Never Been Promoted

Mary Drumond: Strategies for Navigating Changing Industries

December 07, 2023 Thomas Helfrich Season 1 Episode 12
Never Been Promoted
Mary Drumond: Strategies for Navigating Changing Industries
Never Been Promoted
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Show Notes Transcript

If you're feeling frustrated and overwhelmed because your business strategies aren't generating the desired growth, despite your hard work and dedication, then you are not alone! Many entrepreneurs are stuck in a cycle of repetitive actions that fail to produce the results they crave. Instead of experiencing success, they find themselves trapped in a stagnant market, unable to adapt and thrive.

About Mary Drumond:
Mary Drumond is the VP of Marketing at Neighborly, a GovTech company based in Atlanta, Georgia. With a background in education, Mary's entrepreneurial journey began when she founded her own company at the age of 20. After running her first company for eleven years, she decided to explore her passion for marketing and embarked on a new career path. Mary's expertise lies in customer experience and marketing, and she brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Currently heading the marketing efforts at Neighborly, Mary's experience spans across various industries, including B2C, B2B, and B2G. Her entrepreneurial mindset and ability to adapt have been instrumental in her success. Tune in to this episode of Never Been Promoted to gain valuable insights from Mary's journey and learn how to thrive in the ever-evolving world of entrepreneurship.

In this episode, Thomas and Mary Drumond discuss how to:

  • Embrace the entrepreneurial mindset to achieve success.
  • Cultivate flexibility and adaptability for business triumph.
  • Understand and prioritize a customer-centric approach for success.
  • Gain valuable insights by gathering feedback from your customers.
  • Stay current and connected in marketing for lasting impact.

Key Takeaways:

  • Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset

By challenging conventional practices and capitalizing on emerging opportunities, an entrepreneurial mindset can ultimately drive both personal and business growth.

  • Embrace Flexibility and Adaptability

Being quick to adjust to market shifts, technological disruptions, or any unexpected changes can equip businesses with a competitive edge. 

  • Understand Your Target Audience

By tuning into your audience's inherent desires and focusing on creating value for them, businesses can foster stronger customer relationships, enhance brand loyalty, and accelerate growth.

“You can't just show up for work and leave. You want to do more. You want to disrupt the processes that are holding you back. That's the entrepreneurial mindset you should have. " —  Mary Drumond


