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What A Night At The Anthem In DC Taught Me About Extraordinary


I spent last night at The Anthem in DC, watching Mavis Staples and Bob Dylan.

Which is pretty extraordinary, Bob Dylan is 76 years old and still goes out and rocks and doesn’t let up for about 2 hours.

If you haven’t been to the venue yet, both shows I have been to have been extraordinary in their sound quality and the experience of going to a show.

Quite a few reasons for that:

  • The staff with one exception was great.
  • The service at the bars and merchandise stands was friendly and efficient.
  • The seats are super.
  • The sound is awesome.

I could go on, but that’s not the point here.

Because lately I have been thinking about how so many of our buying experiences, business experiences, etc. are just plain ordinary now.

As if the whole world is mailing it in in too many cases.

That made me pose the question to myself: “What happened to extraordinary?”

Is extraordinary even possible anymore?

Especially when we are always connected?

Especially when we are always on?


Actually, extraordinary is possible and more important than ever.

Here’s a few ways that you can make extraordinary a part of your business and work, thanks to The Anthem in DC and Bob Dylan!

Extraordinary Service Can Make All The Difference: I don’t know the young lady’s name that was the bartender at the bar last night, but if I did I would tell her “thank you.” Because she really made my evening better.

She was friendly and engaging, noticing my e-tickets, she asked if I was a member of the IMP club. (I AM!)

Then she somehow came upon the birthday program where they will give you a cupcake!

When she found out it was my birthday, she was very excited that I was at the Anthem on my birthday seeing Bob Dylan. Which I was also excited about.

The rest of the time I was having drinks, I went back to her.

It wasn’t something big, but it was being engaged and being personal that made a huge difference. Especially when you compare it to the male co-worker that was indifferent to everyone. Because I likely bought an extra beer or two just because the bartender was pleasant.

Every Touch Point Is A Chance To Win You A New Fan: I bought a t-shirt last night. But not from the first person that I came in contact with because there were 2 merchandise tables at the venue.

I popped in and started checking out the shirts and the guy was like, “these are cool shirts, but I don’t have the full merch selection. Check out the other table, but when you see that my stuff is better come back.”

The full merch table had a better selection for my taste. And, I ended up buying my shirt from there, but I was a big fan of the experience of buying something because the initial person I came into contact with helped me, offered advice, and was friendly.

Too bad he didn’t have the grey Bob Dylan and His Band t-shirt because its pretty awesome.

Creating Community Is An Underrated Aspect Of Any Experience: The first show I saw at The Anthem was the Foo Fighters.

Great show!

I mean…seriously! Go see a Foo Fighters show and a rock show at The Anthem. You’ll thank me.

But one of the great things about the shows that I have been to is that there is a lot of room to mix and mingle.

I made new friends at the Foo Fighters show because there were lots of spots to hang between sets and chat, along with several bars and food options.

The combination of those things helped add to the experience.

The crazy thing is that it also opened the door to talking to other people.

In a world where we feel tugged by constant demands driven by technology and society, having a spot to just hang out and bump into new, interesting people is a lost experience for many and having a place where that can happen is truly extraordinary as well.

And, not even that tough to create.

Talent Still Matters: You might think I am talking about the musicians and you’d only be partly correct if you did.

The thing is that extraordinary talents are hiding all over the place.

In your business, you are going to have a star salesman or marketer. You are likely going to have a superstar in one shape or form, if you are lucky.

But the thing about it is that superstar talents don’t necessarily create extraordinary experiences.

The talent I am talking about is more of the kind of talent that comes about because of hard work and practice and luck.


Customer Service.



These are things that are often missed today because our love of data and our addiction to technology make these things seem and feel less important.

But those talents are still essential and they can make your business extraordinary.


I think the key thing I came away with at the end of the night was that people still matter, experiences are still the best thing to sell, and if you give people a chance to do something that they can’t do anywhere else…you’ll still pack them in, but without caring you won’t necessarily get them to come back!

But I feel like people, stories, and connections is something I’ve been saying for a while now.