Episode 015 – Amy Jo Martin

Amy Jo Martin

This week’s guest is the amazing Amy Jo Martin. She is the host of the “Why Not Now?” podcast where she interviews people about the moment they realized they should go for that thing they’ve been thinking of doing. Amy Jo is a New York Times bestselling author, the woman who taught Shaquille O’Neal how to tweet, former CEO/Founder of Digital Royalty, keynote speaker, innovation advocate, and angel investor. She has been named the #3 most powerful person on Twitter by Forbes. The conversation this week goes all over the place but there is a heavy social media angle. The conversation is expansive, as always, and the women have a lot of fun.

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 Additional Show Notes:
  • Bobbi-Sue and Amy Jo talk about double names.
  • Amy Jo’s family lived in a trailer home and they would move around a lot because of her father’s job. There was a lot of baseball when they were growing up. She played t-ball and was the pitcher. (giggles all around) Other sports she played were volleyball and basketball. And always gymnastics. Her dance team even performed at a Raiders halftime.
  • Received a scholarship to any of the Arizona schools and she chose ASU.
  • Amy Jo talks about how she would develop crushes on brands and logos from an early age (Nike). She didn’t know exactly what she wanted to be. Advertising seemed romantic to her so that’s where she started.
  • EB Lane was where she began and they had a ton of sports entity clients. She was cutting her teeth on brands like Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona Lottery, Super Bowl host committee campaign.
  • Her favorite campaign: Cardinals were struggling, creative team decided to not even talk about the Cardinals and focus on football – called “Long Live Sunday”
  • She got to know the people at the Suns through her client, the Arizona Lottery, and they asked her to join their team. Began as Senior Activation Manager – fulfilling what the sales team sold.
  • One day, Amy Jo decided to create a new role at work for herself and she pitched it to leadership. There was a lot of innovation going on with mobile and she wanted to be a part of it. It was the first position of its kind in the NBA.
  • She talks about the moment when she realized that Twitter could be used to bridge the gap between team, fan, and sponsors. It was before the 2008 elections, which is when Twitter really hit big – Obama used Twitter to scale his base.
  • Another day, she got a phone call from basketball operations asking her to go to the locker room immediately and teach Shaquille O’Neal how to tweet. There were imposters on Twitter pretending to be Shaq. Amy Jo got with Twitter to figure out a way to stop this and they rolled out the blue checkmark. They also gave Amy Jo one!
  • They started doing “Random Acts of Shaqness” and soon the league was wondering what the heck was going on in Phoenix. There were no rules about using social media. The league told them to stop and hold on. That being said, the NBA has certainly been the most innovative league with social media.
  • Amy Jo’s “Why Not Now?” moment at the Suns. Women in sports and the tough choice sometimes brought forth: Family, Self, Work – Choose two but you can’t have all three. The nature of working in sports is hard when there are children at home.
  • The women discuss equal representation and women in sports and sexism. There is a clear shift
  • Life Hack: send Bobbi-Sue gourmet cupcakes if you need her to get stuff done quickly.
  • Amy Jo really hopes that this progress that we’re seeing across all industries doesn’t continue to be framed as an “us versus them” or “men versus women” because that can’t be sustained.
  • What’s next is what’s interesting to her. People are starting to actually do something about it. That’s what she’s excited about.
  • Amy Jo talks about the Japan earthquake on March 11, 2011, and how she saw the unfolding of the news. It was one of the most powerful moments of her life. [Side note: somehow AJM was reading her Twitter feed on the elliptical and BSDH is astounded by this]
    • This event helped her realize how powerful the space could be. She realized there was more purpose behind it.
    • Her company was doing really well (huge clients: athletes, celebrities, Hilton Worldwide, etc.) and had a huge global reach. There was a great sense of responsibility that came on her.
    • She got curious about how this was impacting humanity. She ended up doing a clinical study with a scientist.
  • Bobbi-Sue wonders where Amy Jo’s affinity towards research and numbers comes from.
    • They had to find ways to prove that the spend on social media was worth it.
  • DId you have of all of the books in your encyclopedia book set? Neither Bobbi-Sue nor Amy Jo did.
  • Bobbi-Sue tells a story about her little reading nook in her closet growing up.
  • Amy Jo talks about a situation with Vanity Fair and lessons learned.
  • Sometimes you do too much and your body basically shuts down. Amy Jo talks about what the was like and how she innovated her life.
  • One of the things she did after this was going to Ethiopia with Charity Water.  She helped bring clean water to these small villages. It was a shift of reality and perspective. What Bobbi-Sue takes away from this discussion is that she is craving Ethiopian food. (*eye roll*)
  • Amy Jo talks about how “Why Not Now?” came into existence. Shout out to Mark Cuban for being the first on her podcast which made it a lot easier. [Side note: It’s a REALLY good podcast!]
  • Bobbi-Sue talks about when she launched LTPF. She has the following quote by Neil Gaiman taped to her bathroom mirror: “The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”
  • Self-care: meditate (non-negotiable for her), journal, has to have nature around her (currently lives in the forest), family.
  • A long discussion about meditation ensues. Both women think it makes a big difference in their lives.
  • Morning Routine: Wake up, do NOT go to phone to scroll social media, make tea, meditate, and then journal.
  • We close out the interview with Amy Jo talking about her book: Renegades Write the Rules.

Quotable moments:

  • “I thought Phoenix sounded more fun, honestly.”
  • “I knew that from an early age, I had this weird thing where I would develop a crush on brands… on logos.”
  • “My dream was really Madison Avenue and to hit the big agencies. I didn’t really think sports too much. And it was before ‘Mad Men’ by the way…”
  • “This was not a usual thing for someone of my level to be heading down to the locker room.”
  • “Oh gosh, it was like I had been crowned or something.” – regarding getting her blue checkmark on Twitter
  • “The funny thing about Shaquille, too, is he can’t go incognito.”
  • “It just became this way to bridge the virtual world with the physical world.”
  • “It took a lot of me asking for forgiveness rather than permission.”
  • “I thought playing with the boys meant taking on a lot of those attributes. And be a hard ass.”
  • “Seeing the funding discrepancies, there just isn’t equal access…” – regarding funding female-owned businesses
  • “I really got curious about how this is impacting humanity.”
  • “Getting creative with how to measure social media, in the beginning, was probably one of the biggest springboards for me.”
  • “The universe and my body were telling me ‘red alert’. You’re out of gas, sister. Something needs to change.”
  • “When people say ‘hustle,’ I have a new thought about it.”
  • “I realized, they wanted to see the picture. They had never seen their own reflection before. Wow. Talk about perspective.”
  • “Heyyy Mister Jensen” – Bobbi-Sue to Amy Jo’s dad who is probably listening
  • “When you have an idea and you know you’re about to do something. You do something that will make yourself accountable….If you want to take the island, you burn the boat.”
  • “Don’t let anything rent space in your head for free, it’s valuable real estate.” – Amy Jo’s aunt

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