One Minute your Tires are on the Ground, the Next Minute you are in the Lake, and your Point of View Shifts Forever and Completely.
Have you heard of the #amphicar? I offer it as a worthy representative for 2020. That’s me riding in one in Lake Travis (Austin, Texas – #ThankYou Herb and Sheila!).
It’s strange (even shocking), prone to breakdowns (it stranded us for 15 minutes that same day, until Herb coaxed it back to life) and can’t do salt water – freshwater voyages, only or the engine is ruined. Fewer than 4K were made.
And ride in one and your point of view shifts, completely and forever. In the moment you slip from dry land into a lake (or river), you are changed. You can see it on your fellow riders’ faces and on the faces of anyone on shore who sees you entering or exiting the water. BIG smiles, mouths agape, fingers pointing, children squealing – it is Exciting!
A Game Changer, Mind Bender and Super Uncomfortable Voyage.
It is a game changer…one minute the tires are moving you forward, the next minute it’s the tiny twin propellers mounted under the rear bumper. Thrilling and scary – how can this be? Are you sure we’re not sinking? It seems like we should be sinking: we’re in a car in a lake.
No one needs to tell you (or me): 2020 was one long series of moments of change and chaos. I don’t think we can even really get how scary and difficult it has been for ourselves and fellow human beings everywhere, not anytime soon.
Growth Is Rarely Pretty: Elbows and Knees…and a Convertible in a Lake
I’ll readily admit – the best I’ve managed has been herky-jerky, a la Elaine Benis’ dance moves on Seinfeld. And I danced. And you danced, looking like a convertible in a lake – the wrong thing in the wrong place, seemingly unworkable.
You and I, my friend, we’ll continue to build our muscles. And our dance moves will (maybe) even smooth out. We are creative life forces, even in quarantine.
Cheers to Us for Building Hard Earned Muscles from New Experiences
#ThankYou 2020 – we press on with the gifts of:
I’ve Sunk My Fair Share of Convertibles, You? Speaking of Breakdowns…
This past year reminds me of 3.5 years ago. My business had been largely fueled by word of mouth (WOM) referrals. Friends, clients, colleagues and fans shared us and we sustained and grew; that’s how it was for more than a decade at TSG.
Then two key referral sources pivoted. Their energies and focus were elsewhere and the referrals slowed down. Sales and marketing couldn’t count on referrals to sustain us. It was painful. That, combined with a few other unforeseen happenings, forced us to learn and change.
Learning to Fish, Adding Skills, Testing and Failing (Thankfully).
Referral marketing and building long-term relationships with our customers had us be farmers. We cultivated and grew each client over time. With great pride we counted the number of years clients had chosen us as their partners.
Change Came Hard at First, and in the Middle, and Near the End.
I so wanted to quit, many times. And we developed our fishing way. Over the next 1.5 years we mined data and experimented. We drew on our knowledge of where the leads we wanted might be and set out on our own content strategy. We failed and failed. And we stayed with it, looking for the right time to land the right prospects. It took time to work out what was needed; so much time, it seemed!
And today it’s still driving new leads to serve the farmer in us. We’ve got a much more healthy mix of channels for leads and we’re clearer than we’ve ever been about who we best serve. And it is FUN! It’s made us better partners to our clients. It’s made us a better team. It’s made us better marketers. We’re grateful, now.
The List that has me Breathe and Look Forward to the Silver Linings that Follow the Storms.
I keep a list of the toughest times in my life – it was an (brilliant) assignment from a mentor years ago during a particularly difficult time. Divorce, debt, a few TSG pivots, to name a few. Next to each I’ve written the gift and learnings from each. Happy to share more if anyone reading this wants to take this on for themselves – just reach out.
Our Favorite 4-letter word: NEXT…
As we step off the ride that was 2020 and into 2021 let’s choose compassion, care and creation to meet ongoing change and chaos. Please take good care of yourselves and each other.
Let’s let each other know how we can help one another. Let’s be grateful for and use the losses, and the wins, no matter how big or small, for each other.
Let’s slip off dry land and into the cool water, and marvel at it all.
The team and I at TSG wish you and yours health, peace, adventures, (welcome) surprises, much joy and many beautiful moments that give you endless smiles on that gorgeous face.
Happy New Year! You are a rockstar and an amazing human being. I am so very proud and happy to know you.
#b2b #ContentMarketing #StillStanding