I just returned from a fantastic 10 day vacation in Arizona. After a bit of car trouble (expensive transmission problems – OUCH) in Central California, we made it to our first stop, beautiful Barstow, California (near Hinkley, the toxic town featured in the movie Erin Brockovich).  We didn't get to bed until 2 AM the first night and had to be back on the road at 6 AM to get to the Grand Canyon in time to complete our 8 mile hike into the canyon before it got dark. We finished our 3 hour hike down into the canyon just as the sun was setting. Our  destination was the Havasupai Indian Reservation deep in the Grand Canyon. Check out the beautiful pictures at www.havasupaitribe.com

spring2008 093.jpg After two longs days of travel and a beautiful but exhausting hike into the canyon, we literally stumbled into the village on the Havasupai Reservation. The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful places on earth but the Havasupai Reservation is a very depressing place. The homes are very run down, the locals dump their garbage in their yards, horses leave their fragrant trail everywhere, packs of wild dogs scavenge for food and water, and the locals are very lazy and unmotivated.

Everything is brought in via horses and pack mules so there's very little fresh food. We watched them unload the packages of Cup of
Noodles, Rice A Roni, tons of soda and Gatorade, and coolers full of pre-packed food straight from your local 7 Eleven. Everything they eat in the valley is microwaveable food with tons of preservatives and sodium. The result is that every local is obese and extremely lazy.
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There's one cafe in town that's supposed to be open from 8 AM until 6 PM which was our only place to eat. Other than that there was a grocery store and a convenience store that sold the wonderful microwave meals. The locals open and close their businesses at will. Sometimes they're open all day other days they close when they feel like it. If you ask anyone for directions or help, they look at you and say "I don't know". They grow peaches but no fresh vegetables or other fruits. They don't make any jewelry or souvenirs to sell to the thousands of tourists that visit every year. They make no effort at all to earn money to improve their life and living conditions. It's really sad to see a tribe of people lose their traditions and their desire. They're content to receive their government stipend and just barely survive.

If they were motivated, they could clean up their village and provide more services to the tourists. The tourists would love to spend money on authentic Indian jewelry and souvenirs. They would love to eat authentic Indian food instead of the microwave meals now
served at the cafe. The locals could make a fortune from the tourists by providing basic services and goods that the tourists are expecting. Look at the Indian tribes that have gaming on their reservations. They're improving their lives and providing opportunity for
their children. The Havasupai have no interest in improving their situation and helping their children thrive instead of just surviving. 

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They're leaving a lot of money on the table.

How much money are you leaving on the table in your business? What other goods and services could you provide to your customers so you can earn more money? Have you asked your customers what else you could provide that they would like to buy from you? What are you waiting for?


 Until next time,


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About the author 

Ted Prodromou

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