Inbound Sales

An entrepreneur’s life goes like this:

Day 1) I’m going to change the world

Day 2) Fuck, I need to sale

Selling is hard. It’s like running. You can train as much as you want, even become decent at it, running remains notoriously hard.

Why?

Plateau…

Every time one reaches a plateau and gets comfortable, a new goal is set and the grind starts all over again. It’s life. It’s great.

So?

How do you sale?

How do you get customers to buy your product?

Inbound marketing gurus say the cold calling days are over. I like the concept. Cold calling sucks. I tried. I sucked. Back in April, a bar owner told me to call him back “next year”.

How do I sell? I write B2B blog post for my little company. They call it inbound marketing. I call it ‘doing what you love for a living’.

Check out my publications:

I totally adhere to inbound marketing. The idea is to create content that’s appealing to your targets and your prospects, to have them reach out directly to you instead of you wasting their valuable time.

In an era where information flows freely and people are as informed as ever regarding their purchases and investments, there’s no need to push a product. In fact, it doesn’t work.

Create value and attract like minded partners.

You know what’s scary? I actually works.

Interested in Inbound Marketing? Check out www.hubspot.com.

For more information about Sublimusic, please follow us on LinkedIn

Or read all the posts here.

Happy Pi Day

Posted in 500 Mots par Jour, Sublimusic | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I Miss Baseball

I love baseball. It’s not a secret. I spent 12 years in NYC and I watched about a thousand Yankee games.

I only missed Derek Jeter’s first 5 seasons (1996-2000), and his last (2014). Yet, I got to watch him play a lot, on TV, at the stadium, and even on the road, at Shea Stadium.

I saw him win a boatload of regular season games, but for the first 8 years of my NY stay, very little championships.

In 08 it got to a point I thought I cursed them and they would never win again, at least as long as I lived in NY.

And 09 happened. Steinbrenner Co. shelled out half billion dollars on three (3) players and the won the World Series against the Phillies. I’ll never forget it.

Winning the World Series is an epic feat. The best teams play for almost 8 months and LOOSE more games than the best soccer team in the world (think Real Madrid, Barca and Chelsea) will WIN in a calendar year.

About 60 losses.

60.

All in all, a guy like Derek Jeter will play baseball 4 hours a day for 8 months.

EVERY DAY.

Sure, he’ll get a few days off, usually when travelling cross-country.

On a yearly basis, he would win 170 games, loose 70 (post season included).

And he did it for 20 years.

Now I’m back in Europe, watching a Champion League game. I love soccer. Unlike baseball, which I learned late in life in Queens, NY, with my brothers Al, Larry, Chicken, a heavy hitting / fastball throwing who’s name I forgot and 20 other Queens raised 30 year-old ballers, I played soccer as a kid.

There’s no Derek Jeter in soccer.

CR7 and Messi, soccer two brightest stars, can score lots of goals. No doubt about it.

CR7 scored a meaningless goal at the end of last year’s Champions League final (on a penalty kick at the very last second of a 4-1 game) and went on to (madly) celebrate, removing his shirt and all. I rooted for his team, yet, I felt embarrassed.

Messi missed a meaningless penalty kick the day before yesterday. He left the stadium angrily, without saying a word to the press, despite his team winning a big game, passive-aggressive style.

“Don’t be so sensitive,” Steph.

I’m not sensitive. I understand why people love these two guys. They are good. I mean really good. Very marketable. An extrovert, an introvert.  Very mainstream. Perfect…

Now, just imagine if Derek Jeter had played soccer instead of baseball and had become DJ2 instead of #2.

Unlike CR7, Jeter would score when it mattered the most.

And when he’d score, he’d pump his first (barely), or slap his hands, and get back to work. This is a guy who hit 260 HR and never contemplated a single one, not even the one he hit in November, back in 01, when the city was trying to heal and needed some cheering.

Unlike Messi, Jeter would never let the game dictate his mood. At least openly.

When he’d fail (baseball is a game of failure; the best players fail 70% of the time), he’d never let anyone see how he felt about it.

I won’t lie. Sometimes, I wanted Jeter to be mad at himself for hitting into a DP or for killing a 9th inning rally, to throw his helmet, to break a bat. But looking back, I’m glad he never did any of this.

