I was so inspired to meet Jesse Cole of the Savanah Banana’s at ProfitCon 2016. Jesse was our closing speaker and we were on our feet and crying and laughing. It was a great way to send us off to fight entrepreneurial poverty!
Jesse is a young man that grew up playing baseball only to learn after college his next career step would be coaching and managing the Gastonia Grizzlies. His first year with the team was pretty stressful not only because of money problems but also because he learned he didn’t like to watch baseball.
He learned that year that he was going to have to spice up the game to get people to come to the park so they added Senior Center Beauty Pageants, they taught the grounds crew how to dance as they groomed the field, they sent the players into the stands to spend time with the fans. All of these antics started to point to the real purpose of the team, to bring the small NC community together. This went so well that Jesse bought a second team in Savannah GA.
The first task to getting this Savannah team profitable was to create a new name for the team. Jesse found most of the submissions from the local folk very traditional. However, one suggestion stood out, the Savannah Bananas. There was so much opportunity to “monkey around” with this name. They immediately found their mascot, the Savannah Banana Split. The ball team dances during the inning changes to a Timberlake tune “Can’t Stop the Peeling”. The Banana Nanas help out in the office, and Jesse found out that a yellow tuxedo complete with Yellow top hat and Yellow shiny shoes help him to meet the attendees.
There were several lessons from Jesse’s talk such as having fun in your job, finding ways to bring your community together, stand out, and be different. To me, the most important lesson came from talking with him after the event. He told me that he had implemented Profit First to help both baseball teams reduce their debt. He found Profit First to be very successful so he wrote Mike a thank you letter. This was not just a nice thing to do, it is part of Jesse’s everyday routine. He committed himself to writing one thank you letter every day. He said that it totally changed his outlook on life because now he spends his days deciding what moved him that day so that he can write his thank you letter. What a great strategy for staying in a state of gratitude! Check out the Savannah Banana’s at https://thesavannahbananas.com/
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