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Welcome to the never been promoted podcast with Thomas Helfrich. Get ready for a thrilling adventure as we uncover entrepreneurial journeys and life changing business insights every week. And now your host, Thomas Welcome to another episode of never been promoted, where we help you unleash your entrepreneur inside you. I bring on other entrepreneurs, other experts, people around the world who are ahead of you in your journey. And we're gonna give you some advice and your journey yourself. today. I have Mary Drummond, who is the VP the executive the head honcho of marketing for neighborly here in Atlanta, Georgia, out of the Atlanta Tech Village, Mary, how are you doing? Hey, Thomas, how are you? I'm glad to be on and share a little bit about my journey in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, in fact, and hopefully, I can inspire a couple folks out there with some cool ideas and what has worked and what hasn't worked for me. And maybe it'll even get some more people on your show. Who knows, you know, I will, I will take good people on the show like yourself, and I think you know, your journey. And we've talked, you know, several times off camera, maybe give you a little background, and you I know you filled out the forms, but I'm gonna have you just repeat all this stuff. So I don't have to do it. I'm a little I outsource. Some people call it lazy. But tell me about yourself a little bit and let everybody know your credentials. Because you like added some red tape. And they're not very entrepreneurial of you. But it's enabling processes in the background. Gotcha. Okay, well, I'm done with it. So a little bit about me, I actually started my career in education. I was an early learning teacher for the first couple years of my life. And that sent me down the path of opening my own company in education. And that was when I was 20. So I founded my first company when I was 20. I ran that for 11 years. And then I relocated and exited that company. And I found myself in a predicament where I could either start another business from scratch, or I had a clean slate to do whatever I wanted. And marketing was maybe my favorite part of when I was an entrepreneur and kind of running everything and wearing all of the hats marketing was my favorite hat. So I decided to try it on for size. But it really was a process of just kind of learning as you go and making tons of mistakes and learning a lot from people around me that I think that when you approach anything with an entrepreneurial mindset, you go really far really quickly. And that's kind of what happened, you're always looking for perhaps the next hack. And I say that kind of lightly, because I know that at this point, it's it's tech jargon. And it's become ridiculous. But it's a mindset, it's you're not doing, you're not following the best practice manual. Because if you're doing that you're doing exactly what everybody else is doing, and you have no advantage. So the idea that you're always trying to do the next thing, and you're always staying ahead, somehow that really worked for me. And that's what kind of set me on my career path in marketing and in customer experience, which is my side hustle. And it's just an exciting place to be. I love marketing. I'm currently Head of Marketing at neighbourly software, which is a gov tech company. And this is an absolute first for me, because my first organization was b2c, my second organization was b2b and now I'm B to G. So I don't know what's left but I've got to tick off all the boxes. So I mean that's it in a nutshell. That's it the you touched on so many good things there. Let's go let's start with that entrepreneur mindset because you know, I always want to pull back to what you can learn from me the guest and I will I talked about this in the book of have never been promoted available soon you know, the the idea is that you're a entrepreneur mindset is is where you're not complacent. You are you are you this is in is in every entrepreneurial they've a lot of people who want to become entrepreneurs feel this and you feel the following this this idea that you can't just let things be you can't just like to show up for work and leave you know, you're like you want to do more you don't know how you feel like you could be doing more you're not but you might make enough money, we just don't want to rock the boat, whatever it is, if you have that needed, like disrupt like why do we always do these processes the same way I want to disrupt that for some reason, you have that spirit burning in you, you just need to throw some gas on that thing. And that is absolutely mindset you should have so every 90 days myself are instantly relevant. We I look at it, what do we offer? What's our value proposition how to how do I pivot this and what technologies can I enable what humans should I bring into the mix? Or what technology should I exit So, you know, this is a marketer, I'd love to have this conversation, I've exited CRM out of our company, because it wasn't adding value to cost for how we do our sales and how we do marketing. The CRM was an added cost added zero revenue value to it, even like an operational efficiency. So we just went to the simple thing of MailChimp, we went to just using an audience base. So as you've gone through these things, how have you thought about the dimensional mindset? Is it a formal thing you do 90 days? Or is it like, oh, I had a coffee had an idea, jot it down, I'm gonna go do it. I would say the latter. And I don't necessarily know if that's good. I'm going to preface my answer with that, I think that I have some learning to do, where I need to find some balance, I tend to move very much on an instinctual basis, where I see things happening around me and I noticed a pattern. And in my mind, I already know what that means further down the line. So I take action quick, this can be an asset. But it can also be extremely detrimental if you are coming into an experience for the first time or if the circumstances are different, right? Because what we think is instinct is in fact bias. It is a mental heuristic of our brains that, you know, in the past, our ancestors used to survive and not be eaten by a saber toothed Tiger. But for us in the modern world, we sense danger, because we've either been burned before, from having failed, or we've had a positive outcome, which trains us and conditions us as humans to opt for what is going to mean safety and protection and reward and run from anything that could represent danger, pain, failure, and failure stings, it stings like danger. So we are so averse to repeating mistakes, that we end up running from them, all of that to say, at times, moving really quickly, and with our instinct, following our gut instinct can be very, very positive, if the circumstance is in fact, exactly the same. But if there are nuances, if there are new