Why Do We Do This?


There are many things in life and business that are important to us. We have a passion for what we do in our personal and professional lives. And many of us are quite passionate…myself included.

A byproduct that stems from social media is the open window into the lives of our business and non-business friends. One of the things that fascinate me is how committed many of my colleagues are to their work. Of course it’s their job, but this isn’t a simple case of working for a paycheck.

Getting to know some of these people through the years, it’s clear that their work is also truly their passion. Two people who come to mind (and you won’t be surprised if you know them too) are PPAI President and CEO, Paul Bellantone and Jetline, Dana Zezzo.

Since taking over the leadership role at PPAI, Paul has been on a world wind tour around the country working diligently on behalf of the Association and it’s members.  He’s hosting Town Hall meetings, visiting with suppliers and distributors, AND attending regional trade shows. Most recently Paul has facilitated two significant events in Chicago…the North American Leadership Conference and the Product Safety Summit. While he travels all the time, I know that Paul also has a passion for live music and does some cool things with his young son. I relate to that, as I am a “hack” drummer and do cool things with my son too.

Over the last few years, I’ve gotten to know marketing madman, Dana Zezzo. His passion for the product line he represents is clear. Jetline is a supporter of FreePromoTips and his marketing creativity has enhanced what we do for suppliers. It was Dana’s idea to incorporate my video product features with our new GP2: Good Products Good Prices component. When I ask about promotion uses for Jetline products, he is able to provide them, which is helpful to our large audience of savvy distributors. What most impresses me about Dana is what he does with his family when he is home. Dana is an outdoorsman. He enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, running and camping while spending time with his family. Dana’s crazy travel schedule is a challenge for his family, but they seem to make it work. Here a short video filmed with Glen Hersh from Admints where Dana talks about this. 

I’ve also developed relationships with several distributor companies who help us share thought-provoking content with the FreePromoTips audience. And we get to share their business successes with you. My good friend Rod Brown from Made to Order invited me to attend their 10th Anniversary celebration in beautiful Monterey, CA. A link to their remarkable story and video can be found here. At the PPAI NALC I was able to interview Chris Vernon. The Vernon Company is celebrating their 111th Anniversary, which obviously is a major milestone. To learn why they are celebrating their 111th and not 110th, watch this Anniversary video. These companies are passionate about what they do. 

Support from suppliers and distributors enable FreePromoTips to be a valuable, relevant communication tool for the industry. We are happy to report on these significant events and feature suppliers’ products along with marketing solutions, because we feel our audience finds value in both new ideas and the successes of others. People who are passionate seem to relate to the content I share. 

Having just returned from Chicago, attending the North American Leadership Conference, I realized how much I HATE travel. Crowded planes, busy airports, security checkpoints and delayed flights along with just being away from home, make travel no fun. But…I’ll gladly get on a plane to attend a productive industry event like the NALC. I very much respect those who travel so much. We cover this topic in an article that I dubbed Salute to Industry Heroes.   

This brings me to the question…why do we do this? We do it because we enjoy our industry and the relationships we have nurtured. We are able to make a living helping our clients in a variety of ways, which is rewarding. We do it because we have a passion for what we do. In addition to our personal lives, most of us enjoy the benefits of being in the promotional marketing industry.

We put together some short video clips from the 2013 PPAI North American Leadership Conference. In Chicago we talked with suppliers and distributors who shared their thoughts. These clips will give you some idea of why we choose to leave our homes and offices to attend events like this.

Marc Simon, PPAI Chairman of the Board

PPAI President and CEO, Paul Bellantone

Gemline President Jonathan Isaacson 

Jay Paparone from Crown Products

Danny Rosin, Brand Fuel President 

Prime Resources CEO, Rick Brenner 

PPPC (Promotional Products Professionals of Canada) President and CEO

While not everyone will have the opportunity to attend conferences like the North American Leadership Conference, many of you can attend local regional events. I believe these events will benefit your personal and professional life. It’s good to get out and connect with others. There are many benefits to building relationships while you take in education content that enables you to more effectively build your business. That’s why I do it and why others do it!

 © 2013 Jeff Solomon, MAS



Thank you for your comments about the travel that is such a big part of this industry. It's challenging!

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
5 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.