True confession time: I’m a guy who finds it difficult to accept my real age. Many people don’t know that I’m actually 47 years old. I guess my blond hair has a way of hiding most of the gray that’s on my head. And, when people try to guess my age, they usually think I’m in my late-30’s or early-40’s. Due to this misconception, I sometimes find it hard to act my age and accept the realities of life.
However, I had a wake up call earlier this year when I decided to go trail running one afternoon along a river near our house. As I ran down part of the path, I hit a patch of loose gravel that caused my right ankle to slip out from under me. The result was a violent ankle sprain, and I had to limp back almost a mile through the woods to my car. After I got home, I put some ice on my ankle, started doing some stretches, and expected everything to be fine in a matter of days. That injury was back in January. It’s now July, and this week is the first time my ankle has felt normal in months.
Through this experience, I realized that I’m not as young as I used to be. In my 20’s, I could recover from an ankle sprain in a matter of weeks. In my late 40’s, injuries take a harder toll and take a longer time to mend. My body is now forcing me to act my age and accept reality.
Why do I tell you this story and what does it have to do with marketing? Let me connect the dots by asking you a question. When you suffer a marketing injury, how long does it take you to heal? By “marketing injury,” I mean frustrating situations such as:
- Your new product release is a dud.
- Your annual sales don’t meet your planned expectations.
- Your donor drive doesn’t raise the intended amount of money.
- Your media interview falls flat and doesn’t generate interest.
- Your new ad campaign doesn’t increase visitors to your website or store.
- Your new book launch misses the bestseller lists.
Life is full of injuries – to our bodies and our businesses. We can’t avoid all injuries, but we can control how quickly we respond and heal from the situation. And, here’s some good news, your business can heal faster than your body – even as you get older.
In other words, how well do you respond when things don’t go according to plan? Do you bounce back quickly from a marketing injury like a young twenty-something? Or, do you languish in the pain too long like a frustrated old man who wishes he was twenty-something?
Marketers who bounce back quickly tend to exude the following attitudes and actions:
- This injury does not define me, so I can use it to improve for the future.
- If that idea or campaign didn’t work, let’s try something else as soon as possible.
- Let’s use this setback as impetus to learn a new skill or gain new best practices.
- Consistent belief in one’s skills and talent – “I can recover…I am not permanently damaged.”
For instance, I launched two new products earlier this year that fell flat on their face. Results did not meet expectations. But, those disappointments have not slowed me down. Thus far, I’m having the best year overall in the history of my consulting business – even in the midst of those two “injuries.” I’ve recovered and continue to run with excitement.
As you experience similar situations in your business, examine how quickly you recover. You don’t have to accept your age. Instead, think like a twenty-something, get back on your feet, heal from the injury, and keep running with passion towards your goal.
As a point of interest: If you’re an author who has experienced a marketing injury, such as low book sales or little audience growth, the problem could be due to your plan or the lack thereof. Good plans tend to yield good results. That’s why I created the “Book Marketing Plan Template for Authors” with separate versions for fiction and non-fiction authors. My templates are designed to help you:
- Distinguish specific groups of readers most likely to buy your book.
- Understand your competition and the advantages your book offers.
- Prove that you’re a financial asset to a publisher, rather than a risk.
- Clarify hooks that capture attention of the media and reviewers.
- Create an effective plan that keeps you focused on success.
The price is only $19.99 and there is a no-risk, 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t love it, you can ask for a refund and still keep the product anyway.
Ankle image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net