variables, then we could be making the wrong decision, because we don't take the time to stop and analyze all of the factors. And and, and add that to the equation before making the decision. So the part of me that needs to continue to grow, and Excel and become a better professional tells me that my gut instinct or my knee jerk reaction, decision making techniques, need to in fact, slow down and take in all of the factors in that scenario, before making a decision. That being said, it brings to mind a very recent situation that happened. In fact, yesterday, were the VP of sales that works very closely with me at neighborly software, his name is Eric grappler, I'm going to make him listen to this podcast, because I'm giving a little shout out to him right now. He approached me and said, Mary, I don't think that the email marketing that you are doing is working. Now that can be perceived by many as an attack, or as him stepping out of his particular from marketing to sales, sales and mark exactly, because there's a lot of groundless relationship that tends to exist there. 100%. So for sales, coming to marketing and saying what you're doing isn't working, it can be perceived as something very hostile, and a lot of people will automatically react and get defensive. What I tried to do in that circumstance, was, he may have a point. In fact, the email marketing that we're doing, has not been very effective, and it is consuming a resource. So perhaps what we can do is automate that, and let it run on autopilot. Because yes, it's good to have email marketing, I think that's a, it's the that's a basic fundamental for any Sass company. It's about not require, it may not require the efforts and the investment that we're currently putting into it. And that the resources that we are allocating towards email marketing, could be better used, trying out something new working with some experimentation, finding, perhaps something that hasn't been done yet. And that can has the potential of generating more, you know, revenue, more leads more conversions for the organization. So I had to stop and, and tell myself that before answering and say, You know what, Eric, you're right. I'm on board with this. Let's evaluate new ways to reach our target audience and perhaps put email marketing on autopilot since it's not a huge source of conversions for us. So there Yeah, that's me. So how you, you know how you know, 90% is how you react to it right? And just to go back, you know, one of the reasons why people fail sometimes, by the way, is a fear of success. And it's a really weird, because I've gone through this in my, in my youth, when I was in a sports thing, I would find myself like, you know, way ahead in the in a game or match and find myself like, losing, I'm like, What am I doing. And so to get over that fear of success, because I see these people kind of people do this, to somehow intentionally sabotage themselves from success when they're so close. And it's rooted and things are going to require a leather couch. But know that that is also a reason why people take instead of knowing to take a moment to pause, that maturity that comes, you know, if you had had that in your 20s, or 30s, to say, Hey, let me pause and just take a breath, pretend someone's watching me on a balcony, have this conversation right now and say, you know, just taking that breath, now does that work for business, it works even better, and relationships, just get some of the benefit of it out. Because then so slowing down is what it also did with let you sit there is, you know, automate something that adds value, but doesn't hurt you that so the idea that, you know, in the I'll tell you is a takeaway for some people, I will sometimes get a customer email or some type of Prospect email, where I might, you could take offense to it, or you could be like, kind of put off, I'll take that breath. But I also leverage some technology like GPT, to say, how should I best respond, acknowledging this, and what am I not thinking about that can help further strengthen our relationship to come together with it? I haven't seen I've done this with any relationships at home. Your wife, full disclosure, Mary knows my wife, so So my wife meal is this But honey, I have not yet. But now I'm going to start, I think it's a good idea. But the idea for work if you can take that moment and help frame up a way to speak to somebody or send an email back and bring them in because sometimes they're hot and pissed, because they're the other persons coming in because they just got you know, called to the carpet, so to speak from their boss who might be your boss, and you got you know, and so that slow down. If you're younger or older, whatever you are, specially if you're fast entrepreneur, add thinker like most are, take a moment to pause, because you're still moving 10 times faster than probably everyone around you. And your brain, you'll slow down. But man, if you can, the your your output and your your relationships and how you're going to execute significantly improve, it'll take away that tanking of success, it will take away that failure, because you slow down just to think about something. And I don't think you need to consider all the data, just consider the right data without having blinders on repeating the mistakes, some right, at least some data during some data. And that's kind of where I think that the, it's a difficult balance for entrepreneurs, because if they slow down too much, the dead, yeah, and the profile of most entrepreneurs is people who are extremely fast moving and who trust their gut, you know, to an extreme. And that's what has always proved to be a variable of success for those types of individuals for entrepreneurs. So it's extremely difficult to say, hey, you know, that one thing that you do that has made you succeed up until this point, you need to change that that's not ideal. That's a difficult pill to swallow. You know, it's, and it's something that was really difficult for me. And it took, you know, a lot of reading, and a lot of behavioral scientists, to convince me imagine like a lab, these people like studying you, and you're like, what's wrong with? Well, there's like a ton of books all over that, you know, and this is all, I do consume a lot of literature on behavioral economics and behavioral science, because I feel like it has brought me so much depth, and as a marketer, right, understanding human behavior. And, and part of that involves a self diagnosis, right? Where you're like, hey, I, perhaps potentially, I am not as amazing as I think I am. Is everyone lucky as I think I am, where I'm just I've been, you know, I was born under the North Star, and things just magically happen for me, and you start understanding that, just because it worked before, it does not mean it's going to work again, just because there's correlation around these things happening at the same time, it does not mean there