I’m a voracious reader, particularly of business and marketing books. I also have an affinity for military, geopolitical and trend books – I like authors who look ahead, who think boldly and who sometimes make grand statements. I like authors who inspire the “challenger” in me.
Right now, my favorite author is my lovely wife, Laura Davis-Taylor, who self-published a very successful, niche marketing book called Lighting Up The Aisle in 2007.
That little book paid some of the bills last year, so how can it not be my favorite?
Laura operates a “challenger brand.” Adam Morgan may not have coined the term, but he has captured the marketing zeitgeist of challengers, studied challengers and absorbed a ton of knowhow with the successes and failures of challengers over the past 2 decades.
Laura inspires many, many people, and she is the challenger in every game that she plays – she’s on the bleeding edge of strategic digital out of home marketing, and I wake up every day immensely honored to be her husband.
Adam’s book, “Eating The Big Fish,” in addition to the books of Seth Godin and Gary Keller, has been one of the primary textbooks that has guided me since I founded The Rootdown Group on April 1, 2004 – almost 5 years ago.
Adam’s book, published in 1999, is a book that I read about 3 times in 2003. I wanted out of corporate America. I’ve read Gary’s The Millionaire Real Estate Agent 8 times since 2003.
So what’s my point?
Well, we are celebrating the anniversary of my agency practice on April Fools Day. We’ve helped over 160 clients buy or sell Atlanta area real estate since we listed our first two properties on April 1, 2004. We’ve built a talented team of 3 and Dana and Greg are both remarkably talented and hard-working and their strengths compliment mine.
When we started, and even today, our “ambitions outstripped our resources.” Some of Intown Atlanta’s finest real estate agents have gone away since we started – broken business models litter the Intown Atlanta real estate agency landscape.
On the playing field of 2009, we’ve seen that this blogsite, and our complimentary community-building on Trulia (since December 2007, and since March 2008, the #1 Trulia Voice in Atlanta), Facebook (since May 2008) and Twitter ( since February 2009) is what keeps us in business.
Gary Keller breaks it down to “mets” and “haven’t mets.” We do our best to honor our mets and we’ve been blessed with a solid referral stream.
We’ve found a tremendous resource in the “web 2.0″ tools that have become part of our daily life since 2007, and our web 2.0 efforts are our PRIMARY “haven’t met” lead generator, by a long, long measurement.
Today, this blogsite obtained the honor of making it to the 3d round of the Nationwide Blog Brawl – out of 1000′s of real estate blogs, and out of 32 initial competitors in the 2009 Blog Brawl, we are in the “Elite 8!”
Please vote for us; we are THE challenger out of the Elite 8 – the other 7 are well-known, established, delightful, superbly crafted and masterfully led real estate blogs.
Somehow, we are the #2 seed right now, and lo and behold we are competing with the internationally recognized and broadly lauded, miamism.com. We are certainly the challenger here!
I’ll wake up tomorrow and remember that the reason why this website exists is to help my clients – we want to help people buy Intown Atlanta real estate, and we want to help our listing clients sell Intown Atlanta real estate. The dynamics of both of those tasks require a leaner, smarter and more resolved business model in 2009, much more than the requirements that I met or exceeded back in April 2004.
The most vital thing Adam Morgan taught me in 2003, and what he continues to teach me today as I approach the most unique and the most widely reviewed marketing challenge of my 21 year sales career, the Blog Brawl, is this:
My business is threatened by the superior competitive positions of larger, better placed competitors. That’s my daily mindset, and that’s what motivates me to get better, to be better and to act better.
Since April 1, 2004, so far, so good. Thanks for your votes!
Here’s a well-known challenger on video from 1974…may we all be this good.