There's a famous quote attributed to several people such as Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein (nobody really knows the source) that goes something like this:
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
If this definition is indeed accurate, the sanity of most of us is in question! There's another story that makes the same point that I like even better:
A man was searching for something under a street light. Someone came up to him and asked him what he was looking for. "I'm looking for my keys," the man replied. The other man started searching as well, with no results.
"When did you last have your keys?" the second man asked. The first man replied, "Inside my house." "Then why on earth are you searching out here?" the second man exclaimed. "Because, the light is much better out here, of course!"
Let's alter this story a little and turn it into a marketing story. I've actually heard this story many times, only the details were a little different each time.
A marketing coach asks the client, "Where are you networking these days?" The client responds, "I'm doing a lot of networking with financial service businesses such as accountants, financial planners and the like."
The coach then asked, "How has it been going, has it resulted in any new business for you?" Again, the client responded, "No actually, I don't provide services for financial people. So I haven't gotten any new business."
Perplexed, the coach asked, "Then why on earth are you continuing to network in those circles?" The client replied, "Well, I started going and they were such nice people I couldn't stop!"
Stuck in the Comfort Zone
Although it seems strange, I've observed that people would much rather do something inside their comfort zone, even if it doesn't work, than to do something outside of their comfort zone, even though it would be much more effective.
Our comfort zones shape our actions. Comfort zones are a set of beliefs and practices that are, well, comfortable. There is no possibility of a breakthrough inside your comfort zone.
When it comes to marketing yourself, are you stuck in a comfort zone? Here are seven I've observed:
Denial - When someone suggests you try a certain marketing activity, you usually argue with the idea and defend what you're already doing, despite its ineffectiveness.
Procrastination - You decide you need to do a certain marketing activity, but it either takes ages to get moving or it doesn't happen at all. Something always gets in the way.
Sabotage - You start on the path to do a certain marketing activity but somehow manage to throw a wrench in the works. Of course, you never take responsibility for things going wrong; it was just "circumstances beyond your control."
Lack of Focus - You get a great idea for your marketing and you jump up and run off in all directions. You have a big list of projects on many burners but never seem to complete any.
Confusion - You just don't know where to start. After all, there are so many things to do, how could you possibly choose one? Sure, you could get some help, but how to pick the right person?
Over Preparedness - You are committed to get going with your marketing, but first you need another degree, another seminar or course. And once you've got these, you still don't feel prepared.
No Time - No matter how busy you are or how slow business is, you just can't find the time to fit in marketing. When you are busy with clients, marketing is out of the question, when you're not busy, you conveniently find something else to fill the time.
Any of these sound familiar?
This is life inside the comfort zone. Same old actions, hoping for different results. Next week I'll talk about life outside the comfort zone, the zone of never-eding breakthroughs and extraordinary results.
The More Clients Bottom Line: Admit it, if you're trying to do your marketing inside your particular comfort zone, you will never produce the results you are capable of. Your first step outside the comfort zone is admitting you're there and realizing the huge cost to your life and your business if you stay there.
What's your particular marketing comfort zone? Please share on the More Clients Blog.