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Rule Yourself: Winning in a Competitive Environment

As most media companies do, we recently had our annual National Sales Meeting. It is a time where we reflect on the year, highlight where we want to go, and most importantly, talk about the strategy to get there.

This year’s theme was “Rule Yourself”, inspired by a past Under Armour campaign. It resonated with us, as it is a time to rejuvenate ourselves, feel empowered, and engrain the confidence to not only survive but excel in a competitive landscape. While none of us in the room were elite athletes in training for the Olympics, our sport, if you will, is our job.

Whether selling, planning, optimizing, marketing, branding or organizing, these are the sports each of us play — day in and day out. And like Michael Phelps and any other athlete, we all need to show up each day prepared to Rule Yourself!

The video (which is actually an ad for Under Armour relates directly to us all in the ad business), serves as the perfect analogy for us and our profession.

The noticeable and easy-to-digest takeaways from this video are obvious: commitment and hard work are the cornerstones to successfully Ruling Yourself. No pain, no gain. What you put in is what you put out. But the candid truth is that we all can and must put more in. We simply need to be better at Ruling Ourselves. And that goes for everyone, as individuals and professionals.

So, we started to learn how to Rule Yourself and discussed several rules, including the following…Yes, it was geared towards our team, but I hope you can relate it to your business and learn to Rule Yourself too.

Respect the Team

Let’s talk about the sport in the video: swimming. For the most part, swimming is an individual sport. A lot like sales. Each seller is given their individual goals and the objective is easy– meet or exceed them. Go faster like Phelps or sell more like the best in our profession.
And yet, in that video we saw his coach, his physical fitness trainer and his physical therapist. Not as visible, are the people behind the scenes, from the ones preparing his meals to the ones ensuring the pools are clean. In other words, while Phelps is on the front lines, he absolutely can NOT do it alone. He needs support. He needs a team. Just like you and me. Which is why it’s critical we ALL must show up every day with the Rule Yourself attitude. We are playing an individual sport BUT one that truly requires a team effort.

Possess Confidence in Product

As we already established, Phelps sport is swimming, our sport is sales. Specifically, media sales. And not just any media. We represent some of the most iconic and well-respected and award-winning media brands in the market. Yes, these brands are iconic. But, more importantly, these brands are both vibrant and relevant. Just look at Adweek’s 2017 Hot List, published last month. When out in the market, Rule Yourself by having the confidence in knowing that we represent the best and brightest editorial content. Content your clients want to align with and content that attract the audiences your clients want to reach.


Let’s go back to the swimming analogy. Whereas swimming has some short heats (like the 50 meter), they also have long heats like the 1500. Just like each race requires its own strategy, so too does each sale. We have to work harder and smarter on the bigger deals. Hard work, creativity, and collaboration go a long way!

Here’s to a successful 2018! #ruleyourselfmm

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