No doubt you have learned a great deal on your marketing adventure. Learned that hiring someone to stand on the street corner with a sign for a week was a bit of a flop, or maybe you also learned that knocking on doors in the evenings to be grassroots, was only getting old men mad at you. Whether your marketing strategies were belly flops or successful there are a few things I bet are holding you back.
So starting today…
Give up perfection.
You are going to go bald, if you are bald you are going to grow weird alien due to stress. Plus, perfection is often overlooked. Don’t spend precious resources beating around the bush for the perfect thing. Developers have a great way of saying, “Ship it!”… or it is build, measure, learn.
Give up comparing yourself to competitors.
I hear myself doing this and frankly, it doesn’t do much besides throw away time. Oh well if we only had X feature we could do Y. “Yeah, well we don’t so what’s your next bright idea?” Competitors didn’t invent the wheel, neither did you. However, you might be able to learn from them but don’t step in their foot prints wishing your feet were the same size, silly as it sounds many of my past clients spend a lot of crucial time trying to figure out the competitors secret sauce. Create your own and be proud of it!
Give up flogging yourself.
So, you belly flopped. You are human right? (If you are an alien, please skip to the next point.) Plus, whether you like it or not you are going to make another mistake in the future. If you don’t make any mistakes, well then you aren’t trying at your job hard enough. “The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.”
Give up tapping your toes and checking your watch.
Waiting for X feature so you can run Y campaign well, to be honest isn’t going to happen when you want it or during the time you want it. Don’t wait till after lunch, or the morning to finish that project that is going to be a total brain drain. Just do it! Nike style. Remember: “What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.” Oh and another fancy tip: “Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action”.
Give up trying to make everyone happy.
So you have the CEO, sales, engineering and customer service are all breathing down your back. Oh yeah, vendors and customers too. So, what do you do? Set boundaries, be honest and clear with everyone so that expectations are set. Don’t let people drop things off at your desk and blindly say “Sure! I can do it”, in hopes of being invited to their birthday party (the cake is a lie anyways). Doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly, and make the lonely person in the lunch room’s day a little brighter by saying “Hi!” (not in a misleading way or you might have a new admirer). Tools like Basecamp can make project transparency a little easier.
Give up holding back your feedback.
Ever tried to hold back a sneeze? Yeah… not comfortable is it. It’s normal for people to sneeze just as it is normal for people part of a team to share their ideas. Those who decide to be wall flowers end up blending in, and their value sometimes sadly overlooked. Now, you don’t need to bring a soap box to every meeting yet don’t hold back sharing feedback, ideas and engaging with your team. Who knows, you next big idea might strike gold for the company or your career.