And when I listened to the message, I laughed out loud.
The person who left the message said she was calling to find out if I was a real person or not. Now she knew I was real — meaning flesh and blood and breathing — but she wondered if I was “for real” or not.
So I called her back and we had a great conversation. She told me that she had been following me via my email messages for a long time and really liked what she read and really just wanted to connect with me personally. (I love that, by the way, when I get to connect “in-person” or on the phone with fellow entrepreneurs like you.)
And while she didn’t hire me on the spot for anything, she was comfortable enough to reach out to me. Just from reading my email messages. (And this can happen for you, too!) She said she felt like we already had a special connection. A relationship. It really was like talking to a long-time friend.
You know, most of us will never get the chance to meet in-person. Nor even have a chat on the phone with most of the people who decide to follow us online. So, just like the person who wanted to know if I was for real, you may be wondering, too, “Who the heck is Marty Marsh and why should you pay any attention to him?” Glad you asked!
Just like my hero, Ben Franklin, when I die, I want my gravestone to read “M. Marsh, Printer.” I love everything there is about printing, including the smell of the ink. Ever since I bought a printing press when I was 13 years old and started my first real business, I’ve had ink flowing through my veins.
Well, actually that was my second business. To earn the money to buy that press, I opened my very first business — a hot dog stand — and much to my own — and everyone else’s — surprise, I earned enough to not only buy that printing press, but to buy some ink and paper to boot. And just like that, I was in the printing business.
I’ve been in love — not just with printing— but with the entrepreneurial lifestyle ever since. And even though I haven’t operated a printing press in a long, long time, I still consider myself to be a printer. This comes in real handy when I’m helping my clients create really good-looking and effective direct mail and marketing materials. Because, you see, even in this day and age of the Internet where everyone is trying their best to earn a living online, your business still needs really good offline marketing materials to help you get the word out about who you are and what you do.
But I digress… After I graduated from college with a BS degree in printing, I got the coolest job ever: A production manager with the team that started up USA Today. Yep, the first colorful nationwide newspaper, and I got to be a part of it right from the get-go. Those were exciting, fun, and heady days for sure but there was just one problem. You see, USA Today is a great newspaper but it’s owned by a big corporation. And I discovered — after about 13 years or so — that I’m not the corporate type. So in 1995 I left the corporate life behind forever and went into business for myself.
Back in those early days I didn’t know much about business or marketing but I studied everything I could about marketing and managing a business. And as I applied everything I was learning about marketing, before long, I was not just designing and creating materials for my clients that looked good, but materials that actually sold stuff! There are lots of great graphic designers out there — lots of great web designers, too — but rarely do you find a graphic designer that also knows marketing. And I have to humbly say, “I KNOW marketing.” (And I’m pretty good at graphic design, too.) I love marketing as much as I love printing.
There are 3 words I use to describe myself:
And I bring all of those to bear when I’m coaching or consulting with a client to make their marketing more effective AND when I’m designing their materials to support that. (And when I’m creating that perfect NewsCard or Newsletter for them.)
Here’s my mission:
To transform small-business owners into entrepreneurs.
To turn an ordinary business into an extraordinary one. (My own included!)
To help entrepreneurs break through their limitations.
To help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into profits.
And let’s connect online:
All the best,
Marty “Ink-in-His-Veins” Marsh
P. S. What 3 words would you use to describe yourself? Take a minute and send me an email and let me know.
P.P.S. Ever since my first hot dog stand I’ve fantasized about selling hot dogs again. So one day I suspect that I’ll fulfill that dream with a nice little hot dog stand on a sunny beach somewhere. I think that would be the perfect way to spend the rest of my days when I’m ready to give everything else up. Trouble is, I’ve got way too much left I want to do and not nearly enough time. Sigh.