Ep 8 Bruce MacMillan – Warning! Failure is Inevitable Along the Road to Being Remarkable

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Welcome to our 8th Episode of LIFT Speaks with Bruce MacMillan, Reboot Architect of Visit DFW. Bruce is intentional about living in the present, connecting in the moment, and making a difference in life and business.

I started my business because . . . I love the DFW area. No one marketing enterprise was really sharing the story of the whole DFW experience, only its traditional parts. We bring it all together in one place…as told by people that live it and love it every day.

The thing I enjoy most about my business is . . . I get to enjoy a front row seat with a group of people as passionate as I am about Dallas Fort Worth watching it all unfold.

The biggest surprise for me as a business owner is . . . How much the pace of business change lags behind the pace of technological and social change.

One question people should ask me is . . . How does one best engage potential visitors to DFW?

One thing I wish I knew when I was younger is . . . Failure is inevitable along the road to being remarkable.

Introduction

Catherine Miller: Welcome to LIFT, stories of what people do and their impact on the world. Today, I’m interviewing Bruce MacMillan with Visit DFW.

Bruce MacMillan: Right.

Catherine Miller: Bruce, take 30 seconds and tell us what you do for Visit DFW.

Bruce MacMillan: I am the CEO of Visit DFW, which is a joint venture of tourism boards and stakeholders in the DFW area that market this incredible destination in the regional areas, including adjacent states and all throughout the rest of Texas.

Catherine Miller: And if you had one selling point, one thing that you think, “This is the thing I always hit on from Visit DFW. What is it?”

Bruce MacMillan: The most interesting and amazing thing, which brings people to this region is the festivals and sports activities.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Bruce MacMillan: We are a magnet for sports and a magnet for just festivals because of the diversity of the culture we have here.

Catherine Miller: Yeah, that’s true.

Bruce MacMillan: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: That’s true. And the other reason I think we’re really good at that is because there’s nothing else to do here. You’ve got to create your own fun! There are no mountains to climb.

Bruce MacMillan: And who better to do it than Texans, right?

Catherine Miller: That’s right.

Unexpected Destinations

Bruce MacMillan: We create our own fun. That’s why people come here. They want to have fun with us.

Catherine Miller: Yeah, I agree. I think it’s a good place to be. But I also happen to know that you have gone to a very far-out location and conducted your business in a very different place in Dallas-Fort Worth. Can you tell us about that?

Bruce MacMillan: Well, I’ve been very blessed over the course of my life to have a lot of very cool travels and one place that we were just talking about was a place called Oman, which is a country in the northeast corner of Africa and it’s very traditional Arab and we, as Americans, have been so conditioned to think, “Well, that part of the world is all about Dubai and Abu Dhabi.” This is the opposite of that. It is traditional, Muslim, very friendly, very welcoming to Americans.

It has beautiful beaches, Lawrence of Arabia sand and incredible food and no one has ever heard of it. So I had the good opportunity to actually do some work there to help them profile themselves as a tourism destination.

Catherine Miller: Cool. Wow. It makes me want to go.

Bruce MacMillan: Check it out.

Catherine Miller: Yeah, yeah. Well, what I’m going to do with you now is we have our rapid fire questions.

Bruce MacMillan: OK.

Catherine Miller: Yes, they’re very quick, rapid. So the kind of first thing that comes to mind to answer these questions.

Bruce MacMillan: All right.

Catherine Miller: You ready?

Bruce MacMillan: Bring it.

Catherine Miller: OK. So describe your best day.

Bruce MacMillan: My best day is waking up on a crystal clear Pacific Northwest morning, looking out over the beach with a steaming cup of coffee and then either going out for a kayak or going out for a surf.

Catherine Miller: Oh, that does sound good.

Bruce MacMillan: Yeah.

Catherine Miller: It doesn’t sound like Visit DFW but it sounds good.

Bruce MacMillan: No.

Catherine Miller: That’s your vacation.

Bruce MacMillan: That’s my vacation.

Get Connected

Catherine Miller: So what’s your key to productivity?

Bruce MacMillan: My key to productivity is being connected, and not just sort of directly with a phone or something, but just sort of being aware of who’s around, what’s happening all around, because everything’s happening so quick. The faster and better our connections are, the more productive we’re going to be.

