Sometimes it’s not a “what” that you need for success. Sometimes, it’s the “who” that is most important. Jesse Cole highlights this in today’s episode, where he talks about his experiences in running baseball teams in Gastonia and Martinsville and what they learned there about finding the right people. He also shares his insights on running the Savannah Bananas, the challenges he faced when they started managing the team, and how the right people led him to success. What is more, Jesse lets us in on his new book that tells the fan’s first story.
Listen to the podcast here:
The Who Breakthrough To Achieve More & Grow Faster
Behind The Scenes With Savannah Bananas & The New Book
Welcome back to another solo session of the show. I am fired up for this episode because it has been a game-changing revelation, an a–ha moment for myself and our business. In the last four solo sessions, I’ve talked about the importance of vision, how to build a brand, how to disrupt yourself and how to innovate without resources. I realized that as important as all of those elements are to building a successful business and doing it differently, the who, the people are the most important. It took a book to really wow me, to change my whole mindset on everything. It is Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy. We had Ben Hardy on an episode in season two about Willpower Doesn’t Work. This book is a game–changer and I’m going to talk about the concept that Dan Sullivan and Ben Hardy share. Also, how it has been relevant in everything that we have done with the Bananas.
Also some of our biggest failures even before the Bananas with some of our previous teams and how the who wasn’t the main focus. I believe that this may be the best question to achieve more and grow faster and the Who Not How concept. The question that hit me like a ton of bricks was simple. When you have a goal to do something it’s not, “How do I achieve this goal?” It’s, ”Who can help me achieve this?” As Dan Sullivan and Ben Hardy say, “Who creates results, how creates problems.” I’m going to break down this concept. I’m going to talk about it in regards to the Bananas, but also in regards to the new book that I have talked about in the last two episodes. The new Fans First Savannah Bananas book. I’m practically putting the who into play here. For many people, when you have a big goal, it may be writing a book, becoming a professional speaker or hitting this milestone with your business.We can have a big vision. We can have a big project and a big goal if we are willing to invest the time in the people. Click To Tweet
Often, we can say, “We want to do this. How do we do this?” The first question needs to be who. I have struggled with this for fifteen years. I’m excited to share this concept because it is an absolute game–changer. If you want to do business done differently, if you want to accomplish more than you ever have, you have to find the who. It sounds so obvious but I’m going to share some of the concepts that Dan and Ben break down, and how we have been able to do this and how we start with that after we establish that vision. That is the goal in this episode. I’m going to break it down. Talk about the vision, my story, the book, and then maybe some other ideas on how having a bigger vision, how we all can do this.
Who Not How
I record these not only for the readers but I record these for myself. Often when we write, when we talk things out, it helps provide clarity. All of us are looking for clarity. We try to keep things very simple here with the Bananas and it’s made baseball fun, how do we do that, as Fans First, Entertain Always. Sometimes that simple concept needs a formula, a process and some steps to accomplish that. That is what we are going to break down. First, just sharing the book, Who Not How by Ben Hardy and Dan Sullivan.
In one of the earlier episodes, I referenced Jim Collins. In his newest book, he actually references this concept a little bit but not as simple as Ben Hardy and Dan Sullivan. He opens his new book BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0), Jim Collins says, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” Bill Gates says, “If we to take our twenty best people away, I tell you that Microsoft would become a pretty unimportant company.” That is so true. It’s obvious, but how do you do it? That’s not the right question. The question is, “Who do you need to do it with?”
A great quote from the book was, “If you are courageous enough to pursue big goals, you will need who’s to help you.” What is that level of vision you have for yourself? Is your vision so small that you are doing everything by yourself? That’s an important concept because if you are not thinking very big about your vision, then that’s going to hold you back. After all, you might be thinking I have to do it all myself. “I have to figure out a way to do this. How am I going to do this as an entrepreneur?” It’s the wrong question, “Who are we going to get to do this?”
