Back in the mid to late 90’s I managed a couple call-centers (Strata Telecom & Telenet International) in Las Vegas, Nv.. They were primarily dealing in outbound telesales, which the FCC cracked down on and implemented more regulations later in the very late 90’s to insure that consumers weren’t being mislead or taken advantage of.
After a year managing the companies (listed above) I was tasked with terminating 25 employee’s on Christmas eve. This was very heart-breaking and stressful for all parties involved. As you can imagine, I had mixed reactions from each employee as I pulled them into the office one by one to hand them their last check.
30 days later, I received my last check from one of the owners/partners and found out they were closing the doors for good due to bad gambling habits that dipped into the company accounts, depleting their funds. The sad part was that the remaining 200+ employees never got paid and were instructed to contact the companies attorney handling the bankruptcy through a flyer posted on the door when they showed up for work the next day.
Rather than focus on the negative, I rallied up my top 5 performers to form a team and headed to NOS Communications with them in Las Vegas, Nv. Where I met and worked with the Candyman (Candell Manson). Candell was best known for his hit single “Knockin’ Boots”.
Life’s funny sometimes, how one can go from a mainstream rapper to call-center telemarketer. But, hey, we all ride the roller coaster of life and have to make ends meet when times get rough.
Even though Candell was selling services over the phone during his transition (down cycle), he made sure to invest a portion of his pay back into his personality/identity as a rapper. He would come to work each day with a box full of swag (Items branded with his logo/personality) and hand them out for free to everyone, encouraging them to hand out extra when they got home.
Candell even got up on stage a few times a month inside the call-center and performed his hit single Knockin’ Boots for all the employees to keep his music alive and motivate/stimulate sales.
Candell (Candyman) made a final push (That regrettably flopped) with – Knockin’ Boots in 2001: A Sex Odyssey. This would be the end of his career, however, he never stopped promoting himself and still collects royalties from his music.
What I Learned From My Time Working With The Candyman (Candell Manson)
- Never let a day pass without engaging in at least one promotional activity.
- No matter how bad times get, continue pushing through presenting your brand.
- Stay positive and don’t let life’s roller-coaster get you down.
- Swag is great, even though it may not always be the solution.
- Don’t fall stagnant and rely on old strategies (Single hits) to carry into the future.
- Always research and better your best, adding new strategies all the time for testing.
- When times get rough, don’t let your pride get in the way of being able to pay your bills.
- Engage audiences whenever you can in ways that inspire them.
- Put the consumer/fans first and work on finding solutions they need.
- Never give up!
- Always be humble.
Whether you are a music artist with a hit, a large corporation with stock options, or a freelancer with a popular product/service, nobody is immune to life’s roller-coaster and down cycles. Always be humbled and remember that tomorrow could be the day that things stop producing/converting as good as they used to.
Put together some backup plans and start researching new/innovative solutions for tomorrow. Life and business are too short. Learn from historical events in your life, take notes, and don’t waste your time on what’s not working anymore. One of the definitions of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
Remember: If you don’t take your brand seriously, why should anyone else?™
Happy business building everyone.
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Since 1996, Eric has managed companies with 240+ employees, online communities with over 1 million members, attended numerous industry related events/conventions and has personally worked with start-ups, personalities, small mom and pop businesses, corporations, freelancers, news outlets, and a variety of domain investors one-on-one from all over the world. That equates to a lot of years behind the scenes with his fingers firmly on the pulse of multiple industries.
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