Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Columbia Titanium Story

It's winter here in St. Louis and it's a cold one.  Temperatures have been dropping into the single digits and while I'm working, I see patients walk in all bundled up in their jackets.  I take an active interest in what my patients are wearing.  Why?  That's a whole different story but a couple of days ago, I noticed this dad wearing a really neat bright colored Columbia Titanium jacket.  I didn't make any comment about it but I wondered about the whole brand.  I'd heard of Columbia, but was this the new thing?  Columbia Titanium?  Don't get me wrong.  I see North Faces and Patagonias and I just hadn't seen the Columbia Titanium brand.  Well, with that dad, I didn't say anything.
The next mom that had a black Columbia Titanium had me curious.  "So, tell me what's with the Columbia Titanium.  I know the brand name Columbia, but what's with the titanium?"  I had to know.  I got a real story and a lesson in that simple curious question.  She started with, "Oh this thing!  I don't know about the titanium."  She unzips her jacket to reveal a shiny inner layer.  She proceeds to talk about how warm it was and she thought it used her body heat.  She told me that the jacket was so warm that she needed to cool down while skiing.  She raised her hands and there were zippers there to open up the armpits, to cool you down if you get too hot.  I said, "Wow!  That's pretty neat!" and she replied with, "Yes, and we got this free.  Columbia just mailed it to us!"
OK.  Now she had my attention.  A nice Columbia Titanium jacket (now that I figured out how warm it was) was mailed to her for free.  How does that happen?  There comes the story.  She laughed and said, "My husband and his friend were just messing around in our basement and making YouTube videos with camping gear. They were comparing all kinds of camping things and they had never been camping themselves, but we got tons of beef jerky mailed to us.  Once we got 3 kayaks sent to us!"  The Columbia jacket was one of their mailings!  I'm still not completely buying this story.  I'm buying it, but there's more.  There has to be.  I can't just have a YouTube channel and things coming through my door?  "How many viewers did they have?  How often did they do this?  There is no way they are getting all these goods just because."  She explained that they did a video every 2 weeks consistently and they would mention that they are comparing products and ask for companies to send them products to be included in the comparison and that's how they got the products sent to them.  She said, "People want their products talked about!"  Then she continued to talk about how the whole thing was a joke and they didn't do it anymore.  With that kind of innovative mentality, they took it to marketing and motivation and I can't recall, but they made a lot of contacts on LinkedIn and they apparently have a multi-million dollar business currently.  Very cool.  I think Tony Robbins was one of their contacts (a friend of a friend) but still I sit back and listen to the story and I told her that they were deserving of everything because they were consistent.  I told her about this blog I write and I talked about how I would write 4 blogs one day and then nothing for the next few months.  I said, "it's consistency that gets you places" and I believe that.
I remember watching a video where this person talks about the ONE factor that made high school kids succeed in their future.  It wasn't their grades or anything like that.  It was their "grit".  That was the word she had used.  Call it what you want.  Grit.  Consistency.  Sticktoitivity.  It doesn't matter.  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.  That's where success lies.  We know about it through a very famous childhood story of the Tortoise and the Hare.  Another great example of progress - small, dragged out, tedious, micro step at a time progress, non quitting progress.  The progress that gets you to the destination.  I bow down to the tortoise.  I'm a hare.  I move fast and can move 20 paces forward at lightning speed.  And then I can move 50 paces sideways and diagonally backwards at that same speed, while I watch my husband, the tortoise, make slow, steady deliberate steps forward and he has made it to destinations (published plays) while I zip back and forth in my confused state of a pseudo-progress.  Ah.  Wouldn't it be great if I could just use my own lessons?
I will say that my personal progress, micro steps, is coming along.  Last year, I had a goal of reading one book a month.  I know.  It's nothing for most of you, but for the hare here, it's focus and consistency.  The destination was 12 books.  I gave this hare, the choice to read 12 books in a month or spread it out in a year.  Some months I read 3, some months none, some months one but I finished the goal.  12 books done!  This year is destination 24 books.  We're in the first week of Feb and I'm at 3.  So far, so good.
Here's to a more consistent life to all of us!
Best to you all,


  1. Well-written! Always love the peek into your world. I think randomly promoting products is a fun idea

    1. Thank you. I thought it was a great idea too. I did watch one of their YouTube videos. Hilarious!