A dear friend, business colleague and mentor, asked me to speak to small groups of CEOs that he councils through an organization called Vistage. The topic of Content Marketing was something they need to understand from fifty thousand feet, he told me, and something that could impact how these mid-size B2B companies market their business online.
Thirty-six power point slides later, we were off and running. Three groups, three days and more discussion about the benefits of Content Marketing than you can shake a seven-hundred page Thesaurus at. I preached about the importance of brand storytelling and the commitment to consistency. They listened politely, jotted notes on their tablets and served-up scenarios that put content marketing into context.
But what really had me scratching my head was “who taught who something in these sessions?”
I sat among people who, many of them, passionately grew their business from the ground up with purpose and vision and everything at stake. I only caught a glimpse of the discussion that takes place within the confidential confines of the monthly meetings. What I did gather: they come together, men and women, to learn something new, ask tough questions, problem solve and share ideas for success.
I was inspired.
As I start this new venture called The Content Shop, here are five things I learned from a driven group of chief executives:
- First and foremost, be passionate about what you do every day. If you don’t have that, it’s drudgery.
- Take risks. Expand into a new market, buy a competitor – but don’t lose stake in what you started in the first place.
- Look beyond your borders for solutions. People in other industries are trying to solve the same problems. Share and learn and help each other be successful.
- Never take your eye off marketing your own company – even if you sit in the corner office. You are the voice, and keeper of the brand story.
- Lastly… it’s o.k. to brag about your kids. It comes from a place of love and pride.