NOTE: Before you read the information below, I want you to know that I’m generally a very optimistic person. For example, I believe there are so many good things to come in the next three to five years. I believe that the economy in the next decade is going to flourish. I believe we’ll be able to hug each other again, and perhaps, shake hands. But before we get there, we have to do the dance.
This newsletter is mostly about marketing, publishing, writing and goal-setting. I’m hopeful that is why you are here…to get some insight on one or more of those things. But I don’t believe we can do any of those things effectively unless we know what game we are playing…and the game has indeed changed.
I’ve read so much material on COVID-19 some people might say I have a problem (just ask my wife).
Regardless, one of the best analogies I found on our current state was written by Tomas Pueyo called “Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance” from March 19th. The article is a bit outdated at this point, but the title says it all.
For the most part, almost every state (and country) just went through the hammer. This was the period of lockdown so we could slow the virus to something the health care system could handle. Even though there are still a number of hot spots in the United States, most states have flattened the curve.
And now we begin the dance.
Pueyo calls it a dance because it is “…the months-long period between the Hammer and a vaccine or effective treatment … it won’t be a period during which measures are always the same harsh ones.” He’s saying that life will be different for people depending on where you are. Some will be doing the dance. Some will be sitting and waiting for the next turn on the dance floor.
To visualize this, let’s pretend you are at a wedding reception (pre-COVID-19). At first, the dance floor is reserved for bride and groom activities (the hammer). You are not allowed on the dance floor. Then, the dance floor is open. A few people head out to dance. Then “Brown Eyed-Girl” comes on and everyone rushes to the dance floor. It gets too crowded and you head back to your chair for a few songs. And so on and so forth.
Without a vaccine or effective treatment, that will be our lives for the next few years. Every state and every location will let us know when the dance floor is open. We will all go out and dance for a while. Sometimes we’ll dance by ourselves. If we’re lucky, we can dance with a partner. Then it will get too busy on the dance floor (transmission rate, or R, increases to above one) and we’ll have to go sit out a few songs. Once the cases go down (transmission rate is less than one), we’ll be allowed back out.
If you’ve kept up with the news, you already know this. The reason why I’m explaining it here is I’ve found that there are many people who get this newsletter who believe we will be going back to normal (pre-March) soon. If you believe that, it’s going to be challenging at best to flourish in your work and your life. So let’s fix it (my wife says I love fixing things).
The Biggest Business Opportunity Since…Ever
My wife and I started what became Content Marketing institute officially on April 2, 2007. That exact day, New Century Financial declared bankruptcy. Most people never heard of this company that specialized in “sub-prime” loans, but this one event started a chain reaction.
In March of 2008 Bear Stearns collapsed and when Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy in September, the entire world found itself in the middle of what ultimately became the Great Recession.
At the time, we believed things couldn’t have been bleaker. Looking back though, this was absolutely the best time for my wife and I to start a business. While everyone else was “battening down the hatches” and holding on for dear life, we were publishing consistent content about the practice of content marketing and slowly, but surely, building an audience of marketing professionals.
When we were starting to come out of the recession in 2010, Content Marketing Institute quickly became the leading resource for content marketing education, not because we had some secret sauce, but simply because we invested in our audience for two years when everyone else went silent (or went out of business).
There were so many amazing media players in the marketing game at that time. Those companies should have capitalized on the growing content marketing movement. While they were busy, CMI (and later a few others) swept in and created large followers and built powerful business models.
While what is going on today is quite different, companies are reacting in a similar fashion to what we saw in 2008 (many out of sheer necessity). This presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity for you, whether you are an entrepreneur, a marketing professional or just someone looking to do something amazing.
So take a deep breath. If you want to feel sad that things have changed so much, that’s okay. Let’s grieve a bit. I know I have.
Better? Good. Now let’s go change the world for the better.
The following was an excerpt from Joe’s newsletter. Only subscribers receive the full version.