A few years ago I had a self-hosted pop culture blog that later became the inspiration for the creative marketing firm that my wife and I started. After some dreaming and reviewing my passion for blogging this type of content, I really wanted to get the old gang back together! I’m beyond excited to be partnering with Tim Engstrom again to bring this project back to life.  I’ve attached a rather recent cartoon he created for me below.

More about this in the weeks to come, but for now, checkout http://threethirtypm.tumblr.com !

-Jim G

The Return of the Blog #threethirtypm #330pm



[Photo by Jim Gray, me]

I’m not sure about you but for me writing stuff down like this blog post takes a lot of effort. I’m more of a offline person. I like real life conversations with people in person. Old school face to face. I have  the privilege of a home office; owning my own company, etc.

My friends who know me well expect me to call. I’m also a phone guy. You might find this hard to believe, but I get sick of texting, emailing, etc. I just think we have become such a walled culture. But that’s opinion. I also think that in order to get work done, you need to turn off the distractions. But I also need the interaction of others. It’s fun or cool to act lone-rangerish , but it comes with a high price.

Enough of that…allow me to get to what brought you here…the headline. Here’s my sales pitch to a potential client:

“Now you know that I exist.” 

I have always been highly relational in business. I’m also a bit of an introvert, so the hard sell is not interesting at all. That does not mean that I am not clear on what I do, how I do it, what the price is, etc. It’s good to be thorough. I learned a long time ago that if you are already good at what you do, you shouldn’t have to hard sell. You tell the story and allow the other person to get to know you and make a decision. My normal tactics are:

1- Establish contact: you might be introduced by a friend via email or meet at an event.

2-Research: Find out something about who the person is you are meeting with.

3-Print: Bring a piece of paper with something on it that they can take with them. It might even be a proposal.

4-Direct: Shake hands, look them directly in the eyes and greet them.

5-Listen: Ask questions and learn their story.

6-Story: Tell your tale. I have a lot of different stories from companies I have worked with and projects. You don’t have to tell your life-story. Keep it short. Go with your overall theme. Be conscious of time.

7-The End: Stay on schedule for the meeting. Ask for their business. Keep it simple “I’d love to explore how we could work together.”

8-Follow-up: Send them an email with ideas.

9-Release: I’ve learned to let some go and others require pursuing. Be smart and know when to let it go. This is the hardest step. Sometimes it’s easier to let it go and move on, and them other times you need to keep following-up.

I hope this helps you.

The Crossroads

September 3, 2015 — Leave a comment

I get in such a rush in my head.
It’s hard to slow down and stop.
What if I just pull-over, shut-off the car and sit there and listen?
I can hear the wind blow.
Cars and pickup trucks on Highway 9 drive by me.
I can see and hear cars going east and west on Highway 24.

I just got LTE signal after 24 hours of no service.
I don’t want to look at the notifications.
My brain seems to thrive on analog.

My Honda CRV is ready to go.
A fresh, cold water bottle is my companion.

There are no updates, tweets, posts.
I’m not even sure if such things exist, in this moment.
At the crossroads…

I’ll be coming back.

A photo posted by Jim Gray (@jimgrayonline) on

Wandering on Analog

March 18, 2015 — Leave a comment

When was the last time to just shut off your phone and all of the digital noise and re-connected with life?

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The Christmas Sandwich

December 25, 2014 — Leave a comment


Every year for the past 16 years my family and I have eaten sandwiches for Christmas dinner. It is not that we don’t like ham, turkey or beef…we eat the sandwiches because of a special memory from the Christmas Eve ice storm of 1998.

A major ice storm struck central and southeast Virginia beginning on Wednesday, December 23, 1998 and lasted until Friday, December 25, Christmas Day. Icy conditions caused injuries from slips and falls and numerous vehicle accidents. Ice accumulations of up to an inch brought down trees and power lines. Outages were so widespread (400,000 customers on Christmas Eve) that some people were without power for up to ten days.

We were living in Midlothian, Virginia on the “southside” of Richmond, VA. I was working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car and when I awoke that morning, it looked as though “Jack Frost” had taken over the whole world. The trees were covered with icicles. I decided to go for it and started up the car and headed to work. Sometime during the day, the power went out and we rented cars on paper and did our best.  We were supposed to close up early that day, but we were delayed with customer for several hours after closing.

Meanwhile, Sharon and our two children (ages 2 and 3) were at home when the power went out and as the day went on, she began to worry as I was not home yet.  She had gone to the store the day before and bought all the fixings for sandwiches. She ended up going across the street to the neighbors house who welcomed her and the children into their warm home.

When I finally arrived home there was a note that Sharon and the kids were across the street. We stayed there for a bit and then went back home. I got the bright idea to start up the barbecue grill. As I was heating up the grill the power came back on in our house! We were so happy. We ended up eating sandwiches and had one of the best Christmases of our memory.

So tonight as I sat tonight with my family, watching movies and eating sandwiches in Colorado, I am drawn back to that story that we tell everyone when they ask why we have sandwiches for Christmas dinner.

Merry Christmas to you and yours! May your memories stay with you for years to come!