One of the most impactful insights I’ve learned stemmed from Munjal Shah when he said: “A good calling finds you. You don’t find it.”
Whether you’re a college freshman moving into the dorms, or the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, we all believe there’s something more, but can’t quite put our finger on it.
So we search.
We look in our careers, our personal lives, and friendships wondering why it hasn’t hit.
There’s no forcing function for enlightenment.
“If you are going to accomplish anything hard, whether it’s starting a business, or biking over five mountain ranges, life is a series of battles of varying scale. You have to approach and tackle each one incrementally.”
You only get there if you just keep pedaling.
Your calling will find you along the way.
Mike’s the perfect example. Former Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Thrillist he likely wouldn’t have believed that he’d create a “digital destination for men entering parenthood” nine years later.
Fatherly is a first of its kind community completely dedicated to dads. The platform features articles and videos ranging from How to Build the Best Haunted House in Your Neighborhood to more serious discussions like How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Period Without Anyone Freaking Out.
The team’s mission is to create “content that is specifically useful, but generally interesting.” They’re achieving their goal as both my 19-year-old brother and I share their features. (Few things are better than a dad hooking a tennis ball to a finishing pole and letting his child hit it repeatedly. Genius!)
Nearly three years old, Fatherly’s focused on forging and scaling their partnerships. They’re currently working with organizations like Spotify and The United Nations.
A master at scaling relationships, Mike approaches his role as “an effective broker with the audience’s best interests in mind and a marketers best interests in mind.”
“You have to make sure that you are satisfying both equally well,” he explained.
“It can limit the campaigns and types of partners you have, but ultimately everybody benefits.”
This is especially important as campaigns evolve and engage multiple departments in your company.
“It’s not as transactional as a banner buy. To justify the meetings and stakeholder interests these campaigns should last more than two to four weeks.”
Today many brand partnerships involve offline events that can scale to be long term series for both audiences. Fatherly recently partnered with a brand to host a panel of thought leaders who discussed how to market to millennial parents. Taking the campaign offline enabled them to conduct original research. Today, they’re scaling it to multiple events and markets.
While exciting, the evolution of campaigns requires founders to be extremely conscious of who they’re partnering with, when, and the cost involved.
“The worst thing that you can do as a startup is chase revenue opportunities because they are there dangling at the end of the line. They can lead you very far in the wrong direction…You have to make sure that its worth it.”
We are not looking to monetize through a high volume of relationships. We are looking at higher dollar partnerships, but fewer of them.
Next time you make a new partnership, Mike suggests approaching it like a first date. Start with these questions to determine if it’s the right fit.
- What are this company’s values?
- Who are their parents? (Parent brand)
- How much freedom do they have to pursue their own objectives?
- What is the future of this relationship?
- Are they in it for the right reasons?