A Short Letter to the Atlanta Braves

This is probably better served if I waited until the season was over, but in the last few minutes while celebrating the Braves’ 89th victory this year–the one that clinched their postseason birth–I felt the urge to say thank you.

This tweet was a specific thank you to Chipper Jones, a baseball player who was young and cool (and kind of a rebel) when I was at the influential age of 12. I am now 32, married and responsible. I don’t obsess over the sport, nor do I watch it EVERY day (every other day is ok, though, right?). When this season is over, I will enjoy other sports in the background while focusing on the good life I have been given.

But tonight, for a few minutes, I want to revel in the memories.

— I remember being 10 and allowed to stay up late so I could watch the end of the Braves vs. Pirates with my father. Little did I know the name Sid Bream would be forever etched in my mind.

— I remember Marquis Grissom making the final catch in the 1995 World Series to cap Tom Glavine’s remarkable performance.

— I remember spending every summer during my teens watching Chipper switch-hit and copying his stance until switch-hitting became natural to me as well.

— I remember the MVP season of 1999, including the unbelievable start to Andruw Jones’ fame with 2 homers in his first World Series game.

— I remember being angry at Vinny Castilla knowing, somehow that Chipper’s willingness to change positions would risk injury. I’m convinced that is a huge reason for the injury strings of the last few years, though Chipper would never lay blame.

— I remember going every year to St. Louis to see the Braves play during my college years.

— I remember my first game at Wrigley field, with Chipper’s 2 homers.

— I remember my first trip to Turner field in 2007…two weeks before I met the woman who would become my wife. John Smoltz won his 200th game that day.

— I remember taking my wife to her first MLB game in 2009…at Turner Field. Since then, our house has been a Chipper vs. B-Mac rivalry.

— I remember saying good-bye to Bobby Cox.

— I remember my wife giving me tickets to the Atlanta series in Seattle for our anniversary…and coming with me.

— I remember knowing without a doubt Chipper would not retire after what happened in Sept. 2011 – he would go out on top.

— I remember the day I knew the end was coming with the retirement announcement.

— I remember the home run in Chipper’s first game this year.

— I will remember the 9th inning rally Chipper sparked that led to Freddy Freeman’s playoff clinching home run this evening.

— I am sure there are other awesome moments for the storage bank that will occur yet this season; not to mention the years ahead.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of memories. These, however, are the ones I cherish. Thanks to the Atlanta Braves for providing a team that actually deserves appreciation. Thanks to Chipper for growing up with me and being someone whom, 20 years later, I can still hold in esteem. Thanks to my parents for sharing with me their love for the city and the team. Thanks to my wife for allowing me to be a kid, even as a grown up.

Being a part of a success story like Linda’s is a once in a million opportunity. She was primed and ready to change before we ever met. Me getting to be a part of that change is an honor to me, and one that I continually strive for with all clients I get involved with. Read this and get to hear it In Her Own Words…

barkingpugs

That is just what I feel like. It all started with a class from Pro/Vision Coaching I took on Guerrilla Marketing.  At that class we were given the book E-Myth Revisited by Michael E.  Gerber. That lead to me reading E-Myth Chiropractor.  Soon I found myself reading through all the books Michael has written.  That lead to The Go-Giver by Bob Burg which lead to The Go-Giver Sells More by Bob Burg,which lead to It’s not about you by Bob Burg, are you getting where I am going?  Well I then called my friend Doug Christy owner of Pro/Vision Coaching and asked him what he could recommend to me to read.  He suggested The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalwicz.  Loved what Mike had to say so much that I read his first book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.  I started following Michael, Bob and Mike on their websites.  Recently Mike released…

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On a personal level, it is encouraging to see such a powerful display of one person pressing for such a change. Being yourself and being committed to yourself can make a huge difference. One person can change the world. Way to go, Martha!

TED Blog

Martha Payne of NeverSecondsMartha Payne may only be 9-years-old, but she is already a world-renowned food blogger.

In a preamble to his fascinating TEDTalk about what governments can learn from open-source programming, Clay Shirky told Payne’s inspirational story.

In April of 2012, Scottish schoolgirl Payne started the blog NeverSeconds.blogspot.co.uk, which documents her school dinners (otherwise known as school lunches in the United States) with ratings like “number of mouthfuls” and “pieces of hair” found in food. The idea was to raise money for the charity Mary’s Meals, while at the same time showing the world the low nutritional value of school meals.

The blog quickly picked up fans. But on June 14, readers of NeverSeconds were greeted with a distressing post.

“This morning in maths I got taken out of class by my head teacher and taken to her office. I was told that I could not take any…

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Websites and Houses | Why Generalists are Merely Adequate

As hard as it may be to believe, I, in certain ways, miss living in a house I own. This is only after a number of beers though; it comes slightly before I start missing Omaha, but only after I miss being an awkward adolescent. It’s at those times I look over and ask my wife if she thinks we should buy another house. It’s a good thing she holds her alcohol better than I.

All this reminiscing I’ve been doing during my reentrance into the web world has many people worried, most of all my dog Quimby (yes, we named him after the womanizing mayor of Springfield). Apparently I have him so worked up that now he’s afraid of water bottles. Ok, that may be a bit exaggerated (only a bit). The truth is, both worlds hold many similarities and I am therefore not completely crazy when I discuss the two of them over coffee (be really concerned if I start drinking coffee). It is actually quite easy to compare the world of home building to the world of web design. To help describe the similarities, I have asked an old friend back for an interview using the ever popular bold/unbold Q&A format.

