Since my business launched I have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people and businesses that are in the market place. It is easy for time to fly by whilst checking out what is available and what they have to offer. It is also very easy to be taken off our own path because ‘everyone else’ appears to be doing something different, which is apparently much more successful than what we are doing.
There are various approaches which range from blatant manipulation and emotional blackmail to ethical and friendly. It really doesn’t matter what the approach is – each to their own. The important thing is that we don’t let the multitude of options and varying opinions take us away from our own path – the one that is ultimately right for us.
We need to look at what is appropriate for our own life/business. Just because something has worked for someone else, it doesn’t mean that it is applicable to us. We also have to remember that some of these seemingly amazing offers are about as real and true to life as a Photoshopped model.
Just because something isn’t working for us instantly, doesn’t mean that given time and consistency it won’t work eventually. I think it’s important to keep our eyes and ears open to keep ahead of what’s happening in the marketplace, but that it is a good idea not to chop and change strategies in the hope of a quicker return.
I don’t know about you, but I always listen to my intuition and how my body reacts to material that is presented to me. For instance, the approaches for business that leave me cold and heading in the opposite direction are the ones that use emotional blackmail such as the ‘Do you hate me?’ emails which often question why you didn’t take their course/buy their book, and aim to make you feel guilty for neglecting the person who sent it, who’ obviously’ has your best interests at heart. I have received a few of these emails from a variety of marketers so I assume they must work for some people, but they leave me heading for the hills.
The other approach which immediately crosses people off my potential ‘buy from’ list, is the one where the immediate assumption is that I am broken, I need to be fixed and they are the answer to my prayers. I’m not for a minute suggesting that I know everything, because I obviously don’t, but the assumption that they know me without even having a conversation, and that I need help, I find to be insulting to say the least. We never know why someone contacts our business – yes, it maybe for themselves, but it might also be because they are thinking of someone else and searching on their behalf – or we might actually be in the position of helper, not ‘helpee’! It can be business suicide to assume we are in the position of power or superiority.
I do feel that a number of these questionable practices stem from fear and a desperation to sell their products or services by whatever means possible. I think that the multitude of apparent success stories that invade the internet also have a lot to answer for. You only have to look at the before and after pictures relating to some magic diet pill or method. Some person or other has apparently lost 1.5 stone in 2 weeks with images attached – however, in the before photo they look at least 3 stone heavier than the after photo, and there is no guarantee that it is actually the same person. By the time someone has tried out this method, and then found that even if they lost the weight, they regained it all back quickly, they could have stuck with a sensible eating plan and actually have been in better shape. The story of the hare and the tortoise comes to mind!
Another thing that I believe is important is not to get too fixated on the numbers. They can be helpful in some circumstances as long as we don’t start obsessing about why someone ‘unliked’ us on Facebook, or ‘unfollowed’ us on Twitter. They could have made a conscious decision to disconnect because they didn’t resonate with what we posted, or we didn’t follow back, but it could just as well have been because they closed their accounts. We are never going to please everyone, so if we are in a business where we are going to be ‘seen’ – then we have to prepare ourselves for that eventuality. We don’t resonate with everyone, so we shouldn’t be disturbed when everyone doesn’t resonate with us.
We live in such an instant society that many people expect quick results, and anything worthwhile rarely happens like that. I follow a few people whose advice and guidance I find extremely valuable, but none of these people profess to have made it overnight. They have gradually built up their businesses (usually more than one) over the course of a number of years – what I am listening to now is the accumulated knowledge of many years of experience. How valuable would their advice have been to me if they had literally made it into the big time in a month or two? What would they have learnt in that short space of time? What is also apparent is that, though they also had people that they listened to and sought advice from, they ultimately forged their own path. They didn’t try to duplicate anyone else.
This planet is alive with unique human beings – why would any of us wish to be just like someone else? We have our own talents and opinions, based on our individual lives and experiences. We will be much more fulfilled and authentic individuals if we follow our own paths and, by doing that, we will have more to offer the people that come after us in terms of learning and experience, which might assist them in coming to their own unique decisions.