As a music lover, I was so excited when I arrived in Nashville “Music City U.S.A.”, Tennessee to visit Jeff Elkins and Robin Davis, both independent proposal consultants. I arrived just before Christmas and it was very cold so my first stop was the Goodwill store to pick up this toasty little sweater. Proposal-Panda-Nashville-02 The city was alive with the sights and sounds of the season – quite literally. Leaving the Goodwill store, I ran into my first celebrity. Well, celebrity-in-the-making, perhaps. Jim was volunteering as a Salvation Army bell ringer but is also a singer/songwriter. Of course he is – Nashville is filled with a bazillion musicians, including my hosts who used to play together in a band called Strat 5. Anyway, Jim was kind enough to let me sit in with him while he played “Silent Night.” In return, I generously donated to the red bucket. I hope Jim makes it big someday.
I first spent time with Jeff in Hendersonville, TN (home of Grammy winning country/pop star Taylor Swift). Almost before I was unpacked, Jeff requested I review Jeff’s notes on a current project and help him craft an executive summary. Once I started working I realized I could help Jeff by recommending some changes to the layout of his home office that would make things more efficient.
Next, I headed on over to visit with a good friend of Jon and BJ, Robin Davis. On the day I arrived, Robin was documenting the proposal process she designed for a client. Since I’ve been around so many different shops, she asked me to help ensure she was following best practices. I offered some advice on ways to make the process more efficient and then got busy making a flowchart for the client’s team to review. Robin then asked me to help create the proposal process training presentation for the client’s sales team. A perfect task for me since I’m a master presenter! I quickly whipped up a compelling and fun presentation and coached Robin on how to deliver it in the most effective way.
After a fair amount of working time, I was in need of some serious downtime. So, Robin and Jeff took me around to see the sights of the city. I can’t do that on an empty belly so our first stop was the Hard Rock Café on the banks of the Cumberland River. There was great music, fun memorabilia to look at, and an overpriced, but tasty, cheeseburger. Proposal Panda cannot live on Bamboo alone.
Well, it’s that time again and I must move on to visit new people and experience new places. Nashville was a blast and I enjoyed spending time with Jeff and Robin. I’m looking forward to seeing them again when we all attend the APMP National conference in June.
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