Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Idea-A-Day One ~ Go Time Spirit Consulting Inc.

Idea Count: 1/20

Title: Go Time Spirit Consulting

Category: Entrepreneurial-ism

Feasibility: 7/10

Likelihood: 5/10


February in Junior High was always the best month of the year. Spirit month allowed me an opportunity to dress as a ninja turtle and exhibit fierce leadership skills. It was a time for my competitive side to burst out and wreak havoc on anyone willing to get in the way of me and my spirit points.

Spirit month was intense for one reason: it lifted the bar.

Let me explain. In junior high everybody got 100% on the test. Nobody ever got less than an A. We were all the same in the lunchroom; we were all the same in everything we did. It was impossible for one student to out perform another, simply by the virtue that you could reach the top by giving a half hearted effort. When I showed up to game time with 120 points and Jason only showed up with 40, we both walked away with 100%. There was no difference in what we got back out of the system. Because you could only go so far before hitting the top, everybody won.
Helen: "Everyone's special, Dash."
Dash: "Which is another way of saying no one is."
-Elastigirl and her son, as Elastigirl (Helen) tries to explain why it's not ok for Dash to use his powers.
Spirit week removed the glass ceiling. For the first time in my educational career, I was free to give my best and be recognized for it. It didn't matter how far I went; there was always an open sky above me, beckoning me to excel even further.

There was no cap to creativity; there was no cap to intensity. There was never a point in spirit month where the- "Alright, that will do" -clause came in to effect. I could push as high as I wanted; no one was there to stop me.

Perfect example: Dallas Bruehl. It's 7th grade spirit month, the assembly. The big cheese, the final showdown. What happened here would largely determine the outcome of the entire month. Weeks and weeks of cleaning the lunch room and wearing makeup to school all came down to these final moments. Champions were selected from each grade to participate in brutal and hilarious competitions, all in the hopes of earning a few hundred spirit points and the respect and love of their classmates.

Dallas was selected as the seventh grade combatant for the food eating contest. He gracefully stepped up to the table. Noticeably shorter than the eighth and ninth grade competitors, he was written off from day one. Seventh graders never win.

The command was given, and three lone heroes began the disgusting march towards victory. The food before them was edible, yes, palatable, no. The eighth and ninth graders jumped in; they gave it their all. Bite after bite and mouthful after mouthful they downed the atrocious sustenance.

Dallas Bruehl was unfazed. A brilliant student with a slight attitude problem and a lack of motivation, he was looked upon as average during the scholastic school year. He was faceless, just like the rest of us.

Dallas attacked that monstrous plate with a tenacity and alacrity that first startled, then amazed the entire audience. He was efficient, fast, and machine-like in his war of attrition against the putrid food. No one had ever seen anything like it. He was massacring the competition; his onslaught was unprecedented.

The entire seventh grade student body, collectively, caught the fever. We knew we had this in the bag. He was blowing the bad guys away; he was unbelievable. A mighty rumble rose up and refused to die. A sea of supporters cheered and screamed for the mighty hero of ingestion.

Before long the competition drew to a close, and Dallas Breuhl was announced the victor. We all knew he was a hero; we all knew he was a legend. Within moments he was placed higher than he had ever been before. No longer Dallas Bruehl the average student, he was Dallas Bruehl, the master of all things comestible.

Dallas was an amazing eater. And yet, if the competition had simply been an animal cracker eating competition, the results would have been entirely different. If the goal was to eat three animal crackers for 100 spirit points, all participants would have won, and none would have been relegated to legendary status like Dallas was.

Dallas was given the opportunity to rise up and do the impossible. Additionally, both the eighth grader and the ninth grader were given this opportunity as well. Dallas went above and beyond the call of duty to bring home the trophy. He's a legend, and the other two aren't.

I live for these moments. Moments when it's not about eating three animal crackers, it's about pushing yourself to the highest, most extreme limits. Who could wear the most creative costume to school? Who could drink the most tobasco sauce? Who would rise up and ribbon dance for the whole world to see?

Everyone can eat three animal crackers. Congratulations; you found the red pen.

Spirit week removes the glass ceiling. Glory is, for the first and only time, accessible.

It is because of my deep love and appreciation for spirit week that I suggest the following plan.


One day when I find myself financially secure, I am going to start a new branch of my business. I'll call the branch Go Time Spirit Consulting, at least for the time being. We will be a branch devoted to the enrichment, education, and elevation of individuals of all ages.

We will achieve this through three main services that we offer. The first will be leadership training and team building exercises for corporations and other such organizations. We will have a campus of sorts, wherein people will come and learn how to lead, effectively communicate, solve problems, and ultimately increase the productivity of their group or company.

It's amazing how much of a market there is for these kinds of services right now, and I can only assume that the market will grow in the future. You know all those times that a teacher misses a class because they were at a conference, or were at training? Yeah, it's this kind of training.

Except, we're going to be a little different. We're going to be scientific about our approach, and we're going to be effective, yes. But we're also going to be more fun and more creative. One idea I had for communication training was a human-based-text-adventure-game.

You'd have your group, say, ten individuals. One of the individuals would be a boss, and he'd be led off to a little shack where he sits with his cell phone. The other nine would enter our course, a sort of grid with all sorts of business in it. The game would commence, and the boss would be sent a text that says something like "You are in a clearing. You see a tree. Exits are East, West, and North." After which point, the boss will text back and say "Go East." (Or, ya know, go West, depending on how he's feeling.)

