618. Being Unique in Marketing Tactics and Life
Jesse brought a brand-new college summer baseball franchise to Savannah, Georgia, with high hopes. But people stayed away in droves. In a city grown accustomed to professional baseball, he knew he had to do something very different—something really bananas.
Known as the P.T. Barnum of Baseball, Cole has been a performer and showman for the past decade as the founder of Fans First Entertainment that owns and operates the Gastonia Grizzlies and Savannah Bananas. He and his teams have welcomed more than a million fans to their ballparks and have been featured on MSNBC, CNN, and multiple times on ESPN. The Savannah Bananas have sold out almost every game in their existence and have a waitlist in the thousands for tickets. Cole has been a keynote speaker all over the country and he is the author of “Find Your Yellow Tux – How to be Successful by Standing Out.”
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“There are pictures of me throwing baseballs as a three-year-old. Every single day I would play baseball. It was my life. Until it ended.” Jesse tore his rotator cuff playing ball in college, which ended his days as a player. He stayed in college and created his own major in leadership. He learned about leadership throughout history, in government and in coaching. He developed a love for reading and then he developed a full-length documentary film. “That’s where I started getting a passion for creating my own path, and really discovering what I was best at.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“Just two years ago, when we went into Savannah, we were this brand-new team in a city where they had had professional baseball for 90 years. We showed up as this lower-level college summer baseball team, and the whole community could not have cared less. We went for three months with no sales, no revenue. It got to a point in 2016 when my wife and I had to sell our house, empty our savings, and put it all in to save the team. But, because we believed so much in this entertainment idea and the way we were doing things, we knew we were going to convince this community that it was something different. Fortunately, it worked! We now sell out every time.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I look at everything and, whatever is normal, do the exact opposite. I wrote a whole book about how to find that unique thing that makes you stand out. People need to have a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves, ‘Do I love what I’m doing every day? Or am I just doing what people expect of me, just living the nine-to-five? Am I stuck?’ After my mirror moment, I knew I wanted to create something different and unique. That’s what I’ve done.”
Steps to Success from Jesse Cole
1. Don’t see the world in black and white. See your world in vivid colors.
2. Combine how you see the world with your passionate beliefs and energy. You’ll be unstoppable.
3. Don’t focus too much on outcomes and goals. Instead, look for ways to have an impact on your world.
4. Live your life as a journey to be enjoyed.
On His Bookshelf
Worth Doing Wrong: The Quest to Build a Culture That Rocks, by Arnie Malham
The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All, by Jon Gordon
The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work, by Jon Gordon
The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy, by Jon Gordon
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, by Simon Sinek
Connecting With Jesse Cole
Website: www.findyouryellowtux.com and www.thesavannahbananas.com
“6 Secrets to Stand Out,” from Jesse’s book, Find Your Yellow Tux. Download it at: www.findyouryellowtux.com/dyt
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Careers: Author, Baseball Team Owner and Operator, Entertainer