Month: January 2018

Mr. Bezos’ Neighborhood

I was talking with a few event industry folks and the subject of Amazon came up. Amazon is currently seeking a location for its second headquarters. The competition between cities to attract the billion dollar company and the jobs it would bring is pretty stiff. Pittsburgh sent a bid and has been touted as a contender.

While the economic impact would be incredible should Pittsburgh be chosen, it would also transform our city in both positive and negatives ways. You can imagine how costs, and traffic would rise, but so would home values, jobs and investment.

Mr Rodgers neighbor might have Mr. Bezos moving in and buying up the block. You can debate the pros and cons on your own, but let’s take a look at the prospect.

Some of Amazon’s top officials have ties to Pittsburgh. Their CFO Brian Olsavsky went to CMU’s Tepper School of Business and his wife is from Pittsburgh. Jeff Wilke, CEO grew up in Pittsburgh. These guys are in the position to have serious input on the decision and could be hero’s in this city if Pittsburgh is the choice.

Pittsburgh has plenty of land available for such a project, it’s highly affordable , we have already attracted some innovative companies like Google, and Uber. Pittsburgh can offer highly skilled employees through our higher education facilities and provide them and stunning beautiful and affordable place to live and raise a family.

Our biggest downside is we are not the transportation hub we used to be. However, even that is beginning to change with new direct flights being offered. We also have an award-winning airport that is not at capacity and could easily adapt to expanding needs.

One of the reasons we base our national events out of Pittsburgh is because it’s relatively easy to get to a number of major cities. Cleveland, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Buffalo, Detroit, even Chicago. We can produce an event in those cities without having to be physically based in a high cost location. With a company like Amazon coming to town, any transportation issues to or from Pittsburgh would be quickly addressed.

I can’t say for sure what will happen, but we see some very exciting things on the horizon for this city with or without Amazon.

10 and Counting

PE10

With the start of 2018, we entered our 10th year of operations at Pierce Events. It’s a bit hard to believe it’s been that long, but I spent 15 years doing events for others before we launched and that seems like a lifetime ago.

Instead of recapping the journey, I thought I’d write this post to those of you who have in the back of your mind the idea of maybe starting your own business.

First know it’s terrifying. You will spend countless unpaid hours working your tail off. You will face¬†uncertainty that never goes away. 20 percent of new businesses don’t make it a year. Half only make it five years. Only one third will be around 10 years.

You will meet great people who will encourage you and you will meet some awful people who want to see you fail. Everyone has advice, many will treat you unfairly, and you will discover who you really are, not who your boss wants you to be.

Economic factors won’t make or break you if you learn how to adjust to them. If you don’t, they will destroy you. Listen to everything and everyone and only believe about 10 percent of it.

The people who are against you will be your biggest motivators. If someone gets under your skin, understand that is fuel to prove them wrong. If someone can crush your spirit with words, you have no chance of making it.

It’s not a path for everyone. If you can’t deal with sales, customer service, marketing, management, accounting, and development as all part of your daily job, it’s not for you. If you want a 9-5 paycheck every 2 weeks, this is not for you.

Honestly for years I was too sacred to do this. It was too much of a risk. Everyday is a risk, but it has allowed me to go places, do things and meet wonderful people around the world.

We owe our success to thousands of people. From everyone who trusted us enough to hire us to plan important events to the people who attend those events. We are forever grateful to our clients and partners.

Deciding to set off on your own takes soul-searching, planning, research and I suggest a lot of prayer. Failure is a great teacher and honesty is highly valued these days.

Whatever role you played in our success, even if it’s just reading this blog, thank you for 10 years of wonderful events.