Happy Friday to You!
My friend Jim is guest posting today and has an inspiring story of finding his hot dog stand, aka passion, in life.
Since finding it he’s been selling it the Marketing Fun With Mike way.
After reading his great post I suggest heading over to www.TheeMike.com and checking out his awesome work!
Buoyed by the belief of a better tomorrow, I quietly walked away.
Leaving behind a successful marketing business that furnished an enviable income and a stable future, I voluntarily stepped into the unknown – much to the dismay of friends and colleagues.
I didn’t experience a mid-life meltdown, but I pined for far more in life.
Poised for change, I relished my new challenge. I dove headfirst into an inventive endeavor that my late uncle called a cockamamie idea which held no immediate guarantee of success.
With no knowledge of the sports entertainment industry and no professional writing experience other than penning a simple business memo, I plunged into my newest venture.
Bringing to life a figment of my imagination for sports fans, while also attempting to monetize it, was now my new, official job description.
But, developing this intellectual property – a cartoon microphone aptly named MIKE - into a global brand not only thrilled me, it consumed me.
MIKE’s genesis coursed through my DNA. My unflappable belief in his inevitable success propelled me.
Certain MIKE would be the first ever animated brand in sports, I trudged on expecting MIKE’s eventual popularity to rival that of other animated notables like Bart Simpson, Spongebob and Family Guy.
It was evident to me that he filled the massive void in sports that’s always existed for an animated, highly entertaining alter-ego character.
Envisioning MIKE on television, Jumbotrons, web sites, blogs, ebooks and print media became as readily apparent to me as my now missing paycheck and my growing impatience with those who didn’t immediately embrace my vision.
Flummoxed by media execs who wouldn’t schedule me for an appointment, reply to my carefully constructed emails or return my professional voice mails, I still plodded forward undaunted, never losing sight of my ultimate mark.
Daily I found encouragement by reminding myself of the “overnight success stories” of famous content creators who traveled for years down a similar path and absolutely refused to abandon their goal.
These lessons taught me to remain true to my brand, never veer from my vision and always stay consistent in the content I create.
One sports media executive even joked that MIKE would be birthed by the sheer power of my will. I didn’t disagree.
Today, after penning 500+ blogs, commissioning 400 single panel comics, recording dozens of podcasts and publishing 33 sports comic books, the paradigm has noticeably shifted.
Still alive and certainly not penniless, I take MIKE with me to work every day. And, I love it!
Those who once failed to give me the time of day are now finding me.
And, the finances my wife Maura and I risked and the sweat equity we both invested are starting to yield their anticipated return.
MIKE has evolved, and he sits on the cusp of stardom.
MIKE’s Amazon book sales are good. Affiliate income is better. Sponsorship revenues are forthcoming. And, animation and licensing deals are now only a matter of time.
Happier in life, I’m still pursuing my passion. Wiser and far more seasoned, I’m now more confident than ever that what I originally envisioned is slowly coming to fruition.
However, during my longer than expected, circuitous trip, I’m not the only one who’s personally emerged stronger.
MIKE is now more compelling, relevant and entertaining today than when our ultimate talking head on sports was originally unveiled.
We’ve both enjoyed the journey and will soon reap the rewards for my cockamamie idea!
May my uncle rest in peace.