SMU Meetup
Nick Russell

Nick Russell

How competition turned into teamwork!

This time last year I wrote a blog post that talked about how working with a team and partnering with others is far better than competing.

This Thursday I will be meeting once again with a close friend that I often partner with, Nichole from AIM Social Media Marketing as well as our fellow SMUcrew member Cyrena. With this meeting I thought that blog post from last year was perfect to share.

Back while I was working with the Beer Store and still just a part time employee, the union for the Beer Store wanted help to raise money for the Leukemia Society. This was the birth of the Returns for Leukemia Bottle Drive, the worlds largest bottle drive.

In the beginning years of the bottle drive a friend and fellow Beer Store employee at another store was as passionate about the cause as I was and we both “Team Captained” our respective stores helping to raise money for the cause. At first it was all about the 2 of us competing and trying to one up each other until we decided to work together and see what we could do as a team.

After the two of us teamed up and started working together we started to see more volunteers, getting other stores more help as well as more promotion for the bottle drive in the Windsor area. This is where my journey as a social media manager started. That’s where I started a Twitter account and a Facebook Page to help promote the Windsor efforts of the bottle drive. This in turn was so successful that we then used that for the entire province with collaboration with the Beer Store and Leukemia’s marketing teams.

Seeing that we could raise more money as a team we took our ideas to coordinate our district to the Beer Store corporate office and the bottle drive planning committee. This was the birth of the “District Coordinator” and the start of yearly planning meetings with people from every district coming together as a team to make this event even greater. To put it in perspective, the first year the bottle drive raised around $200,000 and the year I left the Beer Store, about 12 years after the first bottle drive, we raised around $1.7 Million as a Province.

What I will leave you with is if you have the opportunity in business to work with someone to help others or help each other and grow your businesses, take that and run with it! I will say, I don’t know where Russtek Media would be now if I didn’t have Nichole from AIM Social Media Marketing by my side as a mentor and business partner!

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