Recently, I’ve been the hairdresser with the split ends and grey roots. The plumber with the leaky tap. The gardener with the weedy beds.
You get the picture … I’m the marketer whose own marketing has been deprioritised to right near the bottom of the pile of priorities (not right at the bottom - that’s reserved for those receipts I still need to log in Xero!).
In this month’s letter I talked about lack of time when it comes to blogging and approaching my own marketing strategically, and I vowed to do something about it. Yet here we are, on May 31st, and I’m only now making the time for blogging.
I did say: “Do as I say, not as I do!”
We’ve all been there. We know it is important and necessary to create fresh content for our sites. We even have lots of ideas about things we want to write about! But somehow “tomorrow” becomes next week and that soon becomes never.
So what can we do about this issue? Here are some ideas.
Make excuses or get results: the choice is yours
You will never have enough time to do all the things you want to do perfectly. Good marketing will cost you money, and nobody loves spending money on marketing (even if they know it will help!).
So you have a choice: make excuses for your inaction, or get on with it and do something. Write one social media post and publish it. Take five good photos and write captions ready to upload to Instagram. Brainstorm blog content ideas with someone and schedule in time to write them. Get a quote for that design job you’ve been putting off for a while.
Aristotle said we are what we repeatedly do. It’s up to you to break the habit of inaction.
Be held accountable
It’s simple psychology - whether we’re talking about New Year’s resolutions or exercise goals. If you tell others about your goals, you are more likely to stick to the actions you need to take to achieve those objectives.
So if you’re struggling to stick to what you say you’re going to do, find someone who will hold you accountable. This could be a mentor, a coach, and accountability buddy or your audience. If I didn’t tell my subscribers in my last letter that I’ll be blogging this month, I’m not sure I’d be here writing this right now.
This is one of the hardest things for me to do. By nature I’m someone who likes to say “yes” to things. I am energised by new ideas and trying things at least once. I’m also a people pleaser, but I’m working on changing that.
Because sometimes we have to say “no” to the things that are not conducive to our overall goals. That’s why it is so important to have clarity on your goals. When you are very sure about what you want to achieve, it becomes easier to see what things are not helping you get to that point - and then saying no to those is easier. If it’s not an absolute “YES!”, it has to be a no.
And also: don’t say “maybe” when what you should be saying or want to be saying is no. The stress and headspace of getting out of your commitment later on just isn’t worth it.
Done is better than perfect
There’s no time like the present. If you wait for circumstances to be perfect - more time, a bigger budget, better content - you will wait forever to get anything done. Which blog post will get you more engagement: the one that is 95% perfect or the one that is sitting in Drafts?
Don’t let your perception of what people expect from you put you off from doing anything. Because that’s all it is: perception! I recently designed a leaflet for a local group, and they were so pleased with it that they’ve asked if the template can be used by affiliate groups all over the country. Despite this, I’ve obsessed over the fact that there are two blocks that should’ve been lined up that aren’t perfectly aligned.
I am possibly the only person who has noticed this issue, and I’m pretty sure I’m literally the only person who cares.
My point is that we sometimes hold ourselves to standards that are not just too high, but are irrelevant in the context of achieving our objectives.
The key takeaways I hope you’ll get from this blog post are:
The best way to move forward is to start taking action, even if circumstances aren’t perfect.
Accountability stops you from making excuses.
Saying no is a sign of strength of conviction, not weakness.
So go and do something now. Don’t wait, don’t make excuses and, er… don’t say no!