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Why a Marketer Like Myself Has a Picture of Larry Bird at His Desk

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When i was young I played a lot of basketball. When we moved to a new house that had a gravel driveway, a hoop went up long before the surface was ever paved. If you want to learn ball-handling, dribble on rocks for a few months. Though I loved the sport, I often felt like Rudy when he tells the coach,

“I wasn’t the quickest guy on the team….or the biggest….but I lead the team in tackIes.”

I wasn’t the biggest or fastest, but I was following the example of hard work and practice of a player I had always admired: Larry Bird.

Some Stats
Larry Bird is slow, can’t hardly jump, and, perhaps biggest of all, is white. Yet this mullet-sporting cager averaged a double-double over his entire career. Think about that, at least 10 points and 10 boards for the length of his professional basketball life.

His secret? Dedication and practice.

Every morning before school he’d shoot 500 free throws. Next time you’re at the gym, head to the basketball court and time how long it takes you to shoot 50 and you’ll see how impressive that was. This one example, of many, is why Larry Bird was as good as he was at basketball.

I’m not the best marketing in the world. That probably comes as no surprise to you. I don’t have the natural intuition these guys on marketing panels have when they can take a completely new topic and provide unique, deep insight on it right away. Marketing didn’t find me because I rocked at it, I had a list of 10 things I enjoyed and marketing was the more interesting, exciting one on the list.

My insights don’t come easy. I really have to work at it, let my brain keep me up late into the night while I chew on problems, read a tall stack of books each year, and practice…a lot.

So, right between my notes from “Made to Stick” and a tower of empty oatmeal cans, I have a picture of Larry Bird by my desk because it reminds me that even though I wasn’t born a great marketer, I can become one with hard work.

Moral of the Story
Find something that does one of two things (or both):

  • Get’s you excited about resort marketing (which we hopefully recognize is different from getting excited about skiing).
  • Inspires you to work hard at it.

Do that and I think you’ll find an extra boost in how much you enjoy your work and how quickly you improve your skills at the same time.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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