Aaaaaaand the Race is ON!
Okay, so I got my sleep and I’ve got some irons back in the fire. It’s fantastic to have a lovely long weekend to get rolling on some important projects. That being said, there are some other considerations in all of this. You can’t run your race without a map and compass. Let’s see what it really takes to stay on track.
As much as I’m excited to get on with my business, I’m excited to be having Thanksgiving Dinner with the scouts of Troop 624 Orwigsburg. My older son achieved the Eagle rank not too long ago and it won’t be long before my younger son soars up to meet him. He’s very excited and engaged in Scouting life. He’s an eager student of the Merit Badge counselors and has earned 21 so far. The Troop is very active, so he’ll have ample opportunity to earn even more before he reaches his eighteenth birthday. The Thanksgiving Dinner is an opportunity for the scouts to get some cold weather camping in, do a service project (cooking dinner) and have some good clean fun with their families. I’m so grateful we found this troop.
As the holidays approach, I’ve got a number of non-work projects to attend to. I’m making some handmade gifts for my kids for Christmas. I love my children dearly even if I don’t show it in ways they can always appreciate. I’m only human and a fairly flawed and damaged one at that. That being said, my children are my pride and joy and I give thanks to the Almighty for each and every one of them.
It goes without saying (even though I try to say it as often as possible) that as much as I love and adore my children, I am head over heels in lifelong love and eternal devotion to my beloved wife of 25 years. I cannot imagine my life without her. I have a really good imagination. I am a writer, after all. But I cannot imagine that. It would be a much too terrible life to comprehend. My wife is my best friend Forever and Always.
My family is my map and compass. They are the reason I’m doing what I’m doing. I want to take care of them and give them the best life I possibly can. Sure, you can do that with a day job or even a night job, but there are trade-offs. The time away is precious time lost. The time asleep is precious time lost.
Time is ticking away that I could and should be spending with my loved ones. An information marketing business affords one more time on site to be with your family. Whether it’s a significant other, a whole gaggle of kids or a house full of four-legged kids, being with them is better than not being with them.
Some More Rules
Rule #16: A deal is a deal (is a deal)…until a better one comes along
This sounds kind of fickle, but in reality it’s a reminder not to get locked into a fixed way of doing things. One of the big advertising hooks for many new products is: “Here’s how to do _____”. Next week, next month, next year, you’ll see a plethora of “Here’s how to do _____” products. It’s an important reminder that on the internet, nothing remains static. Google is a tidal wave of goodwill and free traffic one minute and a gang of business-killing updates the next. People still speak of the great Panda Slap that ended many a complacent business online. Find out what’s working today and do that, but keep your ear to the ground because nothing lasts forever. Today’s killer strategy fizzles out tomorrow, so when a better one comes along it’s time to deal.
Rule #17: A contract is a contract is a contract… but only between Ferengi
In terms of the Ferengi and the Star Trek setting, this is a perfect example of the concept of “in-group preference”. It’s actually fairly natural to want to deal with those who are similar to you. It’s also understandable that people who have a common culture and history will have some unspoken understandings that need to be spelled out to those not in the group. For that matter, the fact that you have to spell things out for people without the common culture and understanding can often lead to unintended difficulties. This is another reason that people often cluster together in groups of common background.
That being said, one of the fantastic things about the internet is that you can discover that someone from a totally different country and culture can be as much like you as your own sibling. The internet is a phenomenal level playing field. It’s the ultimate equalizer. When you’ve got something to say that resonates with people, it can touch hearts and minds in corners of the world you didn’t even know existed. When you find your peeps, regardless of their locale, you’ll find that you’re all part of a virtual tribe. Don’t be a snob and don’t assume that just because someone is from someplace you think is exotic and unlike “your world” that they might not wind up being as close to you as your best friend from elementary school. They might even be closer than that despite being on the far side of this miraculously shrinking planet.
Rule #18: A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all
We’re not Ferengi. We’re people and what matters to us is LOVE. A person without love is no person at all. My goodness, how true that is.
A person bereft of love will wither and die. A person who will not show and share love is an odious monster who cuts himself off from the wellspring of humanity. Don’t be that guy.
Rule #19: Satisfaction is not guaranteed
For all the money-back guarantees in the universe, it’s very true that satisfaction is NOT guaranteed. You may provide absolutely killer content. You may hand-hold even the dimmest of customers through the most Byzantine labyrinths of technical humdingery. You may basically do EVERYTHING for somebody for rock-bottom prices.
Satisfaction is NOT guaranteed.
People are people. Some of them just love trying to pull a fast one. Some are naturally miserable.
You can’t help that. You can only help how you react to it.
There’s a concept of “firing your customers”. When you find a horribly negative customer, you can try to reach them. You can try to bypass the crusty demeanor in search of the heart of gold. You can do your level best, but sometimes it may be necessary to just cut them loose and let somebody else deal with them. They may simply hate you and a dozen marketers besides you. That’s their problem, not yours. Do your best and flush the toilet when you have to.
Rule #20: He who dives under the table today lives to profit tomorrow
The Ferengi are known for being somewhat cowardly, but this actually makes perfect sense. You can’t work if you’re dead. Don’t put yourself or your business in peril needlessly. There are some stands that need to be taken in life. Principal is important. It can cost you some customers, but if those customers don’t resonate with you it’s quite likely that they aren’t your ideal customers. Let them go to somebody with whom they do resonate. Don’t kill yourself. Don’t kill your business. Be careful and take care of yourself and your business.
As we approach Thanksgiving Day, remember to take into consideration why you’re doing what you’re doing. Who do you love enough to put your mind through the wringer of running an information marketing business? I do it for my wife and kids, certainly, but I’m also doing it for you. I hope you find my musings helpful. If you do, leave a comment and let me know!