During the first few weeks of CertifiKID’s acquisition of Macaroni Kid, I was completely overwhelmed by all the challenging issues I wrote about in this blog post, while being laser focused on where I felt improvements were needed. I made my lists, timelines, and strategies. Time has since passed and I have finally been able to take a breath and REALLY absorb and appreciate all the incredible aspects of the Macaroni Kid community without the transition hangover. This week, I really let myself fall in love with it; and as a result, it started hitting me how fortunate I am to be a part of and leading this wonderful community of almost 500 publishers all across the U.S. and Canada! I look forward to growing the community and bringing on many more publishers who will have the opportunity to grow their own local Macaroni Kid business/readership at home with a flexible schedule, which is such an advantage in this pandemic environment, while benefiting from our integration of the CertfiIKID deal side to earn more revenue.
Here are the amazing things I have observed that have made me really fall in love with the Macaroni Kid community:
1) Ideas & Creativity – I am someone who truly appreciates ideas, and boy does this community have them. When it comes to content, advertising, seasonal opportunities, community engagement and list growth, their minds are moving a mile a minute and full of so many fantastic ideas. In addition, their creativity is off the charts! I read that only 50% of people consider themselves creative but I feel like the creativity ratio for MK publishers is on steroids and much higher. This Boo Basket thing was a great example of that! Love it!
2) Friendship – I have come to realize there are so many wonderful and long standing friendships formed by this shared community. This is something co-founder Joyce Shulman emphasized to me early on, and I see it very clearly now. It can be so hard to make new friends as adults outside of your family and your kids’ worlds, and I love to see the strong bonds that have been built between so many of the publishers. They have yearly retreats where the publishers have been able to connect in person and strengthen these bonds (with the draw of a killer swag room filled with amazing products from all their sponsors!).
3) Sharing – I love how eager the community is to share their ideas with one another. That is where the true MK secret sauce comes into play. The value they each bring to one another and Macaroni Kid as a whole by sharing is what sets this company apart from others.
4) Support – Anytime someone asks for help, another person answers that call. Whether it is questions or finding pictures, what I observe is so many people just jump in and genuinely want to help each other. I have learned how many of the publishers have been mentors to one another over the years, which is a beautiful thing.
5) Caring – When people are experiencing hardship in their lives, people are THERE for them, and I mean really there for them. I have seen this firsthand during our first week with one publisher whose area was ravaged by a natural disaster and everyone rallied around her by sending her community much-needed items. I have seen when publishers have shared personal tragedies or personal challenges they are going through. I have seen it in the community projects they have been doing to help their fellow publishers’ communities in need.
6) The Value to National Businesses – What the MK sales team does for these national brands is beyond incredible. The campaigns they build are so unique, inspiring, clever and effective, and the effort the publishers put into making the campaigns effective is incredible. I am still reviewing old campaigns and constantly find myself saying – WOW!
7) The Value to Their Readers – I am now copied on many of the emails that come in from readers to publishers and see the questions, appreciation, and value they are providing to their communities, which is so uplifting. These parents come to them as their “go to” for everything related to their children locally. When they are in their neighborhood grocery store, they feel like a local celebrity.
8) The Value to Local, Small Businesses – I have also seen how valuable and supportive many of the publishers have been to their local, small businesses who are struggling right now. Some are helping them out at no cost or trying strategies to get them more business so they will survive. In good times, they are the ones they rely on to keep their businesses on the radar with families.
9) YES attitude -The entire MK community possesses this wonderful “YES” attitude where they are willing to jump in and DO and HELP and make things happen. There is no “what is in it for me” but just “YES”! It is inspiring and motivating to be surrounded by so many people with this “can do” mindset.
10) Diversity – A big goal of mine is to create a more diverse MK community BUT I still believe there is so much beauty in this diverse group of publishers, which I am really enjoying and appreciating. I strongly believe building even greater diversity, inclusion, and equity will make the community even stronger.
If you are looking for a new beginning in your life right now that will bring you meaning, inspiration, connection, fun, and opportunity, being a Macaroni Kid publisher could be your calling! If you want to see if your city has an available territory, please go HERE and fill out our contact us form. We’d love for you to join our wonderful community!