This week I celebrate the one-year anniversary of publishing my very first book, The Marketing Starter: How an Entrepreneurial Spirit Will Make You a More Savvy Marketer. And after selling a ton of copies, giving a ton more away, collecting some fantastic reviews, and of course, helping fellow marketers, I can safely say it’s been quite a year!
Just like everyone else in 2020 and 2021, it felt like life was put on hold both personally and professionally. Sure, I kept the hustle going and made time to travel as circumstances would allow, but my passion for speaking and sharing ideas with the world certainly took a big pause.
When there are no events, there are no speaking gigs to be had.
I was able to do a few virtual conferences to keep the craft alive, but sitting in my home office dressed from the waist up is not the same as taking the stage in front of hundreds of eager minds all jazzed up from new ideas and in-person connection.
The great news is that events were back in 2022, which means so was I. I was able to pick up my speaking business once again and get back on the road sharing ideas and vibing with the crowd. For me, it all kicked off in Houston at AMA Houston’s Marketing Edge conference in January, where honestly, I felt like me again — feeding off the energy of the crowd, telling jokes, and sharing some hot takes.
It was so refreshing!
From there I crisscrossed the country from San Diego to Boston, Vegas to Kansas City, to keynote at 17 different events in marketing, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, business travel, and healthcare. I even reached a professional milestone: speaking internationally for the very first time at the Global Business Travel Association European conference in Brussels in November.
I guess I’m a professional emcee now, too!
The excitement for events was back in the air and that helped to drive some serious inspiration for me as a content creator. I was able to hone my craft and create some new talks that have given audiences and event organizers new insights. All of my content is now positioned about H2H or human-to-human communication (which, in business, we would think is a no-brainer). However, we seem to be drifting further and further away from H2H as time goes on. My talk on post-digital, Gen Y & Gen Z, and of course H2H all speak to this and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds have found them to be very inspirational and insightful.
All told, 2022 was a great year and it felt so good to be back on the road and on the stage. I’m looking forward to 2023 and everything it has in store.
See you on the road!
Ladies and gentlemen, today is the day – my new book, The Marketing Starter: How an Entrepreneurial Mindset Will Make You A More Savvy Marketer is finally on the shelves!
It’s been a few years since the idea for the book struck me like Doc Brown in Back to the Future, and while it may not be as revolutionary as time travel, I’m hoping that starter marketing will soon grow within business circles.
Some of us may be old enough to remember when the interstate freeways in the U.S. were built and transported people across the country in a matter of days and created the infamous suburban flight. And it wasn’t long before advertisers saw the benefit of erecting 50-foot tall banners to display their messages to commuters. Today, these billboards have become not much more than an aging distraction.
Here’s a news flash… our digital advertising is going the way of the freeway billboard.
Like all speakers over the past 18 months, I have seen my speaking career deflate like a helium balloon two days after a 10-year-old’s birthday party. The pandemic response has all but wiped out the live events industry, forcing resourceful groups to hack their way through creating virtual meetings and conferences, thus limiting the volume and scope of engagements for speakers.
During my career in marketing and startups, I have been in-between steady income many times. Sometimes it is was because I was laid off or quit and other times it was because I simply couldn’t turn revenue from my startup. Nevertheless, being able to front money for rent in my in-between’s proved to be a challenge.
Whether you’re an professional between gigs or a new startup founder, it’s crucial to have a steady stream of income to fund your life while you focus on the job hunt or on launching your world-changing idea. Luckily, I have some tried and true tactics that have worked for me that you can try out to help keep you afloat in your in-between.
My professional speaking story might sound simple, but it’s not without its challenges. In 2013, I was working on my second startup, BTSocial, which was solving a problem in the business travel space using social media. During that time, I was getting very active in the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), attending conferences and participating in my local chapter in Chicago. My eager networking lead to a feature in Hotel Business magazine profiling me and the BTSocial product.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by MeetAdvisors this past week to share my expertise in entrepreneurship and discuss my ventures of BTSocial, CurbNinja and Pitch Training Camp. I would encourage everyone in the entrepreneurship community to check out MeetAdvisors to get advice or offer your insight to fellow entrepreneurs. Enjoy the interview!