Small time hustle. That’s how he put it.
We were driving in the mountains West of Denver, heading to do some backcountry skiing under the stars on a clear night after work.
Some people run on a treadmill in the winter time. Some ride a stationary bike. I used to ride a couch until my friend and colleague, Frank, turned me on to the great exercise and fun that can be had “skinning” up a mountain in darkness and then skiing (or, in my case, snowboarding) down by the light of a headlamp.
It’s not at all as dangerous as it may sound and it’s an amazing experience. And not just because you hike up to 11,500 feet above sea level through evergreen forest and ski down in 20 inches of powder in the darkness.
It’s also amazing because we can jump in a car at the end of the day, chat about business and life for a short while, and emerge into an experience that’s somewhat surreal.
The mountains are often silent after dark. The stars are endless on a clear night. I get lost inside myself, “in the zone” so to speak, and experience extended, peaceful, introspective time intermixed with great conversation with friends new and old.

Sunset in the Rockies

One of these new friends was entertaining us with stories from his life, and the rest of us were increasingly intrigued as we heard about his real estate deals, the tech startup he co-founded, his mountain condominium that’s paid for (and a bit more) mostly by renting it out to friends of his at favorable prices. His 160 acre farm out on the plains near the small town where he grew up.
Added up, it made for a highly compelling story of a life being well-lived.
“It’s just small time hustle”.
I loved his response when we complimented him on all he’s put together.
Small time hustle.
No ego. No bullshit. Just someone who does what he can and does it consistently.
And there it is. Consistency.
It’s been almost 2 months since I last published a post here in Bootstrapping vs. Billionaires. I assure you my absence was not intentional. The time went by in a flash as I helped Net-Results execute on several fronts:

  • We launched our new, mobile responsive, drag & drop email builder
  • The launch of that email builder garnered our first ever coverage in VentureBeat
  • I spent time in Boston with customers and agency partners (yes, right in the middle of their worst winter ever, with no skis in sight)
  • We increased our inbound lead flow by 155% over our Q4 2014 baseline numbers (!)
  • We enhanced and improved our native integrations with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SugarCRM
  • We’ve just finished adding SpamAssassin email scoring to our shiny new drag and drop email builder
  • I took 8 days off in Costa Rica with my family during my kids’ spring break (ok, not a work trip, but I spent lots of time in my mind on our business and go-to-market plans)

But these and other things I’ve had a hand in accomplishing over the last two months add up to so many excuses for not writing consistently.

Small time hustle is not a bad way to describe how to accomplish your goals in a marketing organization with serious time and resource constraints.

Do what you can and do it consistently.

I apologize for the “do as I say, not as I do” (over the last 2 months anyway) hypocrisy, but the two simple elements in this statement can summarize exactly how resource constrained marketers can take stock of their circumstance and take effective action week after week.

Do what you can.

This is all about priorities and therefore focus. What are the best tactics you can employ given your resource levels? Evaluate potential outcomes realistically and test, test, test. Avoid long-term agreements with vendors until you’re certain their offering boosts a key metric in your plan.

Toward this end we’ve just launched a new retargeting campaign through AdRoll. If you’re not a Net-Results customer or agency partner (…yet…) you may experience this campaign first hand. We’ll be gathering performance metrics and living by the test, test, test mantra to quickly assess the efficacy of this new effort.


Do it consistently.

Have you ever stuck to a weight lifting regimen consistently for at least 6 months? I’ve done it a few times in my life and am amazed at how well my body responds. Now if I can just extend that consistency across years of time rather than relatively short, multi-month bursts.
This fine blog (among other tactics) has directly contributed to our recent increases in inbound lead flow. But how much am I leaving on the table through inconsistency? A lot is my guess. Consider this a moment of self-flagellation. I’m back and have lots of writing in the pipeline.

Whether your company turns over $500 million in revenue per year or $5 million, chances are that you’re dealing with lofty expectations for your marketing team and scant resources to accomplish those goals.
Picture the Rocky Mountains in the moonlight and remember small time hustle. Now tell me… what tools and techniques do you use to ensure consistent execution in your marketing organization?
Thanks for reading,

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Michael Ward

I'm founder & CEO @NetResults, the 1st choice of people buying marketing automation for the 2nd time.