why a best-selling professional (multi-millionaire) writer like himself would devote so much effort to a daily free blog. One of his motivations is articulated in his post “Say Something”…

“There’s a lot to admire about the common-sense advice, ‘If you don’t have anything worth saying, don’t say anything.’ On the other hand, one reason we often find ourselves with nothing much to say is that we’ve already decided that it’s safer and easier to say nothing. If you’ve fallen into that trap, then committing to having a point of view and scheduling a time and place to say something is almost certainly going to improve your thinking, your attitude and your trajectory. A daily blog is one way to achieve this. Not spouting an opinion or retweeting the click of the day. Instead, outlining what you believe and explaining why. Commit to articulating your point of view on one relevant issue, one news story, one personnel issue. Every day. Online or off, doesn’t matter. Share your taste and your perspective with someone who needs to hear it. Speak up. Not just tomorrow, but every day. A worthwhile habit.”

Maldives Complete, making a ruckus for 7 years!