As competitive has he must have been, Jeter understood that baseball was only a game, and that respect and fair play mattered much than a win.

Soccer needs a few Derek Jeters.

Spring is upon us.

God I miss baseball.

 

Posted in 500 Mots par Jour | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk About Music

Over the last 18 months, since I left my corporate job and launched a startup, I’ve been asked the same questions several times:

Hey Stéph, what do you do?
I’m in the music business. In the Muzak business, to be precise…

Muzak? What’s Muzak, dude?
Muzak is a nickname for piped music. Weather music. Lift music. Background music.

I see. The music broadcast in supermarkets that no one listens to.
Well, that was the case for almost a century, since the beginning of the long distances phone calls and the birth of hold music. But thanks to Internet and some amazing new technologies like streaming, the progression is such that within a few years background music went from Musak to Sublimusic…

Ok. So what’s Sublimusic exactly?
Sublimusic is about adequate background music; real music that matters to your business, to your customers, to your employees. Let’s be clear about that: the right choice of background music is an incredible competitive advantage for business owners and managers of public spaces who know how to make the best of it.

And finally Sublimusic is also about innovative broadcasting system, multizone audio servers and the most user friendly interface out there.

What’s the difference between Sublimusic and its competition?
Like day and night;) Muzak is all about covering silence because everyone agrees upon one thing: silence is commercial death. Muzak, Moodmedia, Hiphotelradio, and most of our competitors, broadcast a music which sole raison d’être is to cover the silence. Bland, boring, cheap stuff no one listens to.

At Sublimusic, we don’t just cover the silence with music; we create an atmosphere designed for a specific space, for specific customers. And we use real music. Real music from real artists.

How do you achieve this magic?
Part of it is the beauty of being a Swiss company, where licenses and music rights are managed by a single organization, the SUISA, allows us to broadcast every song from every album ever made.

But the greatest reason why our music is different from the rest lies within our core. Our music people know music. Our secret is simple: instead of fabricating boring playlists based on music styles (Standard Jazz, Soul Power, Funky Funk, 90’, etc…) like everyone else, we experiment with various styles in order to create different atmospheres that are perfectly adequate for all kind of business, from an hotel lobby to a treatment room in a spa, a bar, a waiting space or a point of sales. For example, our CHIC mood combines elements of classical music, of jazz, of soul and other styles in order to create a unique atmosphere.

Tell me more about the technology behind all of that?
The music is streamed from our servers directly to our client audio system via the Sublibox, our tinny and elegant streaming box. All is needed is an Internet connection.

Sounds simple enough. But how does the client control the system?
The client controls the system via our web application Sublimio, a beat perfect music player that comes pre-installed with the Sublibox. Each clients gets a customize version based on their needs, whether they want to fully control the music, or let Sublimusic be in charge. Simply launch the application, select the desired mood, click play.

How do I know which mood is the more adequate for my business?
During the setup, our music curator will guide you through our offering and provide you with a professional advice based on your type of business, your customers and your objectives.

Is there any way I can try it before I buy it?
Sure. We offer everyone a trial period, for free and without engagement.

Woaw! It’s a great offer.
I was going to say the same thing. If you are interested to try Sublimusic for free, just send us an email at info@sublimusic.com

Stéphane Rodriguez
CEO – Sublimusic SàRL

Posted in Sublimusic | Leave a comment

The Year of the Story

Write your story

I’m writing my own story.

I’ve been scribbling for a long time, relatively speaking. I write stories. Stories about History, mostly, and about people seeking the Truth.

My story isn’t about a distant past or some terrifying secret. It’s a story about freedom.

I write my own stories. No ghost out there, creeping in the closet. I guess I put a lot of myself in them.

How much do you really contribute to your story? Are you in charge, or do you allow others to write it for you?

For a long time, it felt that way. I was a character in a story written by distant ghosts. The writers took turn creating my universe. They were family members, friends, partners, managers, colleagues, and even strangers.

When I write, I can never truly control my characters. They kind of do what they want anyway. I just report it on a blank page. And if I don’t like what they do, I kill them. It’s called rewriting.

You can’t rewrite what is said. You can’t take the words back because once pronounced they are eternals.

