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Back Where It All Began

This article originally posted on my personal blog way back on 12/17/2018. I thought it would be appropriate now for it is where all of this began; republishing it here just as a “marker” of sorts to show how far this has all come.


I draw on everything. Napkins, placemats, scraps of paper, bills, checks, you name it, I have probably left a mark on it. Including the dirt on the side of my TRUCK and even sometimes, the side of the occasional school bus! I do these kinds of cartoons ALL THE TIME for Shannon, the kids, family, etc. They are fast and just meant to get “the guys” out on paper. I never thought much about them, it was just something that I have ALWAYS done. They don’t take that long to make, just a few minutes each, sometimes even seconds.

A few months ago I received a box of business cards for my new position at SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley. A THOUSAND OF THEM. My Boss told me, “When you get to the bottom of the box, I’ll buy you some more!” If you have never seen a thousand business cards lined up in a box, I ASSURE you, it is A LOT! The goal with these cards? Get rid of them, all of them. Now, I am no stranger to the game of passing out business cards, there is an etiquette to it – when, how many, and to whom, all play a role but a thousand of them? I seriously wondered how long it was going to take for me to pass them out to clients!

Fast forward to last month’s sales cycle. I try to see my insurance clients every 6 weeks and while I was getting ready to head out, I happened to DUMP the card box!

Cards. Everywhere.

I had some time to kill because I was waiting for a co-worker who was riding along with me and while I was putting the cards back into the box, I realized that there was printing on only ONE side of the cards. I placed the box back on the desk and while I was waiting, pulled one card out and drew one of my quick “Doodleton” Guys on the card, holding a jack-o-lantern, and after looking at it for a few seconds realized how much like a greeting card it looked like! Just for fun I wrote at the top, “Happy Halloween!” then signed the bottom. Ha! It really DID look like a greeting card!

It was at that moment that it hit me to hand these cards out to my clients, just as a way to say “hi” and for them to remember me by. I do service many clients but I found that if I do just a few everyday I can replenish for the day ahead and only have a few left.

So, at the beginning of the last sales cycle I started taking the blank side of my SERVPRO business cards and putting hand drawn cartoons of the Doodleton guys with a message for the next calendar holiday on them, Halloween. In the middle of all this, we attended my very first Corporate Sales meeting in the Wisconsin Dells. I handed out a couple off them and by the end of the meeting people were coming up to me asking for them! The next week I finished the routes and heard several compliments and “You did this?” and when they found out my background I even managed to see a rise in views on my website. I was pleased.

Within the week I started getting responses from these little cards. I got an email from a CSR asking if it was ok for them to scan the image and send it on to a family friend, I said “sure” and forgot about it. Fast forward to THIS sales cycle. My very first stop, the woman behind the desk greeted me by asking me if I was going to have a Christmas Card this time?? I handed her a card that I had just drawn an hour prior and she laughed at it and said, “Hey! Now I have a collection!” By the end of the day I had met with several offices that had asked the same thing, several of them had last month’s card posted up on the wall and taped the new Christmas card right next to it. At one office I made a second stop, after a customer left and found that they had cut out the cartoon that I did in the newsletter and put it with their cards!

A day later, I received a text message from another office…

There was NO WAY I was going to turn this down, I made a SPECIAL 2-fold card and delivered it. A few hours later, I received this…

These photos are just the beginning. The NEXT DAY I had TWO different offices introduce me to a couple of agents as “Sketch, the guy that draws those cards!” How cool is that?! I have seen the cards taped to computers, stuck to the sides of cubicle walls, and duplicated many, many times!

How lucky am I?!?!?

As always, whether you’re having a good day or bad… make it your own and Turn It Around!

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