Everything Starts With A Vision
The breakdown starts with who, what I have realized still is everything starts with a vision. If you say, “I need to find people.” Where is your vision? It starts with the vision and the vision is not necessarily like a whole huge process. The vision is just that dream, that big goal for the future that you are targeting that you are going after. Dan Sullivan calls it an impact filter. He writes, “Here’s what success looks like, here’s why this project is so important for us, here’s what’s at stake if it fails and here’s what we gain if we succeed.” If you break down that big vision, which on one of our first episodes of season four, I break down the whole vision of the Bananas. We spent the summer going over The Vision Driven Leader by Michael Hyatt. We went through that book and we broke it down and developed an approach for our vision. It was a five-page visage vision script. We started thinking about who are the people that we need to attract to this vision?
Gastonia And Martinsville: Failure Of Leadership
Who is attracted to the vision? If you share a big vision, people will want to be a part of it. Every step of our process and hiring, we lead with the vision. When someone starts with us, we go over the vision. Vision, where we are going, what we are doing, and then we can start attracting those people. I want to break it down into my story, where I failed to have a vision, to have a goal for the who’s and the struggles that came with it. For me, it started in Gastonia. I was 23 years old taking over the team and it was a struggle as I have shared in previous episodes. There was only $268 in the bank account and only 200 fans coming to the game.
At 23, I didn’t have any vision. My vision was to have fun and do the best job I can. I wasn’t thinking about the future of the team, I was just trying to figure out how to survive at first and learning on the way. At 23 years old and never had any experience with the baseball team before, it was a huge learning curve, it was throwing things against the board and see what sticks. We were trying everything. We tested ideas, concepts and it started to work.
It went from 200 fans a game to 1,000, to 1,500, to 2,000 to ultimately fourth in the country and attendance. It climbed. The vision was still small at that point because the only vision was to get a little bit better than last year. That’s not a real inspiring vision. I would see what we did for numbers, let’s see what we did for fans. I would say, “What if we increased by 5,000 fans, 10,000 fans? What if we increase by $100,000 in revenue?” Ask that question and again, I was still learning. That wasn’t inspiring to anybody. The reality is we were doing something pretty cool but it was my own growth and competitiveness to be better. That’s what it was.
The Grizzlies did grow and we had a lot of success but then as soon as we had a bigger vision and that was to go to Savannah and build something special and stopped focusing on as much on Gastonia, what happened was, ultimately, the biggest failure of leadership that I have had in my professional career. What happened was I didn’t invest time in building and developing the who’s, the right people, to carry on that team to be successful. When Emily and I sold it in 2018, within two years, the team was gone. I was leading the charge. We were building a brand-new stadium, it was getting built and ultimately the city chose not to work with the former team, the Grizzlies and chose another team.
If that’s not a definition of failure of leadership, I don’t know what is. I look at it as not only not finding a vision but not investing and developing and bringing in the right who’s. It’s because of that, the team no longer exists. I was more focused on, “What do I need to do, how do I need to do it, not who needs to do it,” and not thinking long-term. Playing a short-term game, “The Savannah is really big. We are having a family, we can’t run two teams. We are going to sell the Grizzlies. We believe that it will be successful.” It was ultimately successful because of Emily and me, and everything that we put in and not the who’s that we developed and the team no longer exists. I share that because that’s a sad story.
Even in my first book, Find Your Yellow Tux, I talk about the Grizzlies and the success and then it no longer exists. It started with no vision and not thinking about the right who’s. It was, “How well I figure this out? How will I get more people in the ballpark? How will I, at that point, sell more sponsorship? How will I create buzz and attention? How will I do everything?” Saying this out loud is exhausting and yet I was young and had a lot of energy and we were able to make it happen. I didn’t build a business bigger than myself and bigger than Emily, it was us. That’s very sad.
We still didn’t learn when we actually took on another opportunity, which I never talk about in Martinsville, Virginia. We went to Martinsville, Virginia because the team was falling apart. It was run by the city. They were only bringing in a total of $100,000 in total revenue. They had fourteen group tickets sold. They had one birthday party the year before and twenty-eight-season ticket holders. It was a disaster. I and Emily saw, “They need help.” We put together a proposal where we would be compensated and we had had some big upside on the success and the profits. We said, “Let’s take this on.” We have no vision other than, it’s another team, it’s just more. We will take this on and we will make it successful.”
