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Mary Poppins and a Lesson in Consulting

mary poppins consultant

This week we were given news by one of our favorite clients that they are winding down some of our services.

They had shared with us that they are keeping Popcorn as their marketing representation, and for the sales side of things, they simply no longer need us. Yup, you heard it right, they no longer need our help. During our work together, we recruited and hired a sales team, established the systems needed to support an efficient and scalable sales org, identfied and mapped their SOM (Serviceable Obtainable Market) accounts to CRM,  created detailed SaaS revenue modeling, and myriad of other pieces that laid the groundwork for a future sales leader to plug in and make it their own. That my friends is what we call setting the stage... Now enters our friend Mary Poppins to help shed some light on the lifestyle and business lifecycle of a hospitality technology consultant. Mary Poppins,  as it turns out was for many of us the first version of a consultant that we may have gotten to know growing up. Think about it, what does a consultant do? They come in, assess what’s really going on, come up with a plan, stimulate new ways of thinking, work with people to develop better processes and implement the right solutions that will ensure lasting change. When that is done right, they in turn pack up their bag of tricks and move on to another family in need.

Holy sh*t, did he just say Mary Poppins is a consultant?

Yes, Mary Poppins… Imagine if she ditched the nanny gig and went into consulting for tech companies. Instead of floating into quaint London homes, she’s now popping into office buildings, her umbrella replaced by a sleek, leather, Nomatic Backpack (probably still magical). That’s Popcorn GTM for you—tech-focused business consultants with a hint of rock 'n' roll, comic book heroism, cultural swagger, and a sprinkle of Disney magic.

Here’s the scene: Every company is a little screwed up, right? Enter Popcorn GTM, not exactly blown in by the wind, but maybe in this instance, we are airlifted in on a next-gen AI-piloted drone taxi. We show up ready to understand and fix the corporate equivalent of a dysfunctional family dynamic. The execs are the parents—often in the weeds, maybe holding on too tightly and likely suffering some form of “rope burn”. The sales team? They're the wild kids, hyped up on sugar, operating with obscure goals and likely to be running with scissors. And the marketing side of the business? They might be the equivalent of that talented uncle who is undervalued and disconnected from the rest of the “family”.

At Popcorn, we often find ourselves cannonballing into varying degrees of this madness with both feet. Our goal is to be completely immersed in our client's world. The more we know them, the better we can help. As such we listen, we observe, and we start making notes on opportunities to improve and start tagging solutions from our business improvement toolkit (much like Mary Poppins pulling a lamp out of her bag.) “Looks like the marketing side of the business is underrepresented, your brand message is muted and not being used by the rest of the business. It seems that Sales is off track to hit goal and appears to be spending too much time making up their own content and out of step with the brand voice. Leadership is showing signs of strain, potentially deep in the weeds, and likely to be suffering from severe rope burn as result of being spread too thin and trying to do everything themselves.”

Mary Poppins is the first version of a consultant any of us got to know. She came in, assessed, planned, implemented, ensured lasting change, and then moved on.


With all that in mind, our approach is all about making the workplace not just bearable, but actually kind of awesome. We sprinkle a little creativity and realignment here and there and get executives and team members to fire themselves from time sucks and things that shouldn’t  belong to them anymore. This goes a long way in shifting the mundane daily grinds into, well, less grindy endeavors. Before you know it, the execs start understanding the millennials and Gen Z’s, the sales team starts syncing with marketing and the business starts producing consistent revenue and results. From there the rest of the team begins to benefit and the effect becomes wonderfully systemic, from leadership to the team, from the team to the product, from product to the customer and from the customer to new locations spinning up and investors taking an interest. That’s the “Spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down”.

Then once we get the company running like a well-oiled, albeit unique machine, there is a moment in time where we are likely to be getting a tap on the shoulder by the client, (One who we’ve grown to know and love.) Like Mary Poppins, our primary job is and always will be to make ourselves unnecessary. And when that time comes we pack up our drone (or umbrella or whatever cool gadget we have) and shoot off to the next startup or corporate circus in need, leaving behind a bunch of bewildered but better-off business folk, turned friends and colleagues, to live the best version of their business lives.

