Austin: America's Montreal

My top new year’s resolution was to write a weekly blog post about the crossover between stand-up and sales - without fail.  I was determined to stick to a schedule, and I initially attacked this the way a keener SDR does their 100 required daily dials. “Initially” means 2 weeks of blogging, before being derailed by everything else associated with being a digitally-driven entrepreneur. Blogging had to take a backseat to my planning for last week's trip to Austin, and a re-watch several Sopranos episodes.  

That said, I’ve reconciled this with myself (as the undisciplined repeatedly tend to do).  My rationale is that I’d rather post worthwhile stuff intermittently, instead of a steady stream of mediocrity.  Great art isn't crafted on a schedule. That said, this isn't great art, but I strive to write something enjoyable about the intersectionality of sales & comedy, and/or my career speaking on it.  And, sure, that orange, goopy cheese is tasty, but I’d rather have weekly tacos vs. daily nachos (unless the tacos are vegan). 

There are parallels aplenty between Austin and my hometown of Montreal.  Both cities play host to giant music festivals, an annual Formula One race, fatty foods, craft beer, artistic communities, startup culture, and both cities that know they’re distinct from the rest of their state/province, which believes it’s distinct from the rest of the country.  If Montreal was a Starbucks beverage, it’d be named “A French, Cold Austin”. If Austin was a cult movie, it’d be called “Hot, Wet, American Montreal”.  

While in town, I presented an abridged version of my training & workshop to the local chapter meetup of the American Association of Internet Sales Professionals (AA-ISP).  Chapter President and all-around swell guy Gary Smyth, who I had collaborated with in a past life.  If you’re looking for a fun new way to spend a lunch-hour I recommend playing  “3 Degrees of Gary Smyth” with others in the Austin tech world. Forgive me for referencing a cult Canadian television show, but Gary Smyth is to 2018 Austin tech world what this guy was to 1970s Toronto. 

Thanks to those who attended (close to 30 in the room!), especially those who participated in the collaborative joke-writing exercise.  Lucky readers of this post will soon be converted to lucky viewers, when they check out some of the collective output, as delivered by some sales enthusiasts & startup founders in a forthcoming video!

I was excited to meet the local sales community, and un-Canadian weather in January, but was even most excited by how a local restaurant celebrated my arrival in Austin:

I fulfilled a lifelong dream of performing stand-up comedy outdoors in January. Thankfully, it wasn’t in Canada.  Chris Collings runs a really fun showcase monthly at The Vortex Theatre. 

Austin's become a favorite destination of mine. It's the right mix of business, art, and deliciousness. It's not too big, it's manageable, and everyone's so damn Canadianly polite. And for those of you keeping score, Tacos prevailed over BBQ in the "Austin Mealtime Challenge" 4 means to 2.

Broken resolution #2: To blog on stand-ups’ annual planning, and set quotas for themselves before Jan 29th, 2018. Until next time.