is causation. So it gives you a bigger sense of agency, where you're the one that has to make things happen, which I think is pretty cool, actually. But it also means that you're you're creating a very clear line between the cause and effect of things around you, but you're also open to understanding that that that exact scenario is not going to necessarily repeat itself and you will have to approach it with a different mindset and draw a new line of cause and effect. So there's, there's no such thing as one, one situation is exactly the same as the next And that forces us to be in constant flux, and to be extremely flexible. So I would say that, more importantly, than making really quick decisions, it's being very flexible. And understanding how much changes around you when you're not even looking. And you blink, and the world has changed. So if you're not flexible, that's when you are very deeply in trouble. Absolutely. And there's a so I'll pivot a little bit here, because I think if you can give advice to an up and coming entrepreneur or company, so there's a lot like planetek village, it's a it's a great center for this. And there's different levels of journey in there from pre seed to Series B, right Series C. Yeah. Not everyone has a limited budget for marketing. And in I know in our company, that's a marketing agency that really focuses on LinkedIn, we were everything. When we were too much we weren't everything when we first started, and it was really hard to sell to anyone. And what I found was, if I just, if we got niched down, you know, when people come to us to stop guessing how to use LinkedIn, that's the short end, people say, what do you do, like people come to us and stop guessing how to use LinkedIn to make money. That's what we do. And what I niched down, I was like in my brain entrepreneur, I was like, I hate this, we're going to lose so much business, and we did and we've doubled revenue every year since doing it. But now, when you do that, what happens is on the other side of that wormhole that you've niched is, as an entrepreneur, on the other side is becomes unlimited opportunity, because now we're doing full agency work. And our customers are staying longer that we're growing the bass. But we didn't have unlimited budgets, we had a niche. From your perspective, what do you advice do you give to the founder or the person? Let's say the marketer one is somebody your peer? Yeah, where do they focus? Based on whatever budget they have? How do they think about that? Because that is so critical to success is in marketing, and you can't you just can't blow dollars everywhere, you have to really do it. So tell me what the thinking when to pivot? How do you think through that problem? Well, that's where my background and customer experience, I was a softball question to bring in the side hustle 100%. Yeah, the you put your dollars where your customers are. So you know, another real life example, I was a b2b marketer, I was the CMO at my previous organization. And my target audience was wait for it. CMOS, very, very easy to sell to, because they have the same mindset, they have the same pains, they have the same needs, they go to the same places. They they kind of walk the talk, talk the talk and walk as me. So I was essentially selling to me. In fact, sales whenever they needed to change their messaging in any way. They're like, Mary, they'll sit you down, and let's debrief because I was the target audience. It's really, really easy to be customer centric. And to target your audience appropriately. When you are the audience. It's a completely different ballgame. When you are talking, or trying to talk to people who do not look or think or talk or walk like you or judge you because you are a marker, oh, they assume that you're doing something they don't want. That's in my case, I never touched the client directly we sell to government, right? Government is a completely different beast. And people who work in government, public servants have a very specific persona, let's say, and it is not me. So for me to not only have the empathy, but really, really do the research, to understand the pains, the needs, the industry, the channels, the influencers of this new market, and and trying to kind of get out of my own biases of what I think is good, is crucial for my success. The other day, I had my product team sit down and have kind of let's, let's say a crash course on blogging because they were starting a product blog. And the first thing I said to them is, you are not writing for you. You think that cat memes are the best thing since sliced bread. Your audience does not if you try to talk to them the way that you talk to your peers, you're gonna get nowhere, they are not going to listen. In fact, they will shut you out immediately. So when you are writing, keep your audience in mind. And this is something that I learned from the Great. Ann Handley. I don't know if you know her. She's an extremely brilliant copywriter. And she she talks about Warren Buffett and how when Warren Buffett was writing the letters to the shareholders, which eventually became like a seven part series of best sellers, who on earth compiles letters to the shareholders and becomes a best seller, Warren Buffett does and what he did when he was writing his letters to the shareholders is that he did not keep his shareholder in mind per se or him or so. Someone like him, he says that he kept in mind his sister. And his sister was a professor and she had some knowledge on finances, but she wasn't a finance person. So whenever he was writing his thoughts, he wrote as if he was writing to his sister. And she was the person that he kept in right mind every single time he sat down to write that letter. So when you read it, it doesn't sound like some Wall Street, blah, blah, blah, it sounds like a person talking to another person. And that's what truly makes a difference. So I mean, the marketers that the takeaway is go where your customers are at or where they are. And we run this to where we have a government client that does security scanning. So we remarketing a government type of things. And that was we first started working with them, we were doing what we always did for commercial, which is, you know, try to get appointments, and it was just wasn't working. And so we evolved for this government client just to grow brand awareness, because that's what they needed. We have an architectural company we work with, it works only with government, we immediately say, Listen, you just do brand awareness. That way, when you go to a conference, they seen you, you have some kind of name recognition. And it's like, for commercial, they're like, there's no value in that I need any leads for for anybody in the government world. That's everything, because then they'd be like, Oh, I've seen your stuff on LinkedIn, and you've not pushed on me. I'd love to commute you in if you push on