In 2013 we went to Martinsville. There was no real vision. Ultimately, there was no plan on who would run the team. How silly we were? We were like, “We will just take it and we will figure it out.” We had no idea who. We’ve got the contract. I think it was in the fall of 2012. We come in, we go to the ballpark and it’s just us. We have no general manager, no president, nobody to lead the team and we start taking meetings. All of a sudden it starts spreading to us even more. We can’t run Gastonia’s while we were trying to run Martinsville. We were trying to figure it out.
At that point, we were like, “We’ve got to find someone.” It sounds silly. You are going to go there and find a GM or find someone to run it. We saw the opportunity first and we said, “No, this is a no-brainer opportunity. It’s a win-win, we can’t lose.” We didn’t find the right who. In three years we had three different general managers because we had to scramble to find someone. We didn’t share the vision, we didn’t pump the vision. It was a very tough and challenging market, with extremely high unemployment. It was difficult.
We made the team successful. We increased revenue and fans dramatically. It was ultimately successful but after three years we wanted out and we were fortunate to be able to sell it back to the Coastal Plain League and get out. There was no big vision and there were no who’s. It’s struggling right now, not doing much. It hasn’t grown. It’s fallen back because there was no who. That was game–changing for us because we saw what’s happened in Gastonia and Martinsville.
Finding The Who In Savannah
We then saw this opportunity in Savannah. Were like, ”Savannah is a big market with fourteen million tourists and a beautiful old stadium. This is where we want to go.” The old Jessie and Emily would be like, “Let’s do it and just jump into it.” As entrepreneurs, we know, we look for those opportunities, like, “We can do it. We will figure it out.” Most often we find a way. I did a behavioral assessment the other day. He was like, “You are the guy that jumps out of a plane and builds his wings on the way down. Somehow, you are like a cat, you always land on your feet.” I may land on my feet but I will tell you it’s a struggle to get there.
We went to Savannah and we were like, “Let’s change the whole approach. This who not how the concept, let’s think about it.” We hadn’t even read the book yet. We made some decisions that changed everything. We said, “We are not going to go to Savannah unless we have the right person, the right leader to take over and run this team.” We went to someone we trust, Jared Orton. We met with him and his wife. We took them out to dinner and we said, “This is what we want to do. To be honest, we might not go there if someone like you is not interested.” We knew how they did things. Jared worked with us in Gastonia. He has an unbelievable work ethic, dedication and care. He just truly cares. Luckily, he and his wife made that decision. That was number one.If you want a business done differently and accomplish more than you ever have, you have to find the who. Click To Tweet
We then said, “This is a big market. We are going to have to sell a lot more tickets. We are going to have to figure out how to do it.” This was a big thing that I haven’t talked a lot about but we said, “Who would be the best person or the best group we could work with to help us sell an outrageous amount of tickets?” We did a good job in Gastonia but we didn’t know all of the techniques and all the strategy to make it happen. We looked at the best in the business and the best in the business at the time and still now was Jon Spoelstra and Steve DeLay. They were in SRO Partners. Jon wrote Marketing Outrageously. He was a guest on the show.
We said, “What if they helped us figure this out? What if it wasn’t us figuring out how do we sell out every game? What if they helped us do it?” We proposed an idea to them and said, “This could be a huge upside for you if you are interested.” We proposed it and went back and forth, did some negotiating. Ultimately, Emily and I were willing to give up some percentage of ownership at least to start that could be bought back and a big percentage of profits. We realized that if they helped us get kicked off and launched successfully, it would be a big return in the end and get our company going the right way. It was a big investment. When you look at it now, fast forward and they are no longer involved, we still friends. We are still close and talk all the time. After three years, the partnership was over. They had a very big exit, a very big profit share that they had over three years. It was huge for them but it may have been even bigger for us.
Some people with a small vision would say, “You paid that much over three years?” Yes, we did. That impact was game-changing because I didn’t know how to sell out every ballpark. Our president chair didn’t know how to sell out at the ballpark. No one in college summer baseball was selling off the ballpark every night. In Minor League Baseball, the only teams that have done it, most of them worked with Steve DeLay and Jon Spoelstra. We said, “Find the best, invest in the best, present something that could be game–changing and find that who.”
