Blogging, Serendipity, and a Story of How I Met One of My Heroes

by Marcus Sheridan

sunrise-at-serendipityAs most of you know from reading my past articles, when I started TSL 18 months ago, I had a feeling that many wonderful things would happen in my life if I but held the course and put the necessary time and effort into producing great content on a consistent basis. At the time, I had no idea what exactly might happen, but I did have a clear knowing that if I but gave ongoing value to those around me, I would attract success into my life.

For almost the first year of blogging, I thought this feeling I had may have been a silly pipe-dream. I had little followers and little to show for the hundreds of hours that had been invested into the content herein.

But somehow, over these last 6 months or so, one amazing event/opportunity after another seems to be popping into my life. Those of you that have been following this blog have heard about these events as they’ve occurred, but today I want to talk about an experience that I had just a few weeks ago that still leaves me with a smile. Here goes…

I Love My Mountaineers

What many readers don’t know about me is that I’m a graduate of West Virginia University (2001). During my time at WVU, I developed a major love for our sporting programs, namely football and basketball. To this day, 10 years after graduation, I’m still a huge fan. In fact, the only time, and I’m not exaggerating about this, that I’ll actually sit down and watch TV is when WVU is playing—I love them that much.

As any huge sports fan will tell you, if you love a team, you also love the announcer (the person that does the live play by play for the sporting events on the radio). And during my 14+ years of listening to everything WVU, the announcer has been a gentleman named Tony Caridi, whose voice, for me, is symbolic of everything I love about the Mountaineers.

Serendipity Strikes

I tell you this because about 6 weeks ago I noticed an email in my inbox that said in the subject line ‘Hubspot and West Virginia Football’. Considering these are two of my great passions in life, with great curiosity I opened the email.  The first few sentences read as follows:

Marcus:

Excuse the subject line, but I thought it would be the best way to get your attention.

My name is Tony Caridi, I’m the radio play-by-play announcer for the Mountaineers and I wanted to say hello.  In addition to my job with the Mountaineer Sports Network, I also manage a video production company/design studio called Pikewood Creative in Morgantown.

We’re a Hubspot client and I’ve been following your success …..

Tony went on to explain that he needed help building the content in his website as well as some inbound marketing tips in general.

As you might imagine, my jaw hit the floor as I read this email. I know this sounds quite silly to some, but for me Tony Caridi represents everything I love about WVU. He is THE voice. And the fact that the voice was coming to me for marketing help, was…simply amazing.

That morning, I called Tony on his phone, and this was our conversation in a nutshell:

Me: (as Tony answers the phone) Tony Caridi, it’s Marcus Sheridan, I just got your email!

Tony: Marcus Sheridan, dude, I’m your biggest fan!

Me: What, are you kidding me?? You’re like my hero man! I’ve been listening to you now for over 14 years. You’re the man!!

Tony: Buddy, I’ve been reading your stuff for months. I’ve watched all your videos. And I’m thrilled to talk to you

And so there we were. One of my heroes was telling me he was my biggest fan. Needless to say, I was shocked. It was utterly surreal. And although many of you will think I’m a big dork for admitting this, as soon as I got off the phone and went upstairs to explain to my wife and kids what had just happened, tears of joy literally rolled down my face. I simply could not believe the serendipity of what was happening.

Time to Take a Trip

Essentially, Tony and I reached the following agreement—I would go out to his company to train him and his staff, and in return he would produce a very high-end video commercial—all about the Marcus Sheridan/The Sales Lion brand. Considering these videos costs thousands to make when done right, I was thrilled with the trade.

A few weeks later, shortly after returning home from Blog World, I found myself in a beautiful boardroom in Morgantown West Virginia, teaching Tony Caridi and his staff all about inbound marketing principles that will help them to become further established as one of the premier video production companies in the country.

After I had worked with everyone for about four hours, I spent the next hour shooting the commercial, and upon seeing a few bits of footage, I was amazed how a few professionals and some expensive equipment could make a goofy guy like me sound and look semi-intelligent. ;-) In fact, within the next 60 days or so, you’re going to see the commercial here on TSL as it will be a permanent fixture in the right column. It’s also just one more component of the blog that will hopefully lead to even greater speaking and teaching opportunities around the country as time rolls on.

A Tour To Remember

Tony Caridi and Marcus Sheridan

Me and Tony, Overlooking Mountaineer Field

Finally, after all of our work was done, Tony, with a heart the size of a Lion’s ;-), took me to the football stadium and gave me the coolest tour I could have ever dreamed of. Not only did he take me down to the field, into the player locker rooms, and every other part of the facility you could imagine, but he also took me up to the WVU press box, the little room where he has made thousands upon thousands of diehard fans like me scream, yell, celebrate, and cry over the last decade.

In fact, the photo you see here is a picture of us standing in the press box, with Mountaineer field down below. As  you might imagine, this will be a photo I’ll cherish for a long, long time.

Serendipity in Your Life

At this point, some of you may be wondering why the heck I’m relating this story, and here’s the answer:

I don’t know when serendipity will strike for you as a blogger. I’m not sure when you’re life will change with a simple email or phone call. But I can assuredly testify to you that if you but stay the course—always producing great content, networking, and taking brave leaps of faith—over time you will get noticed by some amazing people. And as you do get noticed, opportunities will be presented to you that you never dreamed possible. :-)

Your Turn:

I’d really love to hear what benefits, opportunities, etc have come into your life from blogging. Has there been any person or place you’ve met or gone to as a direct result of your blog? And what are you doing do hold the course, even though things can get tough at times as faith wavers?

As always, I invite each person that reads this to put their thoughts, questions, and comments below—as the magic of this community is found not in my words, but yours. :-)

Photo from Trip Advisor

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