some, like personas, I find that government types definitely pull back because all the regulation like was this person's perception of being, you know, bottle lunch, all the things. So it's a whole different mindset. And that they're on to because there's real like job and legal things that they're perceived as taking benefit. And so like there's I get it totally and, and I think the the bigger picture is in any marketer, really understand your market and don't presume anyone thinks like you. One of the mechanisms I find that works well is Ask, ask your customers you currently have or you if you don't have any that didn't ask once you you know, you can do this, you do need formal surveys, do you do it informally? How do you because I think asking is the way to get the information, you need to take the first step to say do better. So do you do anything like that any feedback cycles. And so how? Well this is actually very interesting, because my previous company was a market research tech company that created survey tech. So if anything, I'd be all over the surveys, who, once again, I have to take a step back and realize that my target audience does not answer surveys. So if I want to reach them, and I'm pushing surveys, which is what I know, so Well, then I'm making a big mistake. So how does my market respond? How can I talk to them? Conferences, they go to trade shows, they go to conferences, they go to events. And at these events, they're very open to having conversations. So myself and the head of product at neighbourly software, we go to conferences, and when we go to conferences, our sole goal is to have one on one conversations with our target audience and understand them. And we do it very casually, it doesn't feel like an interrogation or an interview. But in truth, we're sitting there. And our minds are like gaming through as we're listening to these people talk about their day to day, what their pains are, what their needs are, which solutions they're using, which ones work, which ones don't. And it's amazing how when you have a face to face interaction with someone how differently they open up. So again, this is what's true for my industry, it doesn't necessarily mean it's true for everyone else's. In fact, the survey tech that I used to work with is kind of the go to for most organizations, especially those that have such a large number of customers that if they tried to reach them one on one they never would, right. So in my case, I have a finite market. And it's very easy to speak to a handful of customers and have that be an accurate representation of my demographic. But if you are a marketer that has hundreds of 1000s of customers, then how big does your sample size have to be in order for you to get accurate statistic representation of what your full universe of customers thinks? Right? So the important thing is adapt again, be flexible, right? And be okay with going outside of your comfort zone and outside of your experience to mold into the market that you're trying to reach 100% And you nailed some of the pieces there and importantly into that if you have if you have any market size, because you know we work with companies that are on the back end they'll say of spamming people for the last 18 months they're like no one's no one's interacting with us and like Well, yeah, cuz you had 10,000 people you could have sold to you spammed all 10,000 9000 actually hate you and the you're there I'm never speaking to them again. Maybe 1000 politely, you know, 500 care. The point is, if you if you ruin your brand On any market set through improper marketing in a way that people don't interact with, or find it the best no value, you're killing your market for future long term growth, and you're gonna hit a plateau and then decline. I think what you're touching on there is amazing for an idea that when you're in person to maybe a takeaway for people in this is from my KPMG, KPMG days is always ask just one more question. Unless they ask for you, hey, what do you think the solution to that would be? Ask them another question, and have them talk about them more, and leave it, leave it hang where you're not solutioning? Because then they know you're selling. And in that moment, take it and fall back later with questions and say, Hey, I appreciate this. Is this kind of an accurate? How you and keep asking questions to summarize it back? The more you do that, the better they get to share their knowledge better they feel and without doubt, the better the interaction they'll think they had with you, because I really like talking to them. And the truth is, is because they did the talking, unless directly asked Do not solution. Yeah. And I think that I'm, I have a certain advantage there. And so does Jimmy or head of product where we're not sales. Right. So our objective there, while it is always to sell in the background, but that's not kind of the declared objective upfront. So we can engage in conversations that don't push our solution at all. Because you know, you have the sales team there to do it. And our sales team does a fantastic job of connecting with the industry. So I let them do their thing. My job there is to find out what sort of material, what sort of resources, what sort of messaging resonates with them, so that I can establish our brand as a reputable and a reputable source of knowledge that they respect. And my job is to create that brand and to create that reputation in the market for neighborly software. So that when we go places, people say Oh, neighborly, they know their shit. They know what they're talking about. And they speak my language. They connect with me. Right, right. So what we're pushing, there is brand identification, right? Where people feel represented by the brand that they use, or they want to use you because they feel represented by you. Right? Yeah, absolutely. Do you find it so I'll extend that to sale. So you set the brand up, you set up the the interest, let's say as a marketer, now on some companies, your founder led sales, see, or someone doing some marketing and sales yourself, but based on where you are in any sales situation, here's a little takeaway as well, I believe, Dr. Still, what marketing is doing the idea of the value, and sales, I think brings into let me explain where in our offering, the problem you have has the value. There's no mention of selling. It's more like, Hey, if you buy this, it's more like let me talk about this pain and where we see the value of we're where we solve this problem and have discussion. And if you do this, the law salespeople don't do this. They just work on the Hey, what's the contract, and it's like, you're at that point, that's not even sales, that becomes like sales operations behind the scenes or some kind of like, you know, deal closing. But the truth is like driving to the value is and don't push too damn hard, is really where you are. And even in marketing, you're