Do Nothing. No, Not event That!

Don’t you hate when people tell you that? Don’t you mostly hate it because you can’t figure out how to “do nothing”? What????? Nothing? Like, not even  read? Or check the time? Well…

To each his own, I say. Everyone’s version of nothing is a different story but I can tell you that for as many years as I’ve been on the quest for this enlightened meditation of “nothing” I could never quite swing it. I knew why it was important, and I’m sure you have the same issues, especially as a small business owner,  the buzz of the continuous To Do List, after the work day is through when we are supposed to be spending quality family time, that list is being mentally reviewed and reviewed again, and upgraded and re negotiated. That elusive thing called time is so precious we think we’re never going to have enough of it to get all that needs to get done…..well, done.

Even in yoga, which I’ve practiced on a regular basis on and off for 30 some odd years, that dang Shavasana, or final meditation, which I’ve been practicing as well for as many years continues to elude me. Ok, lets call a spade a spade: I just suck at it.   Here’s an example: My To Do List for the day is being formulated, then I’m chastising myself because of last nights dinner  where I tried so hard NOT to burn the garlic in was a huge failure…I didn’t even like it, oh, did I send that email to the accountant? Why can’t I remember? I can’t remember anything anymore…I really should have that checked out….ok, stop! you meditating flunky, just enjoy this time for Gods sake…ok, I’m good now, no thoughts…did Rebecca remember her math homework? I think I saw it on the counter as I was leaving, isn’t it funny how when your eyes are closed in the sunlight you can see blue behind your eyeballs? Stop it!, etc., etc., etc….You get the picture. I could never be Elizabeth Gilbert in an ashram in India in Eat, Pray, Love. Forget it. [Read more...]

Online Marketer: Market Thyself !

A member of my BNI group gave me an idea I’ve been ranting about to others for quite some time but obviously not heeding. (Marketer: market thyself), and that is the really important element of listening to what people want, instead of just ‘what you would like to shove down their throats because you think it’s a really good idea.’ A high end painter, Alberto was ready for the big plunge, wanting to re-vamp his website and his online marketing campaign. Having had an existing website that just sort of sat there not doing much of anything for him, Alberto was excited about the idea of creating an optimized website that was built not only to showcase his beautiful work, but to rise to the top of Google and the other search engine ranks, and act as a lead generator for his business as well. We’d met, discussed his vision and his options and all the bells and whistles we could implement to attain his goals, the costs involved, the ROI (return on investment) and I left him to mull it over. [Read more...]

Just Say No

I love Seth Godin. Anyone who is in the marketing world and has 2 eyes and 2 ears knows of Seth’s remarkable best selling marketing prowess and guru like presence. A visionary in the same light as Steve Jobs, Seth has and continues to teach us Seth Wannabee’s how we must roll, and roll wisely, with the changing climate of today’s consumers. He instructs how to serve them better, how to get their attention in this increasingly distractive world, how to gain their respect and trust, and ultimately how to win them over and sell them our products and services like no other maestro can.

I subscribe to his daily blog which I look forward to each morning. This one, which came the other day hit home so fiercely I must share. Go read and I’ll be here when you get back: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/11/no.html

He’s not being mean. I run into this dilemma all the time, especially when trying to grow a new business in these tough times. Recently I was approached by a deli owner struggling to keep his doors open. My mama taught me “yes”. Yes I can, Yes I will, Yes, there’s no job too small for me. And I’m sure your mama taught you the same lessons growing up. She meant well, and for many aspects of my life ‘yes’ has served me well. And I like being a yes person, it really makes me feel like a better person. But here was a clear instance where no was the the more obvious answer, the better answer, the more responsible answer. But….I couldn’t get it out. I hemmed, I hawed, I tried to talk him out of it, and in my lame attempts I succeeded in convincing him even more that he did, in fact ,need my services. How was this happening? I wasn’t trying to play hard to get, here! The fact was, that Deli Man couldn’t afford my services, A, and B, even if he could, my services was not what he needed right now; he needed to make a business decision as to whether he was going to keep his doors open. Online marketing and a website was not going to do it for him, at least not at this juncture. In the end I told him I would think about it, and see if we could work something out, knowing all along that we would not. Ultimately I wussed out and sent him a cowardly email the following day explaining to him why I couldn’t take on the job. Next time I’ll do a better job.

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