How do you stop being good, nice, perfect? How do you rise above expectations? Over loyalty? Over money? Over love?

If my characters are free. Why am I not? Why do I let other handle my pen?

How do you write you own story? Well, it’s a short story. I don’t think you can really plan it. I believe that it always starts with a change within. Everything good is endogenous anyway.

While I rarely control a character, I always have the power to change it. But it isn’t easy to change someone, even a fictional character. It requires lots of rewriting.

I call it rewiring. Loosing bad habits to make space for better ones.

I listed some of the little changes that affected me the most.

1) Stop pretending

2) Think with your instincts

3) Trust everyone

4) Make mistakes

5) Value happiness

6) Be grateful

Small steps, gradual changes.

Since childhood, we are told to think with our head, to make no mistake, to trust no one. Happiness is for babies, gratefulness for Buddhist monks.

I’m present. I listen to the murmurs. I respond. I fall and I rebound. I’m not longer matter.

I matter. I am mine.

I’m my story.

Posted in 500 Mots par Jour | Leave a comment

Dreamin’

Big week for Sublimusic.

We met prospects, struck deals and celebrated during an epic business lunch.

We started to pack some music boxes for delivery.

Sublimusic Multi Zone Audio Server

And we networked with a bunch of amazing partners, mad neuroscientists and even madder audio engineers.

I’ve learned a few things about business along the way.

Here’s my top 7 lessons-of-the-week:

1. Do not attempt to pick your kids up from school after a business lunch (or you’ll hear from your better half)

2. Do not drive after a business lunch

3. In some grownups business circles, no also means yes

4. The galaxy seems to spin a bit faster when you have to make a decision

5. Trust the artist

6. There’s nothing sweeter than a successful comeback

7. Our products are fucking amazing (and I’m not the one saying it)

While I won’t comment on me being wasted in the middle of the afternoon, the no-yes stuff remains as puzzling as the part about the galaxy. I thought that, being the dad of two, I had become an expert in negotiation skills, but grownups are a different animal altogether. I’m not really used to the codes of the trade, but I’m learning. I’m also learning to trust the team. It’s quite easy. Everyone has delivered, beyond expectations. Be aware galaxy, the ragtag team is doing his thing.

Huge week, indeed. Even for a CEO.

Posted in 500 Mots par Jour, Sublimusic | Leave a comment

October Song

Ever wondered why the title of my posts have very little to do with the content?

Probably not. People tend to focus on what matters and not on my post’s headlines.

Well, here’s the answer anyway. I always write in music. Not any music. Actually quite the opposite. I primarily write to the sound of a single song.

Confused?

Me too…

Being alive is a strange experience. We do things repeatedly without knowing why. As I just mentioned, when I write, I usually play the same song, over and over. Not always my favorite songs, just a song I like.

Over, and over.

Why is that? What kind of evolutionary trait could be responsible for this erratic behavior? There must be something. We humans do most of the things we do for a reason. More importantly, we tend to repeat what works and dismiss what doesn’t.

So what’s the compulsion about? Why the same song?

Why over, and over?

The true answer might lie in nature. Yes, Nature. Nature dot com to be precise.

A recent study on music lifted the veil that surrounded the mystery. I learned that « listening to a favorite song alters the connectivity between auditory brain areas and the hippocampus, a region responsible for memory and social emotion consolidation. »

The authors added : « These findings may explain why comparable emotional and mental states can be experienced by people listening to music that differs as widely as Beethoven and Eminem. »

Suddenly, years and years of erratic behaviors start to make an evolutionary sense, while also explaining why the the title of my posts is practically always the title of the song I listen while I write.

For more information about the study, click here.

Posted in 500 Mots par Jour | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Miracle (Of Steph Rodrig)

The last time I posted something here, I was a regular human being.

Now, I’m a CEO.

WTF happened?

Well, it’s a long story. How long? A lifetime.

It all started in Geneva, at birth. My dad was an entrepreneur. He had his own businesses up until he retired, which is probably next year. He’s like Brett Favre with the Mets motto. Wait until next year…

Growing up, I knew that one day I’d own a business. I just never figured what I could make or sell. So I settled down as a loyal, transcontinental employee. For 15 years.

