Connections, Coffee & Confidence

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Let Me Explain the Link Between Christmas, Perception and Your Marketing Work

Season 1, Ep. 70

In this short episode, I ask what we're waiting for - what those of us who should be on the mailing list for Overthinkers Anonymous are actually waiting for and I propose a simple solution to move past the chronic overthinking that slows us down. With a nod to my mom who in her usual ever so slightly sarcastic way of making her point, left this golden gem in my head: Christmas is coming... This translates into: what the heck are you waiting for?


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Transcript:

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of Connections, Coffee and Confidence with me, Janice. I’m coming at you from our new home in Prince Edward Island - if you’ve ever read Anne of Green Gables, you know where I am. My freckles and I are fitting in well. And the new house has a new office which you may have seen if you’ve been on my Facebook or Instagram stories. Windows and everything. If you’re new, you don’t know this is a significant move from my Harry Potter style cubby under the stairs. Happy to be settling into a new home and being able to get into routine. I feel like I have a new lease of life, to be honest. And what’s interesting is that I have had a recurring theme push its way through to me, one that has come from some kind of surprising people. And if it’s coming from them, maybe you are experiencing it too. So let’s talk about it.


INTRO


So what are you waiting for?


Seriously.


Life is passing us by and here we are, waiting for something. My mother would always tell me that Christmas was coming when I was busy thinking something to death and then thinking about it some more. I believe she was implying I was taking too long to make a decision and take action.


Are you waiting for Christmas?


There are perfectly rational and reasonable times when waiting and thinking things through is  appropriate. When there are safety concerns, the potential for significant emotional impact on someone else, or large sums of money involved, yes, have a good think. 


When it comes to making a pitch to the media, launching a new product or service, paying for an ad on your favorite social media platform or being yourself, that’s different.


This often boils down to fear and fear can come from a variety of places. Usually it can be dealt with by educating yourself on the reality because your perception is clouding your view. 


I was recently messaging with someone I really respect, someone I admire in so many ways not least because of her accomplishments. And I was really nervous about asking her to come on the podcast because I was worried about the time she and I had talked and I had goofed the time difference. And it turns out she had completely forgotten the incident. We had a good laugh and she made a comment about Overthinkers Anonymous. And I’m sure if I googled that I’d find that someone has already taken that as a title for a book or a membership or something. Or maybe they’re too busy overthinking it.


But there was a similar mini conversation in my Facebook group where myself and another woman were having a discussion about over analyzing things. Talking ourselves in and talking ourselves right back out of really great ideas and actions. 


Does any of this ring true for you?


Do you circle around and around your ideas, looking at them from every angle before deciding to not quite jump but dip your toe in? Do you think about them for so long that when you do decide to take action, you find someone else has started while you had your head down?


When we wait, we miss out. We miss out on opportunities to meet new people, to try new things, to see new places. We miss out on money. And what really gets me is that we miss out on knowing: knowing if we can. Knowing that we can. Because it’s the confidence we get when we’ve tried it and seen just what we’re capable of, that’s usually missing from those of us considering joining Overthinkers Anonymous. 


And even if we aren’t successful, that’s fine. The world doesn’t end and we come back from that with a better idea of how to do it next time or if, in fact, we should never do that again.


When we don’t over analyse and simply create a thoughtful plan, leaving to chance the stuff we can easily handle and mapping out the big things, we get the opportunity to test and revise, to rethink and do it again. 


We need to do to improve - both the work and ourselves.


An interesting thought is one I heard on another podcast, the David McWilliams podcast which I’ll link to in the show notes. I can’t remember if it was him or his guest who had said it but one of them said that marketing was just a human experiment.


Did you hear that?


It’s just an experiment!


You know how in science class you learned or maybe had the opportunity to do actual experiments? Where in scientific theory, it’s actually based off of not knowing and trying to find out? Where if the experiment doesn’t prove the theory, neither you nor the theory are wrong, the theory just wasn’t proved right. You don’t come into it at all, it’s not you who is right or wrong - it’s the theory that’s being tested.


And when I heard that sentence, marketing is a human experiment, it just felt like so much of the weight had been lifted.


Do you feel it?


It’s an experiment! And we all experiment at those things we’re good at, those things we’re confident about and comfortable with. Maybe you’re like me and very confident in the kitchen; I bet you experiment in there all the time. You know how it goes and if it doesn’t go exactly right the first time, once you’ve taste tested the results you know that you need to dial back the garlic or punch up the balsamic or the lemon was good but next time you’re trying lime because you have a suspicion that’s what’ll knock your taste buds right off your tongue.


Or maybe you know how to experiment with clothing. Or technology. Or compose music or put on make up or one thousand other things. You experiment and if it doesn’t go exactly right, that’s ok. You can fix it.


And what if it was exactly the same with your marketing and PR? 


You just tweaked your message and your visuals when the first attempt didn’t land as you wanted.


You just tried it on a different platform or pitched a different journalist?


What if you just tried it? With a plan, like you’re not just diving in headfirst with a blindfold on - you know the basics of what you’re doing and you do it to the best of your ability, but you do it. You try it.


Have you ever noticed how much energy you can put into overthinking? Some people are nervous fidgeters, they expend a lot of energy. I’m more of a sit still while my mind races for hours and hours kind of analyzer. After I had the boys I learned to channel those sessions into sitting in front of the laundry that needs to be folded but still, there is an energy that you’re putting into thinking things into oblivion that you could be using elsewhere.

What if you took even half of that thinking or nervous energy and put it into actually doing what you’re thinking about? Imagine what you could accomplish?


Imagine what you could learn about yourself, about the idea, about your potential audience, about your market, about the practicalities if you took that brain space and put it towards good?


It’s funny because I say I can talk myself out of anything. And I was rolling that idea that marketing is just a human experiment around in my head - ok, I was rolling it around for a while but hey - new province, new house, new school for the kids - there is a lot rolling around inside my head recently! But it made me wonder what would happen if I took my amazing superpower to talk myself out of anything and just flipped it. Just like that. Instead of talking myself out of things, I just talked myself into them. What would that look like?


Think it would be like those books and things you read or hear about where people decide to say yes to everything for six months or a year. But not as extreme. Because I know that when I start overanalyzing my ideas, I’m doing it out of fear. And that fear is based on a perception that I’m not good enough or smart enough or that people won’t like me (please please send me an email or tag me on Instagram if you get that reversed reference, doggone it!)


And I bet you’re the same.


What if we chose to look at it as though it’s just an experiment. We’re just testing something. It has nothing to do with us, it’s a theory we’re testing. No reflection of our worth, it’s a human experiment. What if all of those things you were worrying about were just like my worry of that woman thinking I was a doofus who can’t tell time or understand time zones? What if those fears are just our own perceptions? Not reality.


Would you find it easier to get things started, to get them going, if you were just testing an idea? Because Christmas is coming, no matter what religion or belief set you might have, there is a well known date on most calendars and I bet you have something you’ve been rolling around in your head for the last while.


I guess the big question is - what are you waiting for?



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