March 3, 2021
Clarence Hairston (AKA the Tempo personal trainer dubbed Lil Bizzy) joined the Air Force at 21. And after 5 years, he left with pretty much zero plans, other than “don’t go broke.”
But as he struggled to find his footing (including his own sexuality), he realized success had a lot more to do with authenticity than with earning lots of money. And he spent a lot of the next few years trying to figure out who he actually was.
“In a world of social media, people know what’s real and what’s fake,” he notes. And people are attracted to those who embrace their authentic selves because it gives them something to relate to. So that's what he does.
By being vulnerable first with his clients, he opens the door for them to reciprocate. People bring a lot of their personal stress into their workouts. And rather than rushing past it, he uses those stressors to deepen his relationships and better support his clients.
Similarly, we often feel pressured to shut our authentic selves off in the workplace - for the sake of “professionalism.” But this does a disservice to ourselves and those around us.
So, rather than pretending to be something that you're not, what is one thing you can do today to share your most authentic self with your team? And if you feel uncomfortable doing so, what’s standing in your way?
WATCH OUT JEFF
Early last week, Shippo raised $45M to help small businesses offer best-in-class shipping service without the high markups that come with overnighting goods. AKA to help them compete with Prime.
The startup already works with 70k e-commerce companies and over 80 shipping partners (UPS included). And in 2020, Shippo doubled its top line (shipping $12B+ in goods), per Tech Crunch.
With the new funding, CEO Laura Behrens Wu plans to double down on acquiring new customers and partnerships. Which, if all goes to plan, should lead to even more new customers and partners. But it also means better shipping service options for the small businesses that use Shippo.
And this funding couldn’t have been more timely. Right now, the US e-commerce market is at an all-time high. In Q4 of 2020, e-commerce spending hit $245B with the holidays (up more than 30% from the previous year).
And Shippo is along for the ride. Last year, Shippo grew more than 3x faster than the US e-commerce shipping market. A market which itself grew as much in Q2 of 2020 as it did the previous 5 years combined. And without the end of the pandemic in clear sight, this trend isn’t showing signs of slowing.
All we can say is, Bezos, you might want to watch out for the little guy.
FINALLY SOME CLARITY
Podcasts are proof that video did not, in fact, kill the radio star. Just reinvented them.
By 2023, the podcast industry is projected to pass 164M active listeners. And to no one's surprise, advertisers want to get in on the action.
This year, American businesses alone are expected to spend over $1B on podcast ads, per research firm eMarketer. A 45% increase from the year prior.
But the investment doesn’t come without its kinks. When you advertise on podcasts, you don’t get:
So, Spotify, a top podcasting platform, is creating new tools to help businesses get the most of their podcast ads. Namely:
But all this is still in the works - and the race for podcast ad dollars is stiff. So, don't be surprised if a Spotify competitor like Apple or Amazon beats them to it.
THE WFH SLUMP
We'll just say it - with all of our meetings happening online, Zoom Fatigue (AKA the feeling that you're mentally drained after being on video calls) is super real.
And by the end of the workday, we're actually more tired than we used to be - which negatively impacts our personal relationships.
But the key to avoiding Zoom fatigue? Turning off your camera. At most companies, this is a no-go for company culture reasons. So, instead: