Thoughts From David Letterman Inspired This Post

David Letterman

I used to watch Late Night with David Letterman and I always found him entertaining, funny and educational in a way that didn’t seem “over my head”. He was always articulate and insightful. It was disappointing when he retired from late night television.

I was excited when I saw he had a new show on Netflix, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. I was also scared that it wouldn’t live up to the old David Letterman.

Well, I wasn’t disappointed.

I’m not going to share my opinion of Barack Obama, mostly because I honestly don’t have much of one, but the interview David did with him and John Lewis was great!

It was during David’s reflection of where he was on the day that John Lewis walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965.

David stated that while that was an important historic event during the civil rights movement, as a college student, he was road tripping down to Miami to catch a cruise for spring break. This event, even as important as it was, was not on David’s radar.

Which brings him to his next point that as well as hard work and perseverance, he is where he is in life because of luck. Right place at the right time so to speak.

I Can’t Agree More!

I feel like most of my life events have fallen into place through dumb luck, right place at the right time and, of course, through perseverance.

When I set out with ESH Genealogy & Marketing, my intent was to do professional genealogy research for people local to me. I also expected to do small marketing projects for small businesses in the Denver area. Ideally, more genealogy, less marketing.

What Actually Happened?

  1. I don’t do genealogy research for people. Instead, I am responsible for the marketing activities of two genealogy companies. One in the United States, one in France.
  2. I handle marketing projects of various sizes and durations for companies all over the United States, including a few local.

I feel it’s safe to call this a happy middle. My marketing skills stay fresh and actually come in handy for the genealogy research that I do. When I’m bored with that, I do marketing for real companies outside of the genealogy industry.

How Do I Credit Those Adjustments to My Plan?

  1. Dumb luck
  2. Right place at the right time
  3. Perseverance

Famicity 

The founder of Famicity, the first genealogy company that I started working for, found this website. The founder contacted me in regards to being a business developer. In the traditional sense, I’m not a business developer. But, I offered up anything I could do for him with respects to marketing.

As a matter of fact, he needed someone to manage the blog for the English audience. My job would be to research, interview and write about a variety of genealogy topics. That in itself has been quite the journey. I’ve met many interesting people and have personally learned about many different aspects of genealogy.

I have a spreadsheet of topic ideas but I’m free to write about whatever I see fit.

Today, over a year later, I am still managing and writing the English blog, but I’m also a resource for them when they are building components that require French to English translations. It’s not easy to do translations as it’s not just the process of translating it and I’m done. There’s paying attention to the tone (sarcasm and anything possibly offensive the French are unaware of), language and anything that could be perceived as politically incorrect.

RootsFinder 

The second genealogy company that I work for is all thanks to my work on Famicity. I had conducted an interview with the founder of RootsFinder.com shortly after RootsTech 2017 to explore everything the website has to offer.

Months later, the founder of RootsFinder.com contacted me regarding the opportunity to work on various marketing projects as the website grows. I get to flex some marketing muscles with organizing materials, creating videos and meeting various genealogy bloggers.

Non-Genealogy Marketing

As for the non-genealogy marketing projects I work on nationally, it was a matter of right place at the right time. I mostly let my Linkedin profile speak for itself for where I’ve been and what I’m capable of but it’s not enough. I had an account on a freelance website and it was slow going and I’d get a little project here and there but there were two projects that I’ve stuck with over the past year.

These two projects give me a flexibility and range for diving into different industries and making me think about what will work for them versus what works for someone else.

I do handle a few local projects. They are working out well. They manage their business, I manage their website. This has been successful with the exception of one organization. Lessons learned on that one but hey, if I didn’t have to lawyer up at least once in my life and be thankful that I keep every single email, I wouldn’t be a real business person, would I?

So, I don’t use the word perseverance often because it’s implied. My path isn’t always set. There are good and bad days but I keep going. It’s always been like that and it always will be.