I do weekly conference calls with my competitor
There is nothing more intimate that two men in the media space can do than screen share their Google Analytics pages, the back ends of their websites, their lead collection tools and strategies and readership growth campaigns. To be honest doing THAT takes more trust for me than having sex with someone, at least when it comes to sex you can use protection – when it comes to sharing intimate details in business it is a whole different ball game.
James Tuckerman from Anthill and myself have decided that this year every Monday morning at 9.30am we will be doing a Peer to Peer mentoring session via Skype. Some people probably think we are both crazy, we are after all technically competitors, both our core business relies majorly on building a loyal readership, having people opt in to our newsletters and bringing on board advertisers that we hope will stick with us for a period of time through their campaigns they are doing online.
Not only that James has been doing this significantly longer than I have, he has a stronger base than I do, built over many years of hard work and dedication, and I know that many people are going to think he is a bit cray cray for sharing knowledge with a relative new comer in the space, he does in fact have a lot to lose by doing so.
But that thinking is also one of the number one reasons that I believe businesses go stale, why businesses don’t grow and people flail about until it eventually has to shut down. Even from the first couple of times that we have had our calls /peer to peer mentor sessions / brainstorm skype calls [whatever you want to call them really] – I have felt invigorated and more passionate about making things happen then ever.
Sharing knowledge gives both of us a different way of looking at certain aspects of our businesses, both of us even on just yesterday’s call for example, learnt about new back end systems and techniques the other was using that would be beneficial for both of us. Both of us get a feel for the direction that each other is heading in when it comes to content, so rather than repeat the content on both sites, we are able to change things around so there is a reason for people to check out both resources for their startup and business news / blog posts opinion pieces etc.
Most importantly though we each set a monthly goal, that on our weekly calls we review and will be holding each other accountable for, both goals play an important role for the bottom line of the businesses and are designed to push both our publications further.
Some will say it’s a risky mentoring arrangement, so James, I propose if at any time either of us feel we are exposing too much or feel unsafe in this partnership, the safe word be “pineapple” – Agreed?