And just when you think we’re gone for good, if there’s ever a wobble, we are always around to get things back on track. At Popcorn GTM we don't just consult; we leave indelible fingerprints of creativity, positive disruption, and fresh ideas behind, ensuring no one forgets the magic we delivered.

POPSomething cool that we didn’t expect this early on in the big game; as we’ve been heads down doing our agency work for our clients,  unsolicited inquiries have started coming in from other prospective businesses looking to have the same experience they see us delivering to others. I suppose it ties back to news of funding achieved, sales teams built, increased visibility in the marketplace, cool branding and clear signals to the street of overall improvement and the promise of growth. Some hearing stories of laughter-filled meetings, fresh directions, infectious energy and the occasional email threads that turn into epic sagas. This all seems to have stirred up genuine curiosity about what it might be like to get a little Popcorn GTM magic themselves. 

While my own animated analogy of the facts is silly and fun, amidst the chaos and oddities, real change happens. Teams grow tighter, productivity blooms, and workplaces turn into communities. Popcorn GTM doesn't just fix companies; we transform them into places where work feels like play, problems are now puzzles waiting to be solved, teams are empowered, and leadership is free to be the visionaries and leaders they need to be to make the business scale and grow.

Remember this: while business is a serious subject and people depend on you for their future and livelihoods, don’t take yourself too seriously. In his titular role as the wildly unconventional chocolatier Mr. Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder said it best “A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men ''. The analog I presented here of Mary Poppins as a Hospitality Tech Consultant is my own light -hearted take on a very real and profound dynamic, one that reminds me, there are times that the best way to solve a problem is to throw a little magic at it like a grenade and then duck. Because you never know when a dancing penguin might be part of your next business strategy.

This is a story that has played out over and over again, in many ways and in many flavors, much like the classic “Hero’s Journey” as we orchestrate these transformations, the finale often unfolds with an unexpected twist—the bittersweet moment when a client realizes they no longer need our services. It's a scenario fraught with mixed emotions, as they grapple with the task of conveying this news to a team that has transcended the conventions of being colleagues and have evolved to become trusted friends. I’m writing this today to assure both our clients, and other consultants, that it's okay. In fact it's part of the journey.

One of the finest compliments we can receive is a simple, yet profound acknowledgment: "You did your job, and we got it from here" Initially, such words might sting with a hint of rejection, striking our logical minds with surprise. Yet, much like a loving parent letting go, it's the phrase we may dread hearing but deep down, we know it signals the best possible outcome ahead. By this time in the story we have collectively poured our time and energy, into something that has now matured, evolved, and become self-sufficient. On the other side of our work togther, our clients are equipped to soaring high on their own.

One of the finest compliments we can receive is a simple, yet profound acknowledgment: "You did your job, we got it from here."

This moment in time, though uncomfortable, marks the success of our joint endeavor—a testament to the effective partnership and shared journey of growth. The pain of parting ways is often tempered by the pride in witnessing a team who once leaned on us, stand tall on their own, confident in themselves and their team, and ready to navigate the vast skies of the hospitality tech world. It’s a pivotal moment that underscores the essence of what we do at Popcorn GTM: not just to aid, but to empower; not merely to solve, but to evolve; and, ultimately, to create an environment where every company can thrive autonomously after our departure.

As part of the human condition, we are wired to cling to the familiar, change is scary and embracing this moment of release is both a challenge and a celebration. Remember, the true legacy of a GTM Consulting Agency isn’t just in the vibrant, unforgettable experiences we leave behind, but in the ongoing success stories of the clients we've primed, prepared, and coached. Our goal will always be leave our partners standing taller, stronger, and better connected with eachother than when we first met. While the stories here may appear to draw to a close, know that in every ending is the seed of a new beginning—proof that our magic lies not just in the transformation, but in the triumphant continuation of your journey without us.

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