Coffee Shops, Food Courts and Power Cables – One “Quiet”​ Morning In The Life of a Fractional CMO

Today is one of those days I rarely get to have any longer. My clients keep me pretty busy, and between them I almost always have meeting to get to and offices to sit in. But I had a cancellation today, so it’s been a very different rhythm – and a welcome break from the routine. Thought I’d share it with you (so far, at least):

7:30 AM: Day begins doing a sales and marketing analysis recap for a client. We recently divided up some previously shared sales/marketing responsibilities, and part of my charge is understanding the implications of the decisions we made. So each morning I log into the client’s sales software to pull a report of the sales from the prior day – breaking out which sales came from our call center and which came from our marketing efforts. It’s been an interesting exercise so far, and really makes me realize just how much each department relies on one another. Later in the day I’ll come back to that report, to see what’s changed once we have a chance to reconcile it against our Salesforce software.

8 AM: In the car to drive across Baltimore for a morning coffee with my partner at JK2 Sports. I don’t commute most mornings, so this gives me time to catch up on Podcasts. I always listen to the Tony Kornheiser podcast, but also been trying to get caught up on The Ringer’s Rewatchables pod while waiting for the current season of Serial to wrap up so I can binge it (did I mention I drove through Leakin’ Park on my way to today’s meeting?). During the day when I’m in the car, I often end up returning phone calls. The morning drive gives me a chance to listen, think and relax as my day kicks off.

9 AM: Coffee at R. House. If you are in the Baltimore area, and haven’t been to R. House, I recommend you find an excuse to get there. The best way I can describe it is as an upscale food court for foodies. I had an Americano (thanks Brian Connolly for turning me onto those as my coffee-shop drink of choice), and a great conversation about Icelandic Yogurt. My favorite thing about networking with prospects is learning about their business models, how they got started and what they feel they need to be successful. (Shout out to another of my favorite podcasts, How to Be Amazing, which often discusses the same.) We learned about each other’s businesses, brainstormed some ideas, and relived UMBC’s March Madness upset of Virginia. Good conversation and a great new contact – I’m looking forward to getting together again.

10:30 AM – Noon: Catch up on client work. Helping one client with some data management and staffing organization, another with donor fundraising, following up on some new organizations I’ve joined, and process my Amex bill. Being productive between meetings is critical, I’ve found, to making my days go smoothly. I try to stay focused in meetings and not multi-task, and with multiple clients with lots of priorities, getting work done when I can is critical.

Noon till now: Move to Charmington’s for my next meeting (coming up shortly). Getting settled early for a meeting is always my preference. Particularly when it’s a coffee shop I’ve never been to or with limited seating. I’ve got a meeting with a non-profit group I met at a networking event – again, a learning opportunity to understand a different organization, and maybe see if there are ways we can help each other. Of course, this is when I noticed I left my power cord at a client office yesterday (36% and counting ….)! Should have enough juice to at least get through my meeting, but I think it’s back to the home office immediately after to power up.

Still on the horizon for today: networking meeting, reconnecting with an associate and then being a father and husband this evening. Pretty full day – particularly if I don’t run out of power along the way. Wish me luck!