Call Us: 877.620.6664 | Contact Us
Today's Marketing Cookie - Celebrate Tiny Successes
"Do not let great ambitions overshadow small successes."
Today's fortune comes from Natasha Marquez of Puerto Rico. Natasha is the social media coordinator at ARCO Publicidad, a marketing and advertising agency working with Kentucky Fried Chicken, Ocean Spray and Taco Bell, among other leading brands in Puerto Rico. You should follow Natasha on Twitter: @Natasham4
Today's Marketing Cookie is about celebrating even the tiniest successes. It is important to have high expectations of yourself, high standards for your team, and big ambitions for your company. However, when you experience a little success, you should be pleased with what you've accomplished and take a moment to acknowledge it, no matter how small. Don't be the guy who says, "That's nice, but we didn't really get as much as I wanted." Sometimes, you'll have ambitions that are well beyond your reach and you may even surprise yourself how far you can go!
Our highschool participated in a competition with hundreds of other private schools across the country. We could compete against other students in three major areas: sports, academics and the arts. Every student in our highschool was required select at least two of the major areas in which they would represent our school at the district level. If you made it past the district level, you would be eligible to compete at the regional competition, which for us, was held on the Olympic grounds at Lake Placid, NY. Typically eighty percent of our high school students would qualify to attend the northeast regional competition. So, we would get a week off of school, pack up, and drive out to Lake Placid, NY.
That summer, my buddy and I had been playing a lot of tennis, and I liked it, so I decided to go for it. Oddly enough, there were only three other students competing for tennis at the local district level, so we all qualified for regionals without ever playing a single game. I would have been happy to win one game at the district level and now I was on my way to the regionals. Wow!
On the first day of the regional competition, I dusted off the moldy old wooden racket I had found in my basement and walked down to the courts. There were hundreds of kids in the first round so we only played best of five games, in a single set. It was single elimination so it went very quickly and I sailed through all of the rounds in the first day. Wow! I could not believe I was able to win any games. Am I really that good? Or is everyone else really that bad?
By the end of the second day, I found myself in the semi-finals, which had 8 players and would be a double-elimination tournament. Feeling incredibly good, I shook hands with my opponent and took up my side of the court. It would be his serve first. He tried to kill the ball and both serves faulted.
Now it was my turn and I served the ball as I had been serving throughout the entire competition... underhand. You know, I was serving it just like in ping pong and I had figured out how to put a nasty spin on the ball, which most people could not return. My nasty spin was how I had been serving so many aces and winning my way into the semi-finals!
However, the official called my first serve a "fault" and motioned me come to his stand saying, "you can't serve underhand in tennis son."
I said, "huh?"
He said, "Your serve. It's illegal. You must serve overhand."
"Oh." I said, "but, I can't."
The official said, "You will have to serve it overhand, or choose to forfeit the game."
I said, "May I have a few practice serves?"
He said, "Yes. You may have three practice serves."
I walked back to my side of the court and my practice serves were an embarrassing disaster. I couldn't get the timing of throwing the ball in front of me and hitting it over the net. The best I could do was lob the ball. I was completely uncoordinated and I was doomed. Needless to say, I lost my first game in the semi-finals.
My next opponent had injured his ankle in the previous day and I basically out-ran him. I had figured out how to lob the ball about 100 feet into the air during my serve and just focused on returning whatever came back. While I would never have the joy of serving an ace with my nasty spin serve ever again, my opponent had to constantly look directly into the sun on my giant lob-serve, and chase down the resulting crazy bounce. Like I said, he was injured and I won the match by being annoying and out-running him. Somehow, I survived another round.
Having lost my first game, I would have to face an undefeated player in my next match. He was an amazing tennis player and I had no business being on the court with him. He beat me quickly and he beat me badly. My lob serves in the sky were returned to me just like lightning bolts. I felt like one of those tennis practice machines serving up little gifts for him to smash back at me... and that was it. That was the end of my tennis career! I was amazed at how far I had come, every win was a surprise, and I celebrated every victory!
At the closing ceremonies, they came to the point when they would announce the winners of the tennis competition. They announced each of the winners, "The Gold medal goes to... The Silver medal goes to... and the Bronze medal goes to Myles Bristowe." I didn't think I really heard what I had just heard. Did I? Then my classmates were all looking at me and clapping, saying "Yea for Myles." I was stunned! I walked onto the platform and collected my medal, puzzled at how this could be. I can't even produce a real serve. How could I ever win a Bronze medal??
As it turns out, two of the best tennis players had been caught smoking the last night and were disqualified from the competition and somehow, I came in third place because I had out-run the kid with the bad ankle. Either way, I had accomplished more than I ever imagined... even if I only winning by default.