This morning, we turned the racing machines around and headed north again, back through Baltimore and up into Delaware. The day brought many unexpected events.
As you know by now, I’m on a 4-day, 400-mile charity bike ride from Basking Ridge, NJ down to the White House in Washington, DC, then back to Cranford, NJ. During such events, there’s time to think. One of our themes at ion Leap is how similar content marketing is to endurance sporting events. So I’m thinking a great deal about how to learn from the events of the past few days and apply these to real business situations. The parallels are incredible.
Expecting the unexpected
My first impression was how incredible I felt on the bike. My legs felt a little ‘crispy,’ but overall I felt better than I have the entire trip, including day one. This was a total shock. I was comfortable helping lead the group for a lengthy “pull” at up to 26 miles per hour on a slight downhill and up to 23 MPH on a 1% incline. That’s cooking!
It reminds me of the first time I see amazing results on Google Analytics for a new client. We should expect such results. After all, we’re following a proven methodology. We’re doing the heavy lifting of key phrase rich content. We’re laboring over every sentence to make the content interesting and sharable. We’re working steadily at social media management, building audience with whom to share our great content, etc. Great results should be a big surprise. But they’re always a wonderful feeling.
In an endurance event, you should expect such success. You did the training. You put in the miles, changed your diet, got more sleep at night, etc. But when you see it all coming together, it’s always a rush.
Expecting the expected
We had 2 more wrecks today. As they say to every rider in cycling, ‘It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.’ For 3 people in our group, “when” was today.
As we were zooming along under the amazing protection of our Baltimore Police motorcycle escorts (flying through red lights, around confused motorists, etc.) one our young teenage riders slid out on her bile and hit the asphalt. Hard.
She was up right away, back on her bike in just a few minutes and flying along again.
Later, as we were cruising through northern Maryland, down a hill, I was on the front yelling and pointing out junk in the road, and a deep rivet. Most of the guys saw it. Some in the back clearly didn’t. The first guy hit the rivet in the road . The second guy hit the piece of junk (see pic attached, we’re still not sure what it is). His front tire was thrown up about 2 feet in the air. He got control, but nicked the helmet of our friend who was sliding on the ground and fell.
Wrecks are expected. This one could have been bad, but both riders are experienced and know how to fall. Just like our younger rider, both guys got back on their bikes and completed the ride. They were maybe a little sore, but they finished their 400 miles.
And that was unexpected.
In long, ongoing projects, there are many opportunities to abandon your goal. In our case, I think it had a great deal to do with how dedicated we all were to the trip.
If you can maintain that same focus and enthusiasm in your organization, you’ll succeed in keeping up the demanding pace of your content marketing.
- Pick a huge goal, one that is important enough to keep people focused
- Have regular meetings to re-focus
- Give a huge “at-a-boy” to anyone who crashes and gets going again