With the experience, the marketing and the crazy videos, we developed that mindset but it started with, “How do we get people just to come to our ballpark first?” We found that who and that may have been one of the biggest game–changers to start our company. We had Jared, Steve and Jon helping us. When we only sold two tickets in the first three months, we had to dig in. I was talking to Steve every single day and Jon was sending in marketing copy and ideas every single day because they wanted to be successful. It was only an upside for them if we actually were successful. It worked out in great collaboration to work together. That’s the biggest point that I think about when I read these books. It’s “Stop competing, start collaborating.” Who can you collaborate with and not worry about ego or who gets the credit or who doesn’t get the credit? We collaborated and started making this Savannah and what it was after the initial failures.
When you have a big vision, our big vision coming into Savannah was, can we have an all-inclusive ballpark? Can we sell out the ballpark? Can we be all–in on Fans First? Can we make baseball fun and take the show to another level? This was the big vision. Can we save this community in Savannah, Georgia? Is it because baseball had failed for many years? Can we do it? It’s a big vision. Sell at the ballpark? We don’t know how to do that completely. We had pretty good success in Gastonia but not even close to what we needed.
I talked to Steve DeLay and Jon Spoelstra All-Inclusive ballpark. “No one has ever done this with every single ticket, all–inclusive. Who do we talk to that?” I will share that we went into a food vendor to try to figure that out but make baseball fun, All–in and Fans First. We have an idea on that but who else can we learn from? We start asking those questions. We first started with the vision, the president that we trust in Jared, ticket sales, Steve, Jon, then the food and bev. How are we going to do this? We would have no idea how to serve at this ballpark. No one was doing it.
We went to the Conference Center in Savannah. We talked to them. They have big events. They serve food and bev. We approached them on this idea because we were like, “We don’t have anyone to do this. We need your help.” We were willing to give up a good percentage of what we were doing so they can help us do that. We were working out deals and they helped host a launch party for us at the Conference Center back in November 2015. They supplied all the food and drinks for free. It was like, “This is good.” They are trying to watch or try to move them and they said no out of nowhere. They were like, “We are not interested.” It gets into the fall, the winter and going into the spring, we still have no one. We don’t know who can run this.
Coach’s Corner, a sports bar near us that does pretty good volume. They have events and concerts and we started to know the owner, John Henderson. I went to him. I said, “John, do you know anyone that can help us achieve this goal.” He said, “Let me think about it.” He comes back the next day. He goes, “I can do it.” I’m going to give you a side there. Always ask people that may be a candidate, “Who do you think can do this?” Often, they will make it their own vision. They say, “I want to do this.”
I have done this with numerous people. We said, “Who do you think would be good for this position?” Often, they put their hand in the ring and say they want to do it. I wasn’t proposing that. I was just going to John for help. He decided and he was like, “I’m going to do this.” He put his blood, sweat and tears that first summer into serving mass volumes. He brought his own cookers in to help us. He was invested and we couldn’t have done that all in All–Inclusive without him. It’s because of him, he started it for us but he still didn’t know how to do it completely. No one was doing it.
At the first game, we went All-Inclusive and it was literally a sixth inning wait for food. People were getting in line in the first inning and they will not get their food in the seventh inning. It was a disaster. We had no idea. Even though we had someone with restaurant experience, he didn’t know how to do it. What do we do? Steve DeLay knew someone. He said, “I know someone that’s a food consultant.” We called that food consultant, invested in them to come down to the next game. As soon as they get there, just watch and give us suggestions.
The biggest suggestion he said, “What was happened is you have all the burgers, all the hot dogs and all the chicken sandwiches. It’s the first thing they get. What they were doing is they were piling up on that. They were filling their whole arms with burgers, hotdogs and chicken sandwiches, so it‘s making you go through that food quick. Put the drinks first. Let them grab a water or a soda, so then they can’t grab so many burgers and hotdogs and then that will make the line go faster.” That one subtle change made a huge difference. It wasn’t me, Jared or Steve sticking out how do we do this. It was bringing out who can help us do this better.
