A Cup of Coffee With President George H. Bush | TravelResearchOnline


A Cup of Coffee With President George H. Bush

This is another true story that comes attached to a very pertinent message. Almost everybody has somebody they would like to meet. This may be a movie star, a sports celebrity, an author, or a TV personality. It may be a politician, a famous physician, or even the guy or gal living down the street. People are quick to identify their “wish-lists” but, more often than not, they fail to do anything proactively to make a future introduction.

Not long ago, I asked my wife if there was anybody she would like to meet. Without hesitating, she replied by saying, “I would like to meet President George H. Bush… and his wife Barbara.” I would be candy-coating my reaction if I said this selection surprised me to no end. I was ready to hear the name of some heartthrob. But President George H. Bush?

Priding myself as somebody who practices what he preaches, I begin to go to work. A letter to former President Bush was in order. But first I had to uncover the “hook.” And here is the gist of today’s message.



A “hook” is nothing more than a common denominator two people might have in common. Identifying and utilizing a hook can save a lot of wasted time. In my case, the hook was spelled “fellow speaker.” George and I were both scheduled to speak at a European conference scheduled within the next few months. I wrote a letter addressed to George to Houston outlining the story and inviting him to a cup of coffee at the upcoming conference. When a letter arrived with the former president’s seal in the upper left-hand corner, it came as no surprise to learn that a cup of coffee with George and Barbara was not in our immediate future.


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I was expecting this negative response and immediately began researching Hook #2. It came in the form of another meeting to be held in Las Vegas later that year. What are the chances? A second letter was followed by a second negative reply. I took a few more shots, but over time I began to lose interest since it never was my idea in the first place.

In seminars, I ask those in attendance if they feel I could have had coffee with George and Barbara if I continued to pursue the introduction and if I didn’t quit. A smattering of hands uncovered my supporters before I boldly stated that “I could guarantee it.”

How could I be so bold? How could I guarantee anything?

Resorting back to the hook, here is how I could make such a statement.

The hook, in this case, was the word “speakers. We were both speakers. I would simply hire him to speak at some event, like my son’s 12th birthday party. (Stay with me.)

He could possibly say he would be glad to do it for $100,000 plus two first-class roundtrip airline tickets from Houston. If he said “no,” I could up the ante to $150,000, or until he said “yes.”

Once I quoted a price he would accept, I would determine if this positive experience and longtime wish of my wife was worth the price just quoted. In other words, I would decide if I wanted to pay the price? In this case, the answer would be an emphatic “no.”

Lesson Time

Just about every goal, objective, or dream comes with a price. The question remains whether you want to pay that price or not. Simple. Yes or no?

Do you want to build a successful business? Do you want to pay the price? You want to learn how to play the piano. Are you willing to pay the price? Do you want to build your client list? Do you want to pay the price?

Most people are very proficient at “wanting” good things to happen in their lives. I am sad to say that very few people are any good at paying the price to turn their wishes into realities.

We never did have coffee with George and Barbara Bush. Unfortunately, this window has been permanently closed.

I suppose a second lesson might come as a reminder to “strike while the iron is hot.”


A headshot of the author, Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. mike@mikemarchev.com.

*** You want more to think about? Check out my weekly podcast (Mike’d Up Marchev). Also listed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google, and iHeartRadio.

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