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Today's Marketing Cookie - Happy Events
"Happy events will take place shortly in your home."
Today's Marketing Cookie came via Twitter from Philip Sweet in the United Kingdom. Mr. Sweet is the founder and director of The Performance Improvement Project, where he and his team has helped hundreds of clients maximize their performance. You should follow him on Twitter: @MeasurementGuru
In the summer of 2006, I founded my second company, which was focused on social media and digital marketing. I had grown quite weary of commuting and decided to base my new company in my home in Mansfield, MA. Unlike the first company I had formed during the dot com boom, business development was proving to be much more difficult than I anticipated. The biggest social media network at the time was MySpace, and many businesses did not understand what social media was, never mind wanting to pay for consulting services. I stuck with it, despite being off to a rocky start.
Did I say "rocky start"? Perhaps I should have used the phrase "no start". Well sure. I managed to get some projects here and there and a few consulting gigs came along, but it wasn't consistent, and it wasn't enough to pay the bills. Meanwhile, word had spread that I was on my own again, and I began getting offers and inquiries from various marketing agencies in Boston and New York. I felt like I had just left the grinding agency world in favor of less stress and continued to decline the offers. However, I wondered if perhaps I had traded one type of stress for another. After five months of having more lows than highs, my wife "called a meeting"... and there was only one item on the agenda.
First of all, you have to understand something about my wife. She has always been a unconditional cheerleader for my endeavors, experiments and explorations. Yes. Even the stupid ones. If you keep reading these cookies, I'm sure I'll mention some of them eventually. If it weren't for my wife and her continuous support of my entrepreneurial adventures, I am certain I would be telling a different story today.
Anyway, we had our meeting. I remember that it was December 2nd and during our meeting, she lovingly wrote a very specific number on a sticky note and handed it to me. She said, "if you don't get this number (in dollars) by Christmas, you have to take one of these jobs that people are offering you". I agreed.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve...
I didn't have the number. Not even close... and I would have to go and work for someone else. Waaah! While we were packing the car to visit family for the holidays, my cell phone rang. On the other end of the phone was a previous client I hadn't spoken with for almost ten years. He asked if I could take on a project. I said "yes".
He said, "that's great, but I can only hire you on two conditions."
I said, "okay. What are the conditions?"
He said, "Well, we'd prefer to pay you everything upfront and you have to meet with our CEO first, but he is in our satellite office today."
I said, "okay. Where is the satellite office?"
"It's in this town called Mansfield" he replied.
I couldn't believe it! So, I drove about one mile from my house to meet with the CEO, who had a check waiting for me to get started on the project. When I came home, I handed the check to my wife. As we added a few other odds and ends to the total, I had made the number... plus twenty-five cents! I got to keep my little company and from that moment forward, my business grew and grew.
The most important part of the story happened six months later. My mother stopped by our house to stay over-night on her way to visit her sisters in Canada. The next morning, she suffered a massive stroke. After a month in the hospital, she began to recover. Since I was running my company from my home, she would continue to stay with us indefinitely. If I hadn't been made the number on Christmas Eve, and work from home, I would not have been available to drive her to hundreds of doctor visits, rehab appointments and all the other check-ups and tests that came with it. I am happy to report that a year later, she had fully recovered and she finally made it to Canada to see her sisters!
No matter how hard things may be for you in your career. Do not give up! For I've found that's just when happy events come to your home!