Meeting Your Idols...

When I interview people for a position, I often ask them about their passions outside of work.

You know why?

I like to find people like me. People who, in their own free time, pursue activities that are similar to what they get paid to do.

On my own time (after the kids are in bed and the usual "life stuff" -exercise is in that category), you know what I do?

  1. I read, study, and think about marketing
  2. I play around with technology to increase my understanding and productivity
  3. I work my network and communication skills

It's true.

Now, in category #1, there are some folks I listen to more than others. There are a lot of self-proclaimed "marketing pundits" out there (I think I am one as well!) but I have a Hall of Fame.

And, in that group, are Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell.

Their book, Citizen Marketers, and their blog, Church of the Customer, are at the top of my list in terms of reorienting my way of thinking around the new age of marketing/customer relationship in which we find ourselves.

When you read a blog, you get to know the author(s) on a different level than if you read an article or a book.

I know Jackie is a football fan (Steelers). I know they moved from Chicago to Austin last year. I know that Ben likes music.

Over time, I've built a relationship with them.

First was my *famous* series of Metamucil related posts. Then, I won a contest on their blog. We "friended" on Facebook.

So, I summoned the courage ;-) a few weeks back and said, "hey, I'll be in Austin on Jan. 15th, would you like to meet up?"

They went for it!

And, for me, at least, it was just a great experience. Having some serious 1:2 time with two of the leading thinkers where I could pose specific questions about my business and career to them and get personalized feedback...which I'd 'earned' in the sense of participation within their community.