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The Experts

A bite out of the Big Apple

Maureen Jordan
Thursday, February 04, 2010

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There’s something special about watching Woody Allen’s film Manhattan when you’re all tucked up in bed in a room on West 44th street and Broadway.

The snow outside adds to the mood and Irving Berlin’s music makes you almost want to dance through the streets flanked with amazing architecture – but it’s too cold!

I couldn’t have picked a better holiday to take the heat down from a difficult 2009. Sure, the wind chill factor isn’t something anyone would want to deal with on a regular basis but most of us in business found last year hard going and I didn’t mind cooling off.

So straight after Christmas we took a Qantas direct flight for a two-week stint in the Big Apple and a week in LA. Haven’t been there for two years and it was time to savour a fortnight in my favourite city in the entire U S of A. Needed the burger and fries fix, and, in New York there’s no end of quality restaurants that have the good old hamburger on the menu. Even Daniel Boulud’s classy eatery DB Bistro Moderne, conveniently located two doors down from our hotel, serves a wagu beef burger and ‘to die for’ fries that alone are worth the trip!

As much as I love the restaurants – Pastis, Balthazar, Buddakan, Le Bilboquet to name a few, and working out in the gym with Billy Connelly was a big thrill – it’s what you learn while you’re in the States that always makes a trip so valuable.

Let me take you through a few everyday lessons I learnt while in the US for three weeks:

  1. Confidence is important. Americans are largely confident people. Even 11 September and the GFC haven’t shattered the resilience of the American people. A trip to the States reinforces my belief that if your mental state is switched to the positive, you can overcome anything.
  2. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. You must tip. A New York Times article ranked Australians as the worst tippers in the world! Sure, the tipping system in the US shifts the burden of wages from the employer to the consumer, but tipping is expected. It’s not worth giving our country a bad name for the sake of a few dollars here and there.
  3. It’s important to get a bird’s eye as well as side view of your business/career. I remember looking at NY from the air when landing. And then seeing its profile walking back across the Brooklyn Bridge. Truly amazing perspectives. These totally enjoyable actions made me rethink the need to look at ourselves and our businesses from as many angles as possible to see the beauty and the blemishes.
  4. Australia has a truly amazing social welfare system. I’m proud to be Australian and not so locked into free market forces that caring for people is not seen as a priority.
  5. That touching down on Australian soil is a great thrill. Home is the best place to be, and being an entrepreneur, a risk taker in Australia, is one thing I enjoy being – despite the past two years.

Important information:This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

 

Published: Thursday, February 04, 2010


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