Aiming for elegance, one thought at a time

Smile first, then market – every day

Posted: August 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


I’ve spent the better part of a month building my launch list now, and have got just four people signed up.

All is not going to plan.

Now, there’s a certain temptation do get disheartened. I’m resisting that. It’s better to stay focussed on the effort, rather then worrying about hitting or missing the goal. (And, it’s better to aim high and miss then to aim low and get there. That said, my ‘low’ – unpublished – aim was around 50 signups, and on current trends I’ll miss that too.)

Staying focussed on the effort

I rock climb. I’ve been climbing for about 7 years now, with a couple of breaks. For the longest time, progress was slow; my attention was caught up in what I wanted to do, and not what I was doing. The breakthrough came this year when I read The Rock Warrior’s Way by Arno Ilger. Arno writes that our attention needs to be focussed on what we’re doing, and that we need to derive our satisfaction from the effort we put in, and not the result.

Deriving satisfaction from results is dangerous, because we’re never fully responsible for the result. A good result isn’t entirely due to our efforts, and neither is a bad result. If the economy collapses, then you can’t shoulder the entire responsibility for your bootstrap taking of slowly. On the other hand, if the economy is booming, then success isn’t entirely yours either.

Instead, derive satisfaction from the effort, because that really is wholly yours. Having done that for a few months, I’m climbing stronger than ever.

Enjoying the effort

I also read Born to Run a year or so ago. Great book. One section that I remember particularly talks about how the very best long distance runners – we’re talking 150 miles or so – just love running. They smile, and laugh, and run. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t clock up 150 miles, will you?

Bootstrapping is the mother of all ultra-marathons.

Oversimplified? Perhaps. Even if we are born to run, no one’s going to be grinning when the first get off the couch and plod around the block. Likewise, working out how to market isn’t going to be a joyful experience right off the bat. On the other hand, smiling makes you happy, so maybe I’ve got the causality all wrong here….

Smile first, then market – every day

When it comes to marketing, I’m that guy just getting up off the couch for the first plod around the block. And so far, it would be fair to say that I’ve been more worried about whether I’ve got the right sneakers or not. So, sure, it feels weird and I’m not really sure what I’m doing exactly, but I figure that if I smile first, then market – every day – I might just get to love it.

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