Initiative

I’ve been planning to have a blog for at least 8 months now.

8 months of figuring out what I wanted to write. 8 months of reading other blogs, seeing if I could learn some secret code to having one of the best blogs in the world. 8 months of trying to think up the right name. 8 months wondering if I needed one for all my marketing thoughts, another for my spiritual thoughts, another for my sports thoughts, or something else. 8 months making something simple (a blog) difficult. 8 months.

Initiative is a tricky thing. It’s only as good as the effort it warrants. I have lots of ideas, but close to zero follow-through, therefore I really don’t have much initiative. I realize I like the process of planning something, and I like the final result, but I don’t automatically like the space in between all that, so the distance between my ideas and results is close to infinite. (Ironically enough, the few time I have done the work in between, I’ve enjoyed it more than the other two phases combined).

In marketing, especially these days, I think most of us are stuck in that space between. None of us knows exactly what works these days, why it works and how to do it again, and again and again. Marketing is being reinvented right before our eyes. It’s not quite as systematic as it used to be. There are no equations, no formulas, no absolutes. So we often spend 8 weeks or 8 months or 8 years contemplating how to reach perfection when either there isn’t such a thing or it’s not necessary. By then, the equations, formulas and absolutes that we thought existed have either a) changed or b) never appeared in the first place.

But doing something only kinda right, or even wrong, has got to be better than doing nothing perfectly.

So what do you do?

I started a blog today. It has a very simple name – nothing catchy. I am going to write about all kinds of stuff, and it won’t be nice and neat on every post. I have no idea what my next post will be about. I really don’t know what I’m doing, but I know I want to do it. And maybe, just maybe, this imperfect attempt at doing something I’m curious about will do more good than doing nothing but being curious.

P.S. To give credit where credit is due, Seth’s blog is what turned on the light bulb about 8 months ago.

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14 responses to “Initiative

  1. “Initiative” may well soon become”obsession.” Last night before bed, my dear husband performs his usual routine…a visit to the bathroom with book in hand. He firmly shuts the door. A moment or two passes. Then, I hear it…and not what you think (although I hear that all the time). He’s talking. Quietly. To himself. Or I’m hearing voices.

    “Are you talking?” I ask from bed.

    Delay. “Yeah.”

    “To who?”

    “To myself.”

    Awkward pause as I try to recall any time I’ve ever talked to myself while using the facilities. Then it hits me. He’s got his voice recorder. He actually took it to the bathroom with him just in case, during events, a compelling thought hit him. For me, this visual is hysterically sick. But who am I to stop a good thing? Keep up the good work, babe.

  2. Thanks, darling. I’m so glad we can be this transparent.

    Hey, you’ve got to strike while the irons are hot. (too many jokes to go with this one).

  3. I have found that Brett rather enjoys talking while dropping the kids off.. in fact, during one conversation to me via the telephone many years ago, he comments, “Oh man, oh my gosh, wow.” That continued for a couple of minutes before a quick, “I got to go.” Turns out he blew a few gaskets and had some irritable bowel syndrome something – the details are too grusome to share. Stear clear of the bathroom, dear April, stear clear.

  4. Do you really want to start telling stories like this on the web?

    Good times.

  5. I think there is an unwritten rule that if your wife describes a bathroom encounter about you, then any bathroom story about you is acceptable and fair game. Enough of your potty mouth for now.

    Waboosh.

  6. So you’re bad-mouthing my wife now?

  7. Pingback: Happy 10,000 Views to Me « Brett’s Blog

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  9. This is good. Its pretty similar to why I started blogging the other day. Nice work! (From one Bret to another Brett)

  10. Dear Brett,

    I found your blog from Brass Rings. Neil was my personal coach the last 3 months. Even though I am pretty low-tech I have enjoyed reading “Citizen Marketers” and have changed the way we do business on our micro-site. The changes have been very fruitful in a short-period of time. I am intrigued by your blog. I know marketing needs to be responsive which is really hard for a biochemist — concrete thinker I am to wrap their head around. I look forward to reading your blog and learning more about the “art” of marketing.

    Joanette

  11. Joanette – glad you found it. If you liked Citizen Marketers, you’ve got to read Ideavirus by Seth Godin. Good stuff.

    And marketing is much more science than it is art. So you’re in good shape. Measure what you’re doing, test your hypothesis, make adjustments and then start again.

  12. The “formula” with marketing is basically: know your audience(s) and evolve with them.

    That’s why I think it isn’t so easy.

    For those marketers who can’t grow with their target is what separates good from great.

  13. I agree that knowledge and evolution are part of the formula, but I don’t think it’s the full formula. I would say you have to grow at a faster pace, if possible, while also growing in your ability to respond. All the knowledge and growth in the world mean nothing unless you can act on it, and that’s what really separates the men from the boys.

  14. Pingback: 400 Days of Brett’s Blog « Brett’s Blog

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