That consultant who came in that we invested in made a big game-changing move. All of this started to come together. It sounds so obvious, but often what will you will do is we will lower our goals. We will make them smaller because we don’t know how to do it. What if we make our goals bigger and find who to do it. That’s a different conversation. I will share another story with Savannah that was very interesting as well, was with our brand and our logo. This went back and forth between the team as well, because I believed that we needed an unbelievable logo, something top of the line. We didn’t have money. We were struggling, this was in the beginning with only two ticket sales but I was like, “Guys, we can’t go cheap on the logo. We need to find someone who’s the best at doing this because this is our brand, this is going to represent us for many years. If we are going with the Savannah Bananas, we better have a logo that looks good because we are going to get criticized for that name.”
We had proposals out for a couple of grand but I found Studio Simon and Dan Simon who had done our inanimate objects and food item as logos. I watched how he made the face come to life. I was like, “This is the guy.” It was an investment back then. It was $8,000. Some people say, “That’s not a lot.” Some people say that is a lot. We didn’t have that but we made that investment. In the first time after months of talking, we would go back and forth. I shared with him the vision. I will never forget this. He goes, “You kept saying you want a badass Banana.” I said, “Yes, I want a badass Banana because I don’t want people to think of soft. I want them to think that, ‘That banana is badass.’”
He had that as his mindset. Badass Banana, tropical colors and make it fun. That was what he kept hearing from me over and over again and he designed it. The first time he designed it, most people go back and forth with sketches over and over again. He goes, “Most times once I produce it, it will be very close.” He showed it and I backed up from it and I said, “Wow.” We only made one change, we changed them from a lefty to a righty, that’s all we did. We found the right who.
Now, I think back in merchandises, it’s become over the years multimillion-dollars in revenue and fans all over the world wearing our gear, it was one of the best investments we had. I didn’t have to figure out what does the logo looks like, how do we make this brand successful? Who do we hire? Finally, Jim Collins talks about this a lot. He talks about who luck and having someone that not necessarily you are on a search for but you come in touch with them. You come in contact with them, you find a spark, you see something and they become a part of it. It’s who luck. We had tremendous who luck in our first season.
When you look at the brand, everyone sees all the videos, the TikToks, YouTube and Facebook videos. We just hired a photographer. We weren’t smart enough to think we need to go all–in on video. It was 2015, 2016. The video was obviously there but it wasn’t a huge thing for sports teams. It was the highlights. We brought in a photographer, local, from Georgia Southern and he said, “I can also make videos.” Ben Sheffield did the first video and he was just unbelievably talented at it. We saw that potential.The vision is just that dream, that big goal for the future that you're targeting and going after. Click To Tweet
We saw the music video, Can’t Stop the Peeling that got 200,000 views, on Facebook and started taking off. We immediately said we are going to invest in this. Probably at that point, the only college summer baseball team and one of the few Minor League teams to have a full-time videographer. Now, that’s grown as we have 2 or 3 on our team but that happened because of who luck. I don’t know how to make those videos. Our team doesn’t know how to make those videos but we found the right who to help build the brand and spread this even further.
I want to put that all in perspective. I know it’s all about our story but I challenged the readers, the entrepreneurs, the business leaders here on this blog to think about where is their vision? Where do they want to go and not get stressed by the how’s. Just start writing about who. It takes asking, reaching out, connecting, talking to people, trying to find the best and not being short-sighted on the investment that it costs but thinking about the long-term benefit, even of what you will learn from that person. I have learned so much from Dan Simon, Ben Sheffield, Jon Spoelstra and Steve DeLay, that has paid for itself and then some. That’s how it comes to my story and the Banana story and how we have grown that.
Fans First Story
I’m going to bring it back to you in a second but I also want to go deep into the book concept because now we are a couple of months into developing the new book, the second book and the first book from the Savannah Bananas. The entire process has been built on Who Not How. It’s ironic that Tucker Max, who I’m working with within Scribe, was the one that helped. He is the author strategist. He was bringing concept with the strategy for Who Not How. He helped all the connections of that book and make it happen. He is who I went to for this book and Scribe. I worked with the first book, The Book In A Box and now I work with Scribe again and this book has taken it to a whole another level.
Our vision, we want to share this Fans First story. We want to share about the Savannah Bananas experience. We want to share how anyone can break the rules and change the game and create an unforgettable experience. We want to share that but I can’t figure out how to do all that. What is that investment worth and who do I need to do it? I went to Tucker and over the last few years, we have talked about ideas back and forth.
