On Monday August 21, 2017, North America will experience its first total solar eclipse since February 26, 1979. Here in Nashville, TN which is in a direct path for a total eclipse, which has not been seen here since July 29, 1478, over 539 years ago. Oh my gosh, the excitement, the anticipation! We are expected up to host an extra one million people in the Music City to see this phenomenon. Hotels are sold out at premium rates, local bars, especially roof top bars, are selling tickets for over $200 per person. Warnings of counterfeit eclipse glasses, traffic jams, schools dismissed etc. I have never seen such anticipation for an event that will only last 5 minutes.
See the anticipation of the event is always greater than the event itself. This is Nashville, which is in the Southeastern United States in August. It is very hot and very humid, which means thunderstorms at any given time. This means no viewing. Even that doesn’t stop the exciting anticipation of a 500 year phenomenon. Businesses are closing for the day because of this anticipation. Let’s be clear the partial eclipse is about 4 hours, but the total eclipse is from 1:27pm to 1:32pm CDT, 5 minutes. A business closes all day for a 5 minute event which is the equivalent of watching grass grow after a good rain. Yes it is cool, but really, close for a 5 minute event?
Comedian Lewis Black has a great standup routine about anticipation. He is hysterical, but his bit is straight on. We as humans get so worked up with anticipation of an event that the event itself is somewhat of a letdown. When we look forward to an event for a long period of time, it is never as great as the anticipation of the event in our minds. Our most memorable events really happen when we have no expectation of the event. We show up and have a great time or be entertained, because we did not anticipate a level of joy we played in our minds. Some people refer to anticipation as hype. Hype is marketing to rally people, but the event, product or service rarely lives up to this hype.
This blog is about anticipation and hype that I will give my usual business lesson. But in staying true to my message, there is no lesson, only hype and anticipation. Enjoy the eclipse!
“There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”—Alfred Hitchcock
Image by zirconicusso images at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.