Though it’s been a long time since Mr. Fix-it Guy has appeared in a column, he agreed to help as long as I don’t use any overly complicated words. Our original disagreement was over the use of the word juxtaposition…notice it was not used above. Or was it supralapsarianism?

Anyway, thank you, Mr. Fix-it Guy for coming back and sharing your brain smarts with us.     It’s not for you “buddy”, it’s only for your fine readers out there. Besides, it’s too hot to bicker now.

Agreed. Can you explain why it’s important to have multiple professionals work on a building project?     Actually, no. The whole notion that says it’s better for a team to work on a project don’t know what they’re sayin’. Just because one person can’t be an expert at both the creative world and mathematical world doesn’t mean they can’t design a house and also wire it electronically.

I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Please Explain?     No.

Ok, not for me. But for the readers?     I guess. Old wisdom has always said that it is better to use multiple experts on a project as opposed to a generalist. This is because one person cannot be an expert in everything. The skills that it takes to be creative are the exact opposite to the skills it takes to be programmatic. Someone who can wire electricity and handle all the minute details of a fuse box is probably not the best person to be giving interior decorating advice. That’s the old way of thinking. The new way, which I subscribe to says, “Sure, I can do that.” After all, who wants to share money? Isn’t it better to keep it all yourself?

Hmmm… That’s a good question, Mr. Fix-it Guy.     That’s why I became a generalist. Why be the best at something when you can be decent at everything? I don’t like to share money.

You make a good point. It sounds like your sales are going pretty well.     Well, not so much.

What? Any idea why not?     I have no idea.

That’s too bad. I was hoping you would help me describe the similarities of home building with website design and development. Basically, the same kind of idea – how the design part is more like creative artistry and programming is all math. And don’t even get me started on coding languages.     What? Now I’m lost in your silly cyber space. And I haven’t landed a job in years! Any idea why nobody has been building new houses lately?

Phil Stalnaker Makes Business Section Cover of Florida Weekly

Though I am still fairly new in the Fort Myers metro, I am so excited and thankful to have has such early success. Of course, the credit goes to God, my new friends in the area, and an awesome team at Stickboy Creative!

The image is from this past week’s Florida Weekly, a news magazine that includes local columns, such as this from the Fort Myers business section. Somehow, though I am still a newbie to the area, I made the front cover. Woo hoo! I am excited to continue networking in the area. Just sharing for some fun. Thanks!

New Marketing vs. Old Marketing | What Does that Mean?

For a 32 year old man, I may be a bit old fashioned in my practices, but I believe strongly in honesty in marketing. Sometimes I like to take a light-hearted and fun stance on it, such as my last post, Spies Like Me. Today, I am frustrated. Quick story before I get to the point of this blog post.

I called a prospect this afternoon to check in on the proposal I sent out last week. After a minute or so of him fumbling around for an apology (he promised to contact me once he heard the final decision), he informed me that they had chosen another company. My usual response at that point is to find out why, so I can learn from the experience. What I found out is the reason for my current frustration. The very thing he told me to do last week (to give me the best chance of winning the proposal) was the very thing that caused me to lose it. Even though he was on the board that chose the proposal, he gave me information to help in my quote that sabotaged my chances. He lied. I wish I knew why. People, no matter what side of the sales process you are on, being honest is VITAL. When sales people lie, they push the stereotype of the snake-suited used car salesman. When purchasers lie, they destroy any motivation of the sales person to be honest. Honesty builds; lies tear down. Please treat people on both sides of the situation with respect and honesty.

Sorry for the side note, but I had to throw that in, because this specific image below ties in with the honesty issue, but in a slightly different context. Here is the image from Contently Marketing:

The image places “new marketing” vs. “old marketing” in a comparison to determine which style is better. There are a few problems with the picture. First, the difference between one-way and two-way communication is the desire to listen. Just because a company uses social media does NOT mean they are actually listening and forming a dialogue with their customers.

Second, “new marketing” is not only made up of certain tools. The accurate definition of “new marketing” has to do with TRACKABILITY; or how easy it is to measure it success. The new marketing paradigm is all about saber-metrics (coined in the baseball world by Billy Beane). It is about taking away all subjective issues and making decisions purely based on numbers. “New marketing” has plenty of room for TV commercials, as long as they are acutely tracked for ROI.

Third, providing value is not only subscribed by the “new marketing” as suggested in this image. Companies have been striving to provide value since the first corporation formed. Quality marketing from those companies have been able to provide value to their customers long before social media and SEO was invented.

Lastly, quality marketing does NOT seek to just educate or entertain. A good marketing strategy is defined by its ability to earn revenue. Education and Entertainment are both good ways to build revenue streams, but not the only ones, and TV commercials have been seeking to entertain for decades.

Please do not fall for uneducated propaganda such as this. Make good decisions for your business based on data, numbers, and research. “New marketing” as I would define it, means just that. It means doing what it takes to earn revenue from your prospects through honest and targeted campaigns, reaching them where they are at. (Hulu seems to think there is still a good place for commercials in this world). The one thing they are correct about is the vital importance of dialogue in your marketing. If you are not listening to your consumer audience, then you cannot succeed – it’s as simple as that. People will not buy today if they do not feel that they are heard; that’s the postmodern version of building trust.

By the way, inbound vs. outbound? Inbound marketing is about encouraging leads to “come in” to buy from you. TV, media, etc… all fit that description. Outbound means the company is going outside to directly make the sale (such as door-to-door sales or cold calling). Thanks for allowing my rant. Have a great day!