Lucid Dreamers: Zack Mathis, Azzip Pizza & Listening More
This post is sponsored by Lucid Coffee Bar, a hidden gem in downtown Newburgh. TheLucid's Dreamers campaign celebrates those in the community that have big dreams and inspire others by telling their unique stories and experiences.
I am a coffee connoisseur, and in my humble opinion Lucid reps out the best Americano in town. Stop by when you get the chance and give Lucid a try, I promise you won't be disappointed. They are located at 224 West Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630.
One of my dearest friends and greatest role models has always reminded me of the Pink Panther -- exceptionally trendy, silent, curious and wise beyond his years. He also has a subtle resemblance to the beloved cat detective, but that is neither here nor there.
Zack Mathis is the quiet we long for in this noisy, ever-bustling world. He doesn’t say much, but when he says something it carries weight. Weight that carves out a space in your memory box. Weight that instills wisdom. Weight that drives an individual to move.
Zack Mathis is a silent champion.
The two of us crossed paths for the first time while preparing for an international marketing case study competition. We grew close quickly as we found ourselves deep in the heart of Edmonton Alberta, Canada taking on both Canadian and American university teams. During our 4 day stay we ate a plethora of fries smothered in brown gravy topped with cheese curd -- a delicious Canadian concoction referred to as Poutine. We studied relentlessly for 48 hours whilst consuming copious amounts of coffee, preparing for our upcoming presentations. We froze to death in -10 degree weather. We even fit in some time to find ourselves at a bizarre western EDM club at 3 a.m. after discovering a shared interest in a well-made Gin and Tonic.
By the grace of God and Zack’s marketing brilliance, we won the competition. But it was during this trip that Zack taught me something far more valuable, the importance of listening. At times he lead our team without ever saying a word, by simply listening until he discovered an answer. When the two of us would converse, he would listen to every detail of every subject I discussed -- only speaking when he felt he had value to add. At first I found it peculiar, but over time I learned that his ability to listen was what made him great at building friendships, leading teams and crafting exceptional marketing strategies.
Today, Zack works as the Marketing Director at Azzip Pizza. A startup fast-casual pizzeria that is spreading like wildfire. Zack’s keen ability to listen has been instrumental in its growth and I foresee it being increasingly more valuable as Azzip continues to expand.
“Transitioning into the role as Director of Marketing at Azzip was challenging. No one had held the role before me, so I had a lot of questions I had to answer on my own -- How much social media content is the right amount? What is making us a beloved brand?
It has been a very hands-on learning experience -- both exciting and rewarding. I started working here in college and moved my way up from team member to shift manager to Director of Marketing.
In my position, listening is my greatest asset. Listening to our customers allows me to quickly jump into other people’s perspective. It allows me to be empathetic. In turn allowing me to help Azzip better serve our customers.
We live in a world where there this is so much noise all the time. Everyone is always talking, but hardly anyone ever takes the time to listen. I see this a lot in small talk. People are talking, but are they really saying anything?
When I talk, I try to always add value. People ask me why I am always so quiet, sometimes I just prefer to listen.”
Zack Mathis is going to make a lot of noise in this world by saying very little.
The Final Five
1. What is a daily routine that allows you to stay on your A game?
"I wake up and scroll through my social media feed -- see what is going on in the world. Generally, I will check twitter to find what is trending and if I can apply it to marketing for Azzip."
2. What book do you most often gift to others?
How to Win Friend and Influence People by Daniel Carnegie. The book has a lot of great lessons, but it focuses on understanding other people’s perspectives. It highlights the importance of empathy."
3. What is your vice/guilty pleasure?
"I wouldn’t necessarily call it a vice, but quality goods and spending quality time with people. Both of these ‘vices’ can cause me to spend too much money. With that said, I see it as an investment that is worth it to me."
4. What is your superpower?
"I'm good at helping people work through things. As they fill the silence, I keep an ear out for a solution hidden in their words."
5. If you could have a billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?