up fronting that you're learning it, and sales is really showing it and those two together, when done well is, in particular in any industry is it's so critical not to sell, but allow people just to buy from you. At the end of the day. Yeah, my main job is to connect with people, you know that that's what marketing is supposed to be in my market. I connect with people, and then once they are connected, we can then sell to them that if there's no connection prior, then why am I going to stand out in their mind? Why am I going to be their go to SaaS solutions provider? Right there any there are very few markets out there, where you're the sole player, right? And even if you are the sole player, it won't be for long. That's right. doesn't happen very often the market that's buying from you someone else is going to notice and they're going to kind of want a piece of that pie. I mean, so yeah, that's how you become a unicorn until in the truth is if you think you're the only one do a Google search because you haven't yet right. Like at some point, you know, some some kids in the basement somewhere or you know, mapping out your target audience and strategizing to take it over. Yeah. Oh, but I mean like the general thing is that you're never alone. You're never without competition. What is going to make you stand out to your customers, you know, in in many many cases, it is reaching them through ads or showing up in front of them direct to consumer 100% Like if I think that if you are an apparel brand And for kids in their 20s the cool kids in their 20s. If you're not on Instagram, you're making a giant mistake. Even Tic Tac Toe at this point, as well. Yeah. But But I mean, when I go on Instagram nowadays, it's it's the same behavior that I used to have when I was at the mall. Right? This is entertaining, this is great. I'm, I'm having you know, I'm spending some some time of leisure going through the mall and oh, look at that beautiful dress in this window. That's what the Instagram experiences for me, oh, my friends had a baby Oh, nice, oh, cool party, look at that dress. So if you're, if you're doing direct consumer sales, then that's where you need to be. But if you're doing government sales, if you are doing the high level, I don't know, your demographic is very, very much in their 60s and 70s, then maybe you should go to Facebook, because that's where all the old books are, or conference, or show up at the conference. Or, you know, there's also the fact of the time, what's going on at that time in the world, because maybe people were burnt out of conferences a couple years ago. But let's all remember that nobody could go to conferences for like, almost three years. So there is a renewed interest to get out to help people in being in person in connecting with other humans face to face. So guess what everyone is at the trade shows, the trade shows or Boston I mean, like that's where everybody is right now. And if you are a b2b, or b2c, or whatever, and you're not at those trade shows, and you're not showing up in person, you're definitely missing out at this time in history, where people crave human interaction, so much of they're really excited to be at trade shows, which was not the case, in 2019. And 2019. Everyone was walking around churches like this, oh, my God. And now everybody's really excited about it. They're like, what we're doing activities of bus tour, you know? Oh, I've seen New York 50 times. I don't care I'm getting on the bus. Yeah, so there is a renewed interest in that. So you have to pay attention to what's going on. And you have to stay on top of it. You know, maybe at some point, we're all gonna get bored of going to trade shows and conferences. And we're going to go back to something like virtual webinars and summits No, which was the thing two years ago. And if you weren't doing a virtual summit two years ago, then you were completely outdated. So I feel like there's a bit of redundancy in what I'm saying. But it goes back to be flexible and be malleable and change with the times and change with the technology and change with your market. But it goes up and down. Right? So where people want to go and be in you now you have to have mixes, you do have to have a digital piece with it. And it depends on where you are in your cycle because digital might make sense for your business. As we came through up you about 15 minutes left here, so I'm gonna put you on the warm seat now. We do a hot seat. But before we started in the warm seats, it's your chance, though neighborly. Did not sponsor this episode, I want you to I want to give neighborly is I think it's a really nearly Yes, no, most people would have gone to and be like, What the hell's this? That's another day Namely did not sponsor this. But if they did, what would they say? That's an interesting question. I think that they would say that the most important thing to neighborly software is in fact, their mission, which is to help communities help people. And of all of the companies that I've worked with and encountered, they are perhaps the company that truly lives, the mission and values that they have set forth. They are 100% purpose driven. And every single person that is in that company wants to make a difference, and change communities. And that is the most beautiful thing about working at that organization. The work that we do, even though it's software, even though it's Tech has a direct impact on the lives of low income families all over the country. So what it does is it creates a group of really, really beautiful humans who actually care so much about other humans, you know, so I think that that's what any one from the company would talk about if they were here right now. We are on a mission to help communities help people and that's what we are going to continue doing every single day. That's a great shameless plug, as well. I almost just like stood up here. But you see, here's the thing does come it's it's authentic, because I believe it. Yeah. And it's not only me believing it's every single person that joins the organization truly believes that, you know, so when we talk about it, it doesn't sound like a plug it sound Honestly, like something that we care about, and something that we're passionate about, you know, it is, and I think, you know, maybe the takeaway of we kind of move forward here is, whatever your mission statement is, don't do it, because you think people want to hear it, do it, because you truly believe in it. And your organization, if it's focused correctly, you know, that's that relentless belief in yourself, like, you know, and, and I, and I think that's a big piece. So maybe one of the, the ideas is you have to relentlessly believe in your idea, but not to the point where you put blinders on and don't know how to adapt the idea to meet the goal you set off to do so ideas versus goals are slightly different, or intent of what you had started, because