Getting a late start

In 2001, the song I Wanna Talk About Me came out.

It was the first time I had heard of Toby Keith.

The song was huge for him. It’s safe to say this was the song that solidified him on the Country Music map.

He was 40.

Now, he had been around and had a few smaller hits through the 90s, but this particular hit was huge.

He had released his first country album less than a decade earlier.

It came out in his early 30s.

In music, to have your first album come out in your 30s, and to have the hit that finally solidifies you on the music scene at 40, is not common.

In reality, you’re ancient.

You’re not going to make a 30 under 30 list. And you narrowly missed the 40 under 40 list.

While Toby Keith got a late start, which I admire, he also became quite prolific after that release in 2001.

He released 5 albums prior to 2001, excluding a Christmas album.

After his 2001 album release, excluding greatest hits and Christmas albums, Toby Keith has released 13 albums. All of those came in the 15 years since the 2001 release.

Almost double the rate he was releasing prior.

That’s what makes Toby Keith impressive.

It’s not that he had a groundbreaking musical breakthrough in his late teens or early 20s, it’s that he has continued to be creative over decades.

30 under 30 lists are overrated and they’re a fairly useless measure of success.

Can you sustain your work for 3 decades?

That question, and measuring your endurance, is far more interesting.

Is my strategy working?

Have you tried to launch a blog?

It’s a great lesson in continuous execution.

You plan the blog. Launch your website. Develop your content strategy.

Then, you hit publish on your first post.

Crickets. Nothing happens.

But, that’s to be expected.

Now, you might be able to buy traffic, but organically, nothing is going to happen.

After you publish a few posts and webpages, and you continue to have zero traffic, you might think, is my strategy working?

It’s likely your strategy is just fine.

What needs to happen, is continuing to execute for a long period.

I’d say 12-18 months.

Come up with your idea. Build your strategy. Then, hunker down and write your blog posts for 12-18 months.

And just like that, it took 18 months for your blog to become an overnight success.

This might true for more than just a blog.

Eat dessert first

“Life is uncertain…Eat dessert first.”

That’s the Tucker’s Ice Cream motto.

Since the 1940s, Tucker’s is an ice cream shop serving Alameda, CA.

If you head over on a Friday or Saturday night, the line loops out the back door.

It’s the ice cream you eat in Alameda.

It helps that they serve – probably – the best vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had.

Everything else is great too.

While the ice cream shop has changed owners, they’ve stayed true to their ice cream.

Old fashioned. Creamy. The way ice cream should be.

They’re located on the main downtown street in an old brick building. The smell of buttermilk waffle cones when you walk in. The aesthetic tells you old fashioned ice cream is served here.

With pictures throughout of the local youth sports teams they support, you can tell they’re active in the Alameda community.

Maintaining a great product. Being involved with the community you serve. It’s the Tucker’s way.

And that’s why Alameda lines up every Friday and Saturday night.

Now, more than ever, we know life is uncertain.

So, let’s do like Tucker’s. Support your community. Eat dessert first.

How do you book a sales meeting?

I got a cold email from a sales rep Friday afternoon.

It was the first cold email and I booked a meeting.

I didn’t book the meeting because the email was particularly well written.

Subject line was generic. Content was generic.

But, it was effective, because I booked the meeting.

Why did I?

I booked the meeting because my colleagues have been speaking about them internally.

Mostly just, “it would be nice to give company x a try”. Really, the comments have been in passing.

Then, the sales reps email lands in my inbox.

I said yes. Off the 1st email.

This is a great example of outbound sales efforts complimenting marketing.

I’ve seen this company’s advertising. I’ve read their blog content. My colleagues spoke about them. Then, I get hit with the cold email.

That’s how B2B deals get started.

Multiple people are involved.

It’s about creating a swell within a company. Getting colleagues to talk. Then, they’re interested enough to chat.

There is nothing creative in this example. It is just building a sales and marketing system, that works together to consistently book meetings and close sales.

It’s as simple as that.

I won’t be the end decision maker, but I will have a use case for the product.

Community engagement with Green Day

The 41st street block party is a street festival in Oakland.

Music, food, art.

For the music, Green Day played a free show for the Oakland community.

Then, for New Year’s Eve, Billie Joe Armstrong and his band The Longshot played a surprise show at the Golden Bull.

A small club in Oakland.

Since they released a new album and were planning a tour – which is now on hold due to COVID – Green Day (prior to COVID) seemed to be warming up for tour by playing small shows in the Oakland community.

If you’re lucky enough to hear about them before they happen (I’m not), it’s a unique experience.

This is community engagement. And Green Day seems to take it seriously.

Not forgetting the community that made them what they are.

How do you engage with your community?