Tucker Max is a huge New York Times bestselling author. He’s the Founder of Scribe. We bounce ideas back and forth. We invested. We said, “We are going to invest.” I will be very upfront, it’s a big investment. It’s not $5, $10, $15, $20,000, you’ve got to keep going up. It’s a substantial investment but it is one of the best investments on what it can do for a company, a brand for connections, you name it. It is outrageously valuable. I went to him and said, “We’ve got this idea. I want to do a book.” I signed a deal, then the process started. I’ve immediately got connected with a publishing manager and a producer and an editor. It just kept going along on who was going to be helping us with this process.
From Casey and Kayla, they started the connection, “We are doing a unique book. We want to do it with all the fans as part of it. It’s not just one voice.” They started coming up with a strategy, timeline, what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how we are going to be doing it. I’ve got connected with Miles to talk about how to think differently on the marketing strategy and Chaz, who has been the heartbeat for me. He has been everything. He was my editor on Find Your Yellow Tux. Now, he has been my editor on this one and my Scribe. Literally, we have been talking twice a week for a couple of months now going over the ideas in the book and him sharing and bouncing back and forth. He’s putting it all together while we interview. It’s not me. I will write things, I will share things, I will send him but he helps mold it all together.
This whole idea, this concept of this Fans First book about the Bananas, the behind the scenes and how creating this fan experience is so important and the differences make. We said, “We need to make this not just about us but about all the fans and other businesses.” It became this ultimate collaboration. When I first reached out and sent it out to all of our fans, I said, “What should the title of this book be?” Hundreds of people send in title suggestions then said, “Who has a story?” Even to this day, almost every other day, I get a new story from a fan about wanting to be in the book and stories that I never even heard of. It’s fascinating stories about things that happened at this ballpark and the impact some of our team members that I didn’t even know about have made on the fans. It was game-changing.
All of a sudden, it’s not just me figuring out how to write this book, it’s now all of our fans and all of our teammates. Literally, it’s our whole staff, because they will send suggestions and stories. I’ve been on this interview process of literally interviewing our fans, interviewing our staff and teammates, and interviewing other business owners that have also done a lot of these Fans First techniques and seeing the impact of it. It has been eye-opening for me because as I get all these interviews in, all I do is I send it to Scribe. They are going to help mold it into the book based on the outline that we have created together. It has been unbelievable.
I had a lot of uncertainty in the beginning. I went probably a year just, “Is this the right topic, is this the right way to go, where should I go with this?” They have helped so much and make me feel that I’m doing the right thing. Just be able to jump on the phone and talk to someone and collaborating. One challenge that we were having is we’ve got all these titles, 200 to 300 title ideas but we don’t know what’s the best. I talked to Scribe and I said, “Who can help with this?” They said, “We have a title guru, a title expert.”
They connect me with Eric and we have a title jam session for 30 minutes. We are going over all the things that are important to the Bananas, to us and our fans. We are sharing this all over some of the suggestions from before all of a sudden, two hours later, he sends a list of twenty amazing subtitles and titles to this book. It was like, “Wow.” It fired me up so much. I sent them all to our team and our team is like, “I like these.” We are seeing the same three that keep popping up. We are then going to throw that out to our fans.Find the best, invest in the best, present something that could be game-changing, and find that who. Click To Tweet
Again, the big daunting thing of writing a book now becomes little steps that I don’t have to figure out the answer to everything. We have a team, all not at Scribe but in addition to our fans and our teammates. Everyone is a part of this. That’s a deep thing about what we do, why we do it and how all of us do it. We all want to feel a part of something. We all want to feel we are doing something bigger than ourselves. We all want to feel like we belong to something and that’s a big concept than just people being happy and successful.
This big daunting thing of a book I literally said, “Let’s find the right who and then continue to find the right whos along the way.” All of a sudden, by January of 2022 or February of 2022, we are going to have a book that is going to make a huge impact because it wasn’t just myself or someone else trying to figure it out. It was a bunch of people coming together to collaborate on a bigger vision of the impact of what this book can do and how to get a lot of people involved in sharing their stories and making a difference.