it will won't be the same thing is an entrepreneur that you set up initially to be it will evolve to solve whatever the initial problem is. And sometimes you realize your problem was too small and becomes bigger. So I think what neighborly software is doing is there's these types of companies need to exist, because to affect change, they have to work with organizations like the government to be able to do it. So there's two, there's a there's an added point, which is that that mission is timeless, right? So even though we may need to be flexible about the way that we approach it, and the way that we do help communities, it's that value stays the same. Right? So while everything around it changes, the technology changes, the market changes, the industry changes, the mission remains the same. And I think that that's a crucial element. Absolutely. Thank you for that. Are you ready for the warm seat? warms you? What was that? Like a, like the mid setting up a day? warmer days? You know, those little toilets? I can't, I can't anyway, I like when I travel or something else I see. Oh, yes. I said, Okay, we will get into those details, but it's more comfortable and way cleaner. All right, here we go. What's the one thing you wish you would have known before starting your entrepreneur journey, entrepreneurial journey, years ago, it might have to do with what I talked about earlier on, which is that, you know, go with your gut, to a degree. But calm down a bit, you're not that smart, you're not that really yet, you're not that lucky, you know, certain things happen that are by chance. And you can't rely on having that same luck, over and over again, at some point you're going to encounter an obstacle or a barrier or a challenge that you haven't encountered before. And if if you're not able to have a little bit of humility, perhaps and understand that there are things that you just don't know, and slow it down and listen to others and get advice and talk to people before making knee jerk reactions, or knee jerk decisions. The there's got to be the you'll learn, you know, the the experience will count for something because they'll be learning but it will be the school of hard knocks. And you know, sometimes that learning has a small consequence on your whole journey. Other times, it carries impact, that changes everything, sometimes for good, sometimes not for good. So we are very few decisions away from making a decision that can end your company. So as you gamble with your decision making, make sure that the bigger decisions. You go about a lot more slowly thoughtful and, and you consider more variables and you take time, you will not always have the luxury of time. And that's where there's no way around it. So much of success has to do with dumb luck. And you being in the right place at the right time. And that 5050 chance of being right and being wrong. But, you know, don't overly chastise yourself for your mistakes. And don't overly congratulate yourself for your successes. And make sure that with every single step, you're factoring in why this went right or why this went wrong to carry learning that is databased into your next decision. So that's what I wish I knew. And of course that comes from the sting of failure 100% And you slow down you'll you'll learn from it and be more thoughtful and do these things. But having a conscious idea that I'm going to slow down is enough to slow down and to do it and just take the pause. So you know the next question is absolutely 100% data collection for my next book I'm thinking of calling asked to leave, which will be much more humorous for all the reasons why I've been asked to leave jobs and other people in the world. And it's based on the following question. What is one thing it's humor base here? What is one thing you wish you would not have done in your in your career or in your entrepreneur path? Worked with family. I made that just isn't as well, early night my wife did stop me sick don't don't like alright, good point, do not work with family, it's so easy because it's it makes sense, right? It makes so much sense that you either you know you have your spouse or a sibling working with you, inevitably, there will come a moment where a tough decision will need to be made. And there is no such thing as separating work from personal, that's not a thing that exists. So even though it may work for a portion of time, there is going to be another portion of time where it's going to suck. And if like me, you're home is your refuge. And it's where you go to get away from work that no longer exists. If you work with family. Great, great advice. Do not worry family when McAfee that you can read a whole book on that when it went wrong. So you we look back right now you're at time zero, though, relative to the future. What are you doing to prepare yourself? Based on your own advice? What are you doing now to prepare yourself for the future? I think about this all the time, when I encounter marketers that are older than me, especially when I encounter marketers who are older than me, who still feel like they're in the market of the early 2000s. And it's very sobering, because that could be me in 20 years. Yeah. So what do I have to do to make sure that doesn't happen? You know, I, I mean, nowadays, I'm lucky. I'm, you know, 39, my children are teenagers. So I have that connection with the youth. Right? At some point, my children are going to be out of the house. So what am I going to be doing having conversations with my grandchildren to find out what the cool new lingo is? Like, I don't know what I'm going to do to make sure that I keep my finger on the pulse of the market. But I need to figure out a way to do it. Yep. And that's it haunts me. It haunts me. No, I get it, I'll tell you what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna find a company that wants me to think like an old marketer. So I don't have to change. No, I definitely will. Or living at some point, I'm gonna show you how to do a wheelchair race. Anyway. That's a great point. So the idea is that how do you keep yourself from becoming a dinosaur or relic in a cutting market? And the other question you should ask yourself, should I be? Should I try to be still that young thinking entrepreneur of 50? Or should I figure out a way to position myself to hire the right person to think that way and just be their mentor? So I'm thinking the same thing, more of moving towards a mentor coaching piece? Because I think that's where my interests will certainly gonna go. Especially, that's why I wrote the book, right? I wrote this book is not for me, I'd love to make millions on it. That'd be awesome. I'm less concerned about that than I am. I wrote it for three people, which are my three kids so they can understand how daddy was thinking, feeling and how it impacted our relationships with friends, family, my wife, while I'm building my company. So they have a