I spent a lot of time in a parking lot today.

The day I wrote this anyway.

Why?

Because I believe in being early, or at the very latest – on time.

So I had a three hour and 15 minute drive to reach my first gig today. And I allowed a bit over four hours.

Why?

You never know what is going to happen.

Maybe traffic will be horrific because of an accident, road closure or just plain stupidity.

Maybe something will happen to a tire or my car. (I get regular maintenance and have them check it over every 4,000 – 5,000 miles.)

Perhaps I will get lost. I’ve had my GPS freak out and suddenly stop providing directions. That little technological wonder has taken me to the wrong place too. Another reason I still carry a map.

But the trip went as planned.

In fact, I arrived early.

So about 10 miles from the venue, I pulled into a Walmart parking lot and waited almost an hour. I arrived at the venue 10 minutes ahead of my scheduled time.

That afternoon, I was scheduled 40 minutes away.

I had over two hours to kill. I stopped and grabbed lunch, and still had more than 90 minutes to wait.

Why do this?

Because clients pay me to be there.

They don’t want excuses. They don’t want to worry you may not show up. They have other concerns. Don’t be one of them.

When I arrive early, I put the client at ease.

I’m not rushed and they usually take a few extra minutes to talk.

I build a relationship of trust and professionalism.

Next time they need to hire an entertainer, I stand an excellent chance of getting that gig too. Because they can depend on me to be there and do my job.

So what did I do in the parking lot?

Wrote this blog post for one thing. I also listened to a podcast on something I wanted to learn about. I even made out a To Do List of things I needed to accomplish.

Carry along a notebook or journal to write down ideas.

Bring a good book to read.

Don’t think of it as waiting.

Think of this time as a chance to plan, dream and get things done.

You’ll be surprised how much you can do.

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