Leaving Brooklyn was probably the most heart wrenching decision I’ve ever made. But it was a necessary decision for our family. New York is hard, and even harder when Switzerland is waiting around the corner.

Well, Switzerland wasn’t really waiting. Not for me, anyway. But someone was waiting. A tall pal I knew since forever nicknamed GrandStef, along with an idea.

But ideas are nothing particular. They’re everywhere and most of them are bad. The graveyard is full of them. An idea is like a blob of stem cells. It has potential but nothing else. An idea is nothing until it becomes a product (Capitalism 101). We made a product in our garage (Entrepreneurship 101). A great product that you need but don’t know yet (Apple 101).

So… What’s the big idea?

It’s actually quite simple. In fact, it’s so simple, I won’t tell you.

Yes. It’s a bad joke. CEO stuff humans can’t grasp.

How can I say it in a few words?

At Sublimusic, we pick the music of your day. Not the music in your phone, or your ipod, if you still own something as useless as an ipod. No. We pick the music you listen to when you don’t listen to music, when you order a delicious fire-roasted coffee, when you drink the coldest, freshest panaché, when you eat real sushi or when you hammer shots at a fancy underground artsy lounge.

At Sublimusic, we make the perfect soundtrack for your lives. We make coffee taste fire-roasted, beer taste good, sushi taste real and a squat look like a fancy underground lounge. Even better, you don’t even know it. Subliminal stuff. Can’t grasp…

How we do? Call it magic…

MAGIC

You heard that. I’m the CEO of a fucking magically awesome music company. I’m so powerful, I picked the title of C.E.O. over G.O.D. because I’m humble (note: Obi-wan Kenobi wasn’t available). Prince of Darkness was. I passed. Too much baggage.

So, what does a CEO do (other than walk on water, look for funding, rule the world) for a living?

Listen well, human: We CEO do WTF we want to.

Let me show you how it works. Now, I feel like writing a blog post. So I’m doing it. I could write about my business, about launching a tech startup in the midst of an economic crisis, about the benefits of being LEAN when you are penniless, about the connection between music and mood, about sensory branding, about welding RCA connectors.

About the Sublibox, our audiophile multizone music server.

Or about our great website: http://www.sublimusic.com

Or even about our fantastic customers.

I could but I won’t. I’m the CEO, ain’t I?

Great to be back.

Stéphane

Posted in Autres | Tagged | Leave a comment

I Run for Pearl

Pearl c’est la petite fille d’un bon ami à moi. Pearl c’est une petite fille comme les autres. Elle tient une place spéciale dans mon coeur. Elle et moi on a beaucoup couru ensemble. Au cours des kilomètres, elle est devenue une partenaire loyale, une présence constante, dans les montées comme dans les descentes ; les hauts et les bas.

Pearl et moi on court ensemble, mais on ne s’est jamais rencontré. Elle est inscrite au stylo indélébile sur mes chaussures de course. J’ai appris à la connaître grâce à son papa, mon pote Malcolm, un grand homme.

Pearl m’accompagne dans mes randonnées urbaines par la force de son esprit, par son courage, sa détermination à dépasser une donne que certains considéreraient comme injuste ; des traits qu’elle tient certainement de son papa.

Pearl est autiste. Elle est née dans un coquillage qui peine à s’ouvrir. Elle est aussi née dans une famille qui est prête à plonger jusqu’au fin fond des abysses pour elle.

Pearl vient d’être acceptée dans l’école de ses rêves (et celle de ses parents). Malheureusement, le coût de cet enseignement excède le budget de sa famille. D’environ 2’000 euros. 200 fois 10 euros. Le prix de rêve.

I Run for Pearl. Do you ?

Donations: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/education-for-pearl

Posted in 500 Mots par Jour | Leave a comment

These Are Not Advices For Aspiring Authors

Thirteen months ago, I started to write again. I wanted to finish a second novel. At the time, it seemed like an impossible task. It took over three years to write Les 7 Sages, and two more years to get it published (Leo Scheer, 2010). Was I ready for another of these long-term projects with no guarantee of success, now that on top of it I was handed two young children who magically appeared out of love and thin air?

Well, I wasn’t. Didn’t need to. I finished the second book in a little over a year.