Anywhom, then the group will be required to go East. So, they'll go through the East exit and find themselves in a new clearing. From then on, they are responsible for telling the boss man what they've got. So, one of them will have to send the text that says "You are in a clearing. You see a log, a book of matches, and a key. Exits are West, North, and East." Then the boss man decides what they need to do, and they do it.

The trick is that they can't do anything the boss man doesn't tell them to, they must do everything the boss man tells them to, and the boss man can't tell them to do anything that they haven't mentioned that they could do. The boss can't tell them to climb the tree if nobody mentioned that there's a tree.

Anyways, we'll throw some twists in there, some good learning experiences. They're going to have to make a human pyramid at least once.

Anyways, that's where we're going to make our money. Offering professional leadership courses and the like. We'll study it out, we'll make it pro. That's arm one.

Arm two is a remake of the eighth grade dream we all love: Stellar Squared. It's sort of like an amusement park, minus the rides. We'll have our campus, something that resembles a giant war zone. It will be strategically laid out so as to be the perfect capture the flag arena. It will double as several other things. Basically, it'll cost a dollar or two to get in, and once you're in you'll be briefed and you'll join a huge and persistent battle against the bad guys. Maybe one night it's a capture the flag match, maybe another it's an all out American-Gladiators battle. No one knows, but you'll be able to come on in, hop on a side, and battle it out for your comrades.

The park will be flexible. We'll be ever changing. We'll be able to line up fields for an Ultimate tournament, we'll be able to have a rockin' region dance under the stars if need be. The idea, no matter our current configuration, will remain the same throughout: It's a place to come for something epic. Epic competitions, epic dances, epic opportunities. It will be the place for epic.

We'll make some money off of it, but probably not too much. This is more of a public service than anything else right now. With any luck I will be financially secure, so I'll be able to do this stuff. No, we won't be losing money, we just won't be rolling in it.

Our third, and my favorite arm of Go Time Spirit Consulting will be just that: Spirit Consulting. For a very small fee, high schools or junior highs can contract with us to come run the most amazing spirit month the world has ever seen.

We'll send in our representatives to have a meeting with the sbo's and administration. We'll talk about what they want to accomplish, and we'll work together to implement it all. We won't just walk in a take over, oh no, we'll work together. We'll offer suggestions, but we won't do anything without their approval.

Ultimately, we'll bring a lot of things to the table. We are walking in with experience. We've had a team of researchers studying spirit months across the country for a year now. We've gathered data, found out what works and what doesn't, and now we're ready to share it. When the kids eyes light up and they say "Oh my gosh, what if we...." And then the administration will gasp in horror, and we'll nod mischievously and say "Oh yeah, we can do that." That's what we're there for.

A little less than a year ago I had a dream about the best spirit week ever. It culminated in an epic assembly, one with four predetermined events. Events like the DDR dance off, the Halo tournament, the school wide treasure hunt/adventure, all sorts of stuff. It involved doing most of the events before hand, and then showing taped footage of it at the assembly, sort of like what they did with the Olympics. Of course, the final portion of all the events would be done live, it'd just be cooler that way.

I realized that Go Time Spirit Consulting would be the only way to really realize these dreams. Stuff on this epic of a scale would be nearly impossible to pull off without outside professional help. That's what we're here for. We will come in, and make things epic.

There are many reasons why an epic spirit week is beneficial to the school. First and foremost, it builds school spirit, which is crucial to success. I firmly believe that things run better when you really believe in the school you're attending. You'll see more people going to the games, more people joining the teams. There'll be community, it'll be amazing.

Spirit months are also very useful for mobilizing a large number of students to do whatever you want them to do. Can anybody say food drive? Look at all that food, all the good that Taylorsville does every year. Now, sure, some of it comes from the goodness of the SBO's hearts. But, I'm confident that more of it comes from competition. With a truly epic spirit month, there's no end to the good that a bunch of students could do. Think big, we're gonna change the world.

Me: "Hey, I'll give you 10 spirit points if you'll end world hunger!"
Them: "Oh man, I am SO there."

Go Time Spirit Consulting is my way of making things epic. The goal is to enrich, educate, and elevate everyone we come in contact with. We will teach valuable lessons in our giant capture the flag matches at the stellar squared campus. We'll make companies run smoother and more productively with our leadership and communication training. Above all, we'll let kids everywhere live my childhood dream. We'll let them excel. They will be able to go higher and further than they've ever gone before. There will be no limit; life will be epic.

So, there's the plan. Not exactly a money maker, but we ought to make a few dollars on the deal. If not, well, we made the world a better place. Any questions?


Anonymous said...

yay for Stellar Squared! it's flexible! those are some fan-freaking-tastic ideas right there. . .so ummm go for it! oh and it wasn't mentioned enough that Stellar^2 is flexible. (as if we didn't get enough of that in 8th grade!)

well, can't wait for more ideas!

Courtney said...

lol. it's... flexible! and epic. ;) oh man, i loved stellar squared. that was a freakin awesome. i love the first of idea-a-day. you're brilliant thatcher, as always. ;)

Nick said...

"My name's Thatcher, and I'm better than you in Every.




But really, good job. I wish I had your skillz