My 5-yo is quite a hoot. But he also acts like a 5-yo… a stubborn knucklehead throwing a tantrum when he can’t make things work his way.
The other day he was yelling and crying at his train set (or was it lego set?) for reasons I couldn’t decipher. He was so worked up that I couldn’t reason with him.
So I left the room instead of fanning the fire.
15 minutes later, he’s back to his good old huggy-bear self and everything was back to awesome.
Sometimes our businesses are like that too. Things don’t work, people are jerks, and not everything seems to be figure-out-able.
When things don’t go as planned, we panic.
Some people chase after any and every magic bullet and quick fix that promises the moon.
Some go about kicking, screaming, and hustling to force things their way.
But when you’re putting out these scattered efforts, you often lose sight of the big picture.
Take a page from the parenting jujitsu playbook:
Sit It Out
Sometimes things need to run their course.
Strategies or tactics need time to demonstrate results (e.g., even the best content marketer needs to keep doing the right thing for 12 months or more to start seeing organic results.)
If you get into a lull it doesn’t mean things aren’t working.
A couple of months ago I had a panic moment. For three days I was toiling my thumbs waiting for new client work.
It was the end of the month in the summer season so objectively speaking there was no reason for panic.
But who says fear is rational…
So I made myself keep doing what I do on a quiet day — marketing.
As a result, I scored a writing gig with a “kind of a big deal” Internet marketer and it turns out to be rather awesome.
Pivot Or Fine Tune
Sometimes square peg just won’t fit into a round hole so you need to approach the problem from a different angle.
For many people who have been in business for a while, you have things already set up — a website, a list, a client base, and social media presence — and they’re up to par.
More often than not, you don’t have to throw everything out and start from scratch.
You may simply need a tweak of the message, a rejig of your website, or an adjustment of your packages to dial things back into alignment.
Ask Some Questions
You can follow cookie-cutter stuff and get some results. But you’ll plateau and things don’t seem to sustain the previous growth pattern.
More often than not, it’s because you dug right into “implementation” without figuring some fundamental questions about you, your value, your message, your personal brand, your strength, and well, what you give a sh*t for.
Get over the fact that there’s no magic bullet. Hard questions, self-awareness, and good work precede success.
Sometimes my kids would try to do something one way and get very frustrated when it didn’t work.
Instead of hammering the issue in their caveman way, I’d ask them what they want to achieve and find a different (hopefully smarter) way to do it.
Be honest with yourself.
Ask some hard questions — questions open up possibilities.
Ling Wong :: Intuitive Brainiac | Creativity Mentor | Copywriting Alchemist. Author of Copywriting Alchemy: Secrets to Turning a Powerful Personal Brand Into Content that Sells.
Through her unique blend of marketing coaching, Content Experience Design and copywriting process, she helps the maverick-preneurs uncover, articulate & transform their WHY into content that connects, resonates and converts — by way of an intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 15 years experience in the online marketing industry.
Ling is Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and Email Marketing certified. Through her writing engagements with various SaaS and marketing companies with the goals of driving organic traffic, building readership and increasing conversion, she’s well-versed in topics including online marketing, content marketing, eCommerce, conversion, UX, social media marketing, and more.
She helps coaches, consultants, service professionals, solopreneurs and small businesses apply these best practices to their specific business models and circumstances.
Ling is an avid cyclist with OCD (obsessive climbing disorder,) runner and chocoholic.
Access her Content Marketing in Plain English webinar series here.