I used to run ultra-marathons for fun. Trail marathons, 50Ks, 50 milers. I know this may sound sick and twisted to many people. But, there was nothing like spending five to seven hours in the woods, climbing mountains, making new friends, getting fed bacon and gluten free waffles at aid stations by kind volunteers.
I remember in one race there were two runners.
One runner sported a crisp microfiber t-shirt all tucked in, his race bib perfectly pinned to his shorts, and his matching water bottles filled to the dotted line with electrolytes. He wore a GPS watch that beeped loudly like a ticking bomb every few seconds to ensure he kept the appropriate pace.
Then, there was the guy wearing the 1980's Madonna crop top with his beer belly protruding over elastic running shorts and tube socks. He had a gaggle of friends wearing rainbow tutu’s in support. And I'm pretty sure he carbo-loaded with beers and pizza the night before the race.
At the end of the race, those two runners crossed the finish line at the exact same time. One runner celebrated with his buddies while cracking open a beer while the other runner hunched down on the curb lamenting his poor performance. You can probably guess which is which.
Each runner finished at the exact same time, though their experience was remarkably different. The distinction isn’t from luck, confidence, skill, or even experience.
It’s about perspective.
Most likely, the bummed out, tucked-in runner with the GPS watch was making the outcome of the race mean something about himself. Maybe he thought, if I get this time, then I did well. If I don't, I suck.
But, I guarantee the guy in the Madonna shirt did not give much meaning to the results. Most likely, he was just thinking less. Thinking less about himself, about what the race means about him, about what will happen in the future as a result of the race.
The same thing happens everywhere in life – in our relationships, in our health, in our business, and in our marketing.
So, how are you holding your marketing efforts?
Chances are if you’re burned out, exhausted, or avoiding marketing, you may be holding those activities heavily in your mind. You may be innocently making certain activities mean something about you or your business that isn’t necessarily true. All that extra meaning is making it feel heavy, overwhelming or burdensome.
So what is the difference that makes the difference in how you experience your business? It's not confidence, luck, experience, or skill. I happen to think it's all in how you hold it. For whatever reason, when we hold things lightly, they tend to go better.
Try new things. Be brave. Be bold. Experiment. And, definitely don't take yourself too seriously. If you need further inspiration, you can always wear a Madonna crop top while you work.
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