perspective when they actually get older and care to read of what that's what it was like to be an entrepreneur as a dad. And that's who it's for. And those three read it, and they got something from it. I've accomplished my goal completely. And so that's how I think about is what do I'm going to do in the future. All right, thank you for that you've been this has been so insightful with this and we're winding it and we're bringing it home the plane all three wheels appear to be out. Is it three is probably more than that. You ready for the hots? Yeah. It's easy. All right, quick questions. Well, by the way, complete data collection for future sponsorships. Just so you know, anybody listening, but it also should help you as well. What's your favorite scheduling technology? For calendars is Calendly I can't help it. They're an ATV company like I must, you know, absolutely. Atlanta Tech Village, by the way, not sponsoring it, but ally Merritt, you're gonna be on the hook soon. I'm gonna hit you up. Don't worry. She's the managing director of Atlanta tech village located like, favorite CRM. That's a difficult one, because I'm like, oh, about it. I'm gonna say HubSpot. Just because it's perhaps my, my least unfavorite interesting. I could do we should do a show on CRMs because I think HubSpot offers the the best integrations. And I think you have to get to a certain point to realize what it's going to cost you because once you get off the cheaper versions or the startup versions, it is expensive. So you have to know how to manage your contacts in it and and you better be prepared and organization to line up a human to it to manage it. So that is that that is the class that kind of gold standard. Truly the integration. So I mean, you know, HubSpot is a hub, it does a whole bunch of stuff. And it does it at a level eight. It's not a 10 in anything. So if you're as long as your organization doesn't require any specific, right, something or another in one of those areas, you're fine and you can get away with HubSpot for a really really long time. Yep, it does. That's a follow up podcast of let's go through. So I will I will dive into that doing a second show because I need to learn. I just didn't know I just didn't know CRM. I'm just gonna go MailChimp this one All right favorite business book? Well, that's interesting because I, for me, behavioral economics is business to a degree. So I'm going to say that predictable irrationality by Dan Ariely is my favorite, favorite up and coming person on LinkedIn that people should follow and pay attention to. I don't know if I have anyone who's like up and coming I have I'm very much in the customer experience world. So I I'm very involved with that community with those evangelists with those influencers. And one of the favorite people, at least for me to follow is Tiffany Bova. And Tiffany Bova is over at Salesforce. And she's the evangelist over there. And she has kind of, I think she's the person who has best put my opinions and my perspective on customer experience into books and keynotes and podcasts. So that's who I'm going to shut up. But she's not up and coming. So I asked a question, because you're always up and coming relative to your current position. So yeah, I was looking for down and falling. That's not my favorite bank. That's a horrible question. Right? My bank is Chase, and I ever have to go in. So that's great for me, I can do everything in my app. So it works. Entrepreneurs, I will tell you what, I got a line of credit our company before we had revenue from Chase, and that's a big bank. They've been amazing. There's other ones out there. But that was my you answer that question correctly. In my opinion, I'm trying to get them to sponsor to the truth is that I really do like them. And I, I have other banks, I would say I would never use anyone, I'm not going to do that to them here. Number one entrepreneurial trait. That's difficult. I would say grit. Grit is probably the best one to stick to quit, figure it out. Keep in there, keep fighting for that stuff. Yeah, greed is one of my favorite ones as well. Here's my last question. Have you ever been promoted? That's interesting. I've always been very responsible for my own promotions, and most of them came and changing jobs. That doesn't count. So I got lots of those out right, not counted promotions. So no, Mary Drummond may join the never been promoted club you're in? Absolutely, I decided to take the path of make more money and leave the truth behind that. And I will lead the people with this. If you end up promoting, you're doing what maybe Mary and I both did is leave, make more money, leave and keep doing these kind of bounce arounds, you probably have this entrepreneurial thing inside you that doesn't want to stay anywhere too long, because you're bored. And you just want to make more money and you want more your time and you want where if you have that there's something burning, you need to go examine. Mary, thank you so much. This has been incredibly insightful from the marketing perspective from your journey. And you've been doing this, you know, I would say a long time, but you've been an entrepreneur a long time for a relatively very young person. So so thank you like that. I actually had no idea had started so young in the entrepreneurial world. And you've in somehow you're balancing between still working in the startup world. And in the idea of of being an entrepreneur, which you certainly are if you're early stage person. And just just because you don't found the company doesn't mean you're not an entrepreneur, you are part of that cycle. 100% with all the risk, and a lot of the reward. But thank you so much for joining the promoted podcast, everybody's listening this point, you can marry the throw, it's not the throwaway question. I hate that term. How do people get a hold of you? And if there's anything you want to you know, tell them to go do or give it that your you know, take 60 seconds to tell people how to connect. LinkedIn is my channel. Oh, look at that. A little plug for you right there, Thomas. But I'm on LinkedIn, I'm active there. I have a creator profile. I share my thoughts, I write articles. I do a lot of podcasts, I do webinars, etc, etc. So, if you follow me there, I will keep you updated on what I'm doing where I'm speaking, and I'm really happy to contribute and share ideas on that channel. Is it Drummond? Yes, it is. And it's Drummond with one M. And if you right Mary Drummond with one M, I'm actually the one and only so are you Ramona verify this? Yeah. Verified? Mary ma YDDRU. m o n. D. That's right, sir. Thank you so much joy to everyone. Thank you. So next time. Until then begin and start unleashing your entrepreneur. Thanks for listening to never been promoted with Thomas Helfrich. Make sure to check the show notes for our guests contact information and any relevant links connect with Thomas personally at never been