Last weekend, I was in NYC drinking a beer at Pete's Tavern, the oldest bar in NYC. And sitting next to us was a couple from Florida who told us about Rolf's. Rolf's was a German restaurant, nearby, and they were adamant that we had to go there.
The place closes for six nights every year, spends $30,000 on Christmas lights, charges $15 a beer and there is a line to get in.
So, we went. We stood in line 30 minutes - in the cold - to get in to a small room packed shoulder to shoulder with lights, everywhere. We spent $30 on beer. We smiled and laughed and talked to strangers.
Was it worth it?
We told everyone we could about Rolf's. "You have to go there!"
Why? Because Rolf's is an experience. The $30 in beers were worth the experience. The line was worth the experience. The cold was worth the experience. The cramped quarters was worth the experience.
When the experience is like that, people talk. And more people go.
This makes me think about the small businesses I run, of course. But, even more, it makes me think about church. Would people wait in line for 30 minutes in the cold to go to church? Would they spend $30 on overpriced coffee?
There are all kinds of reasons but none of them have me very comforted recently.