Zero Dark Thirty

There was a decade in my life when I curated a consumer experience via an online personal diary. All of the latest happenings were updated in real time, and the goal was to bring customers into the action and make them part of the journey. It was a lot of fun and, for the greater part of my thirties, a very effective sales model.

Today, however, I’m in an entirely different scenario, facing an entirely new challenge with a certain level of restrictions. Whereas before I was a player, today I’m more of a coach. Whereas before I was the marketing face, today I’m more of a behind the scenes operator. Whereas before the brands wanted nothing more than the attention I was able to bring them, today much of what I’m working on is completely off limits for public discussion—both with my work at Pacific Edge, and the other marketing projects I’m still actively writing for on the side.

In order to write an effective blog, you have to tell an engaging story. Due to some of the rules that prohibit distributors from promoting one client over another, I’m legally forbidden from sharing my experiences in LA’s food and drink scene, thus I’m now writing more about business theory and strategy than I am about life. While I enjoy it, it’s not blog fodder. It’s the type of thing you post on LinkedIn and share with other professionals, rather than the general booze-swilling public.

The other issue is that I’m actively participating in the business of others, rather than just my own personal operation. That means my goal is to find success by helping others to be successful, rather than taking the reins myself. So I’m going to try something new (for me). I’m going to go even deeper undercover and see if I can focus my efforts on being an effective producer, rather than a performer. I need to go dark for a while to make that happen because my initial instinct with everything related to alcohol is to write about it. Writing helps me process my own ideas, but it’s a distraction at the moment; plus, it’s not nearly as powerful when it’s restricted.

I will still be writing about the booze business on LinkedIn, as well as for a few other publications here and there. But as for my own interactions, I need to go under the radar right now and figure out a new way forward for booze retail outside the blogosphere. This particular story in the NY Times rattled me, hence why I’m taking a long look at what success looks like now in my career. You can’t rely on speed and strength as you age, or the same tricks that initially brought you to the dance. You have to rely on veteran savvy. Improve your short game. Work on your 12 foot jump shot, rather than your fast break.

You have to adapt to a new identity.

-David Driscoll