I have gone deep here, a lot deeper than I thought I went on a lot of this but it’s so important. When I was in school, it was always the page before the questions that gave the examples. It was like, “Here are the examples of how you do this math problem. Here are the examples of how you do the science problem.” I had to follow that example. I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out myself. I hope that I give some examples of our business and unique areas in our business. Also, this book, which is another specific project that will be done in less than a year. It’s not me putting everyday bandwidth into it, because we have hired, developed, built and connected with the right people to do it.
Bringing The Right Who
We can have a big vision. We can have a big project and a big goal if we are willing to invest the time in the people. Bringing on the right people, finding the right who’s, of finding the right who that will then find the right who’s. That sounds like a Dr. Seuss book and that’s okay. That’s what it is. I want to challenge us to, what would it take to write down the big goals and then put who’s next to each one. If you don’t know the who, who can you find to find that right who?
For us, YouTube is a big strategy in the future. With TikTok, we have 500,000 followers, Instagram and Facebook all getting up high but YouTube, we only have few scribers. We haven’t built it. We know that’s where most people will find it if they search for a video on Google. I’m thinking now, who are some of the best in either outside of our industry that’s doing something similar with entertainment? Maybe a sports team but probably not in sports. How are they developing theirs? Who can we talk to in them? Are we willing to collaborate or invest in them consulting to help us get to that next level? That’s some bigger picture. I will finish with that bigger vision.
I want to look back on this in ten years and say, “This is where we were.” We are building Banana Land, our stadium here and we are trying to build a ballpark that has never been even conceived or thought about before. An amazing ultimate theme park experience that makes baseball fun. The first step is we invested and hired a designer that we could share Disney, PT Barnum, theme park, Cirque du Soleil, carnival, all that inspiration that could put together. We found a great team in the Pendulum Studio. For six months now, they have been designing. We have shared it with our team and our team is coming back with ideas and we are involving them in the collaboration.
I can’t design. I can’t do any of that. We have a vision of what it could look like and then we started putting things in there. In this ballpark, there are a lot of things that people haven’t seen. I’m excited to share that and I will share it. Hopefully, we will get more collaborations from there. That’s a big thing. We believe that we can make baseball fun all over the world. First, we need to have a Banana Land here that people can travel to, can come to and can see the real where it all started. We are then going to continue to take that show on the road.
As soon as I started thinking about that, I reached out to the Globetrotters. I’ve got a person that knew the Globetrotters. Someone that I have worked with before knew the vice president of global development. I’ve got a relationship with him and have had numerous conversations with him. We’ve then got connected to the former CEO of the Globetrotters, who was with WWE for many years and had a great conversation with him. I have reached out to Feld Entertainment, who ran the circus and does Disney on Ice and all of the big tours. They are a multimillion-dollar company but doing tours all over the world, it’s swallowing your ego and saying, “We have a big vision, something we want to do and we can’t do it ourselves. Who’s going to help us?”
I know as we take this big show on the road, there are going to be people that have done things at much higher levels that we are going to bring onto our team and not be afraid of investing in them because it is the right thing to do. I want to finish here. I want to go back to Jim Collins. He said, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” It starts with a great vision but the great people have to be relevant. They have to be as important. As we build this brand, I challenge everyone to continue to think about their own brand, business and division. If they are just a little part of their company, maybe they are not running the company. What’s that vision for the company who do they need to bring apart?Stop competing, start collaborating. Click To Tweet
It is so simple but I don’t think it’s talked about. As we have leadership meetings here and we talk about our next step, we immediately go to who. Ultimately, who is going to be that who, that finds people? We are going to try and find one of the best recruiters in the business and we bring them as a part of our team. Those are questions that we are going to ask. I love this solo session. I hope you found some value. I hope this was useful for you and we can look back and say, “Look at the new who’s that I have brought on my team over the last year and look how big our vision has expanded. Look what we have achieved because of the right people on the right bus.” I appreciate you guys, until next time. Stop standing still and start standing out.
- Who Not How
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- Willpower Doesn’t Work
- BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0)
- The Vision Driven Leader
- Find Your Yellow Tux
- Jon Spoelstra – Previous episode
- Marketing Outrageously
- Can’t Stop the Peeling – YouTube
- The Book In A Box
- TikTok – The Savannah Bananas
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