Catherine Miller: Right, right. I would think in your business, especially connectivity would be key.

Bruce MacMillan: Yeah. Sometimes it’s over-connectivity and that can be a problem too. So there has got to be some sort of filter mechanism.

Catherine Miller: Right. Yeah, it’s a big job. What is one foundational business principle that you are committed to executing?

Bruce MacMillan: I think the most important thing is – it has to happen. Think in the now and you only get one chance to be remarkable now. You could be remarkable tomorrow. But always think, “How am I going to be remarkable right now?” because you only get one chance at this moment.

Catherine Miller: Yeah. Well, that’s a good one. I haven’t heard that –

Bruce MacMillan: It’s not mine. I borrowed it.

Catherine Miller: You borrowed it. But still, I think it’s a good one. That’s a real good one. Do you have a personal or a business mission statement or an overall philosophy in how you do life?

Bruce MacMillan: Life is a journey, not a destination. I didn’t say that one either.

Catherine Miller: Yeah. Yeah, I’ve heard that one before too, but that is a good way to start every day, isn’t it?

Bruce MacMillan: Well, the other one I would probably say is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for “Life moves by pretty quickly and if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss something.”

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Bruce MacMillan: So that’s why – being in the travel marketing business, that really aligns nicely with that.

Catherine Miller: Yeah, that does.

Bruce MacMillan: They do.

Having an Impactful Mission

Catherine Miller: That does. That’s good. All right. Where do you find the greatest joy or what energizes you most about your work?

Bruce MacMillan: I think taking something that – from absolute concept and seeing it happen in action and learning something from it. That doesn’t mean it has to hit it out of the park every time. But that it’s creating something that we learn, that we take away, so that we can use another day. It’s like you got to be in the game, which means you got to be doing something. You can’t just be moving stuff around on a whiteboard or stuff. It’s like let’s push send and make something happen, good or bad.

Catherine Miller: Right. That’s good. Next is, what impact do you hope your work has beyond being profitable, money-making?

Bruce MacMillan: I think it’s – travel is about creating memories and creating experiences. So when somebody travels somewhere and something happens that they – positive, that they didn’t expect or it’s something that’s like, “Oh, this made an impact on me,” whether it’s meeting something, whether it’s buying something, whether it’s having a great experience with a partner or a family or a friend on that trip. It’s about creating a memory.

Catherine Miller: That’s good. All right. Last question.

Bruce MacMillan: OK, bring it.

Catherine Miller: I know. These are pretty easy. All right. Favorite thing about working at the LIFT Office and how has it benefited you as either an individual or in your business?

Bruce MacMillan: Well, I haven’t been here that long. But I have to say I think there’s a very cool vibe and a very interesting diverse profile of people at work here and I think the best thing is somebody – you’re going to meet somebody different all the time and it’s like they’re already set up to want to engage with you. It’s not like people are sort of sequestering themselves in a cubicle.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Bruce MacMillan: It’s like you will be – in the kitchen with somebody and you say, “How is it going?” You introduce yourself or you say, “Hey, I saw that you were doing something like this. I would really like to – I have a similar challenge or a similar opportunity. But I don’t know where to start. So maybe you’ve got some ideas.”

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Bruce MacMillan: So it’s just – it’s a very sort of cool engagement with people.

Catherine Miller: Yeah, it is. It is. We have smart people here doing cool work and doing work that they believe in. I love that about this place.

Bruce MacMillan: Yeah, it has got a great vibe.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Bruce MacMillan: And it sends out sort of a very cool aura about it and I think I can – more and more people are checking it out and so it’s leaking out the windows.

Catherine Miller: Yeah. I love that. Yeah. Thank you. I’m glad you’re here.

Bruce MacMillan: I’m glad to be here.

Catherine Miller: I really am. If I need to find out what to do one weekend, I will come check it out with you.

Bruce MacMillan: Hit me up.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Bruce MacMillan: All right.

Catherine Miller: So thank you.

Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned for more interviews with amazing people who are impacting the world or better yet, come on by. I would love to introduce you to them. I will have the coffee hot and I will be happy to take you on a tour. See you soon.

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