Is it better or worst than the first one? It’s not for me to judge, but I know that I’m a better writer today than I was yesterday. But the main point here is that I wrote a book three times faster with much less free time on hand. How? Thanks to some precious lessons I learned along the way.

Please note: these are not advices for aspiring authors but the thoughts of an eternal one.

A) Write. Every day. A lot. On the (rare) days you don’t write, read. If you happen to do neither, do at least feel guilty.

B) There’s no writers block. If you don’t feel like writing great stuff, write some garbage for a change.

C) Never rewrite before you are done… writing.

D) Inspiration is a superpower only dead writers possess. Don’t count on it while you’re alive.

E) Perfectionism is your best friend, procrastination your worst enemy.

F) Never leave an idea, good or bad, unattended.

G) Dream big. Care about what you do. Tell everyone about it. Set yourself up for either success or failure. The gray, empty space between these two poles is also called creative death.

H) Don’t be mean to others or hold grudges, it eats up bandwidth. If you must, then sleep a lot, it will make you smarter.

Happy holidays. See you next year.

PS: Thanks for reading, whoever you are…

Posted in 500 Mots par Jour, Ecrire, Les 7 Sages | Leave a comment

Devil in Mind

I run. 3-4 times a week since I came back. I’m training for la Course de L’Escalade, on December 1st.

I’ve been running for a while now. Almost 5 years. At first I ran a little, then more, and then a lot. And then a mountain marathon, for which I trained for months. That’s a lot of running.

I tell everyone I love running. It’s true. I must love it a lot in order to run that much. But really, what do I love about it?

Euh…

Training? Racing? Buying shoes? Reading TrailRunnerMag? Watching Rickey and Kilian on youtube?

Or perhaps the sens of accomplishment that comes with every jog? Running for hours, until it becomes so hard, it feels almost easy? Waking up before dawn and following the sun’s path? Feeling alive and free (and out of breath) at the same time?

None of the above?

***

I had a shitty week. It peaked yesterday at 3PM, staring at a blank screen, both literally and figuratively, feeling hopelessly empty and desperately static. The kids were out, the place was quiet, and yet, I felt stranded. I was stuck in a thick mess of my own creation.

What the fuck was I going to do to get out of it?

Booze? Can’t do the hangover part. Pot? Doesn’t help with a free fall. Liver cancer-inducing Xanax? LOL. Heroine? LMAO. JunkFood? Tried already (burp). Go for a run? no way, too late, I just ate (see above), I ran yesterday, don’t want to over train, bla-bla-bla…

So I sat back in my tense stillness and stared at the screen even harder, as If I was going to squeeze the damn words out of the LEDs if they kept resiting me. The screen stared back at me, and blinked. Fuck you too, I said.

***

Why do I run after all? To train for races I will never win. To wear tights and neon without being judged? To shed toe nails?

I run because I once loved it. I didn’t love the health benefits, the camaraderie of a race, the sweet agony of a marathon, the brooks pure series or anything like that. I ran 2 slow miles around the neighborhood with basketball shorts and tennis shoes and after I felt better than I did before the run. I didn’t care about the pace, the heart beat, the form, and I definitely wasn’t Born to Run at first sight. But I kept going because it made me feel better. Or may be because I naively thought that somehow, it made me a better person.

So yesterday, at around 3PM, a bitter minus two outside (but slightly sunny), the belly fool of junk food, the head full of crap, I put on my tights and my neon NYC Marathon t-shirt (and my underarmour heatgear shirt underneath, at minus two you better), and I went for a run. Not any run. A senseless run. A not necessary run. Unplanned. Unwanted. I’ve been on those before. Quick and short, like a bad excuse. But yesterday was different. I took off. I crossed the Arve river and ran along it’s banks, for miles and miles, farther than ever before, just me and the frozen trail, and the breathlessness and the pain, the beautiful pain. I ran until I got lost.

I got lost and I found myself. By simply running in a peaceful place for no other reason than to move forward, I found the love again. I turned back and limped home, cold and thirsty (they turn off the water fountains when the temperature drops under 0). And feeling fucking great too… Call it a Frosty moment.

Posted in 500 Mots par Jour, Courir | Tagged | Leave a comment