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Today's Marketing Cookie - Draw A Hot Dog
"You enthusiasm towards work will soon pay off."
Today's Marketing Cookie has a typo. "You enthusiasm" should be "Your enthusiasm". Or should it? Having enthusiasm towards one's work, while terrific, is quite different than BEING enthusiastic towards one's work. It's subtle, but do you see the distinction there? I believe that "having" is defined as something you own, while "being" is defined as something you are. Do you act enthusiastic about your work or ARE you enthusiastic? If you don't understand the difference form "having" to "being", perhaps you'll allow me to explain through a little story...
A short time after my wife and I were married, we quit trying to be actors in NY and moved to a quiet little town called, Wilmore, Kentucky. I would get up at the crack of dawn to work behind the deli counter at a tiny grocery store, then after lunch, I washed dishes in a college cafeteria. Once I was done with the dishes, I worked nights and weekends painting pots for "Fast Eddy" who owned a local pottery shop. I must have been working roughly ninety hours a week in those days. Meanwhile, there were people all around me, who couldn't find any job at all. Although all three of my jobs only paid minimum wage, I can tell you I was eternally grateful for every hour of work I was given! In fact, I was downright enthusiastic.
One day in the deli, I wanted to create a sale and promote some lunch specials. So, I drew a picture of a hot dog with crayon on a piece of deli paper. You have to understand that Wilmore was a really tiny town, and we were the only grocery store in the area. In fact, the next nearest grocery store was at least 10 miles away. Although having a sale wouldn't make a whole lot of sense when you have a captive audience, my boss let me go a head and do it anyway. My crayon art on the sign somehow caught the eye of a successful businessman who was visiting from Lexington. The businessman took the cigar out of his mouth, pointed to the sign I had drawn and asked, "Who-ah drew this-here hot dog?".
I said, "I did."
The businessman looked at the sign, and then back at me, and said, "You should work for me."
It turned out that the businessman owned a database of every thoroughbred horse that had ever lived, and he needed a "kid" to help him figure out how to put his horses on the internet. On Monday morning, I traded my deli apron and pricing gun for a necktie, and desktop computer. I had no prior Internet or computer experience, but somehow he thought this young guy who makes signs with crayons in a deli would help him achieve his goals. He paid me $8 per hour, which meant that I was able to quit one of my jobs. I was so grateful for the job, that I read every book I could find about the Internet, I taught myself how to write HTML, and when Netscape was finally released to replace the Mosaic browser, I designed my first-ever corporate Website.
That hot dog picture is how I started my marketing career. It's true.
Honestly, I don't believe I was hired that day for my hot dog drawing skills. Are you kidding!?! Although I can draw a terrific hot dog, that would just be ridiculous! No. I was just a young starving guy who was standing behind a deli counter, in the middle of nowhere, who took uncommon pride in his work. He saw that I was enthusiastic, despite my situation, and that was enough for him to take a chance on me... and I jumped at the opportunity.
The economy is going through some tough times today and unfortunately, many people are out of work. Whether you are a student who is just entering the marketplace or if you are an experienced marketer who has been laid off, the best advice I can give you is to draw a hot dog - with enthusiasm. I'm serious actually. In whatever you are doing, do it to the best of your ability, with purpose, commitment, and enthusiasm. Draw your hot dog. Let them see that you are enthusiastic, and I promise that if you do, it will soon payoff!