Attaining success can feel like a mad rush. Not only is it difficult to clearly define success for yourself, it is even more difficult to find validation for achieving that success. There used to be articles that listed the Top 50 Professionals Under 50. Then came the computer age and it was all about the Top 40 Under 40. Now with the digital age, they publish the Top 20 Under 20. UNDER 20, REALLY?! One of the most amazing chefs to compete on a TV series was only 9 years old. NINE – a chef – on TV! So, now, everyone over 30 feels like it’s way too late. There is so much going on that is competing for people’s attention that it can feel defeating to even try. Most of us have regular jobs that are clearly defined and easily understood. “I own a retail store,” or “I work at a digital agency,” are statements that don’t need a lot of explanation. Seriously, when a 19-year-old named in the Top 20 Under 20 designs a high-tech glove that could prevent surgical mishaps by giving surgeons a sense of touch, why even bother getting out of bed? How can you ever feel uniquely successful?
Well, instead of being concerned with being named among the 40 successful people under 40, be more concerned with being the only 1 under 100 to accomplish what you will. Success today is a quickly-evolving term. What you accomplish in life will be unlike anyone else. What will you have accomplished before you’re 100? It’s kind of like the old college exercise of writing your obituary, but instead, write what your resume will be at 100. Odds are, you won’t be concerned with having the line, “Published 4 Tweets a day and ran 1 Facebook campaign per month.” You will be more concerned that you, “Engaged in social media and grew a large fan-base that considered me a thought-leader in my field.” It is nearly impossible to keep up with all of the business marketing services available today. Figuring out how to achieve success or grow a business can seem so overwhelming that you may even give up before you start. So, here’s a piece of advice. Don’t bother trying to figure it all out. Especially in the online marketing space, simply find a couple of resources that you enjoy using yourself, like LinkedIn, Facebook, blogging, etc. and be disciplined about adding more and more content to them.
Marketing in general is a journey and definitely not a destination. You are never done, there is always something new, and if you zig-zag too much in your journey, you never actually travel very far forward. Don’t get too anxious when another and yet another fabulous new online marketing platform for only $10/month comes along. Stay the course. Take on a new discipline when the others are humming along and only if you have spare time. No one can use them all, but consistently using the ones you choose will still progress your company’s image online. You inevitably will achieve a road-map of success before you’re 100 years old that will be unmatched. Maybe someone under 20 can build a Success Road-Map App that comes with a route you can follow, like Google Maps. Just plug in the desired success, select “from current location,” and press “directions.” ….if only I were under 20! 😉
Thank you for your time,
In the world of online marketing, there is a saying, “fail fast.” Essentially it means you are to measure every part of a marketing effort, learn what is working and what is not, and optimize the effort to what converts for the goal. The faster you learn, the faster you stop the bleeding and increase the success. It is a great philosophy as it immediately reminds us that we will not launch perfect campaigns every time, and we will be forgiven because failure is expected. However, the pressure side of the saying is the “fast” part. Fortunately, in the digital marketing world, pretty much everything (other than dark social….pesky privacy!) is measurable. So, potentially, we can learn quickly to optimize quickly. The challenge is knowing what separates people who login to analytics tools versus people who know how to utilize them to the specific metrics for the company’s goal. Positive ROI is the obvious name of the game. But many goals, including email capture for buyers early in the process, have a longer sales cycle and lower conversion cost goal, and need to be monitored over a longer period than the campaign is even live and running. Not usually anything ‘fast” about getting the final metrics.
Now that we are wrapping up our first month of business at Leopard Digital, I am realizing that “fail fast” is just as much of a business mission and not just for the campaigns we run. There are many nuances of running a company, even if the company appears to be just a different umbrella covering the same work you’ve done for years. For instance, our original business model that is nothing original in the industry is already starting to make less sense and evolve to something unique. The markets that were the original targets are not as appealing as others we hadn’t considered in the beginning. Even the name has shocked me – would you be surprised to know how many people have trouble spelling Leopard? Lots! As the founder/owner, I have been hard on myself about these unexpected learnings. Though I’m not changing the name – I love it! – it is the only emotional decision I’m allowing myself. But, I have been in this field of online marketing from its beginning. How did I not conceive the needs just a mere few weeks ago that are already so obvious to me now?
This, I realize, is why “fail fast” is a worthy life value, too. Give yourself a break. It is inevitable that we will fail. We will say the wrong thing (or even worse, say nothing) and make bad decisions throughout our entire lives. But, if we use the philosophy to fail fast, we can quickly apologize or start over in the right direction. We can linger in the air of failure, guilt, and self-punishment as long as we’d like, but it is a total choice. Bring on the many quotes including, “It’s better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all,” “I’d rather have a life of “oh wells” than a life of “what ifs,” and my personal favorite, “we’re not so much afraid of our failure as we are of our success.”
So, I encourage you to do most everything that comes to mind. If it enters your mind then it already exists. Speak from your heart and be heard. Argue with kindness until your point is made. Set clear boundaries for even the people you love most. And then, fail very, very fast.
Thank you for your time,