Why you shouldn’t eat at the same restaurant every day.

I, like a lot of folks, am a creature of habit.

I’ve got my few favorite restaurants, my few favorite hotels, and even a few favorite friends.

And, odds are, if I want to eat, stay or hang out, it’s going to be with one of those favorites.

And while that certainly makes me happy and satisfied (I could eat wings from Blondies on 79th Street every day of the week), it often prevents me from discovering something new that might become even more of a favorite.

I was thinking about this as I was deciding where to order from the other night, and how my comfort zones were similar to the theatrical advertising space.

See, there are a handful of favorite places to advertise shows.  Direct mail, the usual basket of email blasts, bus sides, etc., etc.  For the most part, advertising through these methods will leave you as “happy and satisfied” as they are tried and true.  And that’s all good, except, if you only use these favorites, you may be preventing yourself from discovering something new that could bring you bigger business . . . and might even be cheaper since there may not be as many people fighting over the media.

You’re not going to bet your show on something that is unproven, or experimental, but it is important not only for the show you’re working on today, but for the show you’ll be working on tomorrow to step out of your advertising comfort zones to see what other opportunities may be waiting for you.

Here’s what I do to make sure I’m always exploring new territory:

I take a small percentage of my ad budget (usually about 5% or 10%, depending upon the show) and I call it Mad Money.  I’ll use this cash for initiatives that are off the beaten path in the hopes of finding a new favorite.

Oh, and I’ve started doing this with restaurants too, and yep, even people too.  Every week I tell myself that I’m going to eat at one new restaurant and hang out with one new person.

This kind of stuff keeps you growing and learning, which is essential for a productive business . . . and, a productive life.


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  • Daniel says:

    Does this also apply in the attendance direction? Certainly out in the regional world, we all have the theatres that we are comfortable with, that we frequent regularly or subscribe to. Should we do something similar with our theatre attending budget, and make the effort to try a new theatre or producing group regularly. For example, this last weekend a production of “Working” from The Production Company in Hollywood drew me in. I’ve never been to one of their productions before; I’ve never been to that venue before. I was impressed with what they did, and a new theatre has been added to my set of theatres I’ll keep an eye on. I’ve discovered many wonderful small theatres this way.

  • caryl avery says:

    Hi Ken,

    One of these weeks, I’d like to be the one new person you hang out with.

    All best,

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