What do parenting and marketing and business development have in common?
What in the world could I be talking about and how could I even suggest that one is at all like the other? Or perhaps the readers who catch on quick are already formulating in their minds, similarities as well as differences. (You are encouraged to share and comment!)
While talking early this morning to Jon Knight, Graphic Designer/Website developer of Sound Design Solutions, I got inspired. I’m not quite yet harassing Jon to blog about our conversations, but every time we talk I hear him tell me a story about his tweenager that gets me suggesting he write about that moment somehow, as it could be a metaphor for branding and marketing and developing business.
So having a tween of my own to use as an example, I’m offering my first thoughts.
In Parenting a Tween or a Teen wisely and well, I must watch for changing trends and newfound favorites, assess and be supportive while determining is this a long-term thing or a passing fancy? I am remembering “the age of pink and princesses” which has been replaced by a preference to wear her long gym shorts and Nikes to middle school since she has PE first and it saves her time. Funny thing is, she will forever look good in pink but for now pink is not on the list!
In Marketing and Business Development, trends are at first rather demanding of our attentions “when all the rage” and require focused energy to identify, cultivate, or influence. Some of us prefer good old fashioned values for marketing and business development, grounded in building strong and honest relationships that stay loyal and yield quality referrals. We don’t mind engaging as human to human and being available to talk and listen and take what is being shared into consideration. Others, love technology and doing everything they can to save time and make more money as fast as possible. I love email and newsletters and even texting as much as the next person BUT how I really stay connected to my “clients” (and my tween) is through a real-time dialogue, over a walk and talk session or sharing a cup of coffee, a meal or an experience together.
Good Manners at every age must be maintained, even under pressure. In the long run “parenting plans” that are grounded in a strong foundation with clear core values understood, may be more work up front but require less maintenance when best practices are in place from the start. It’s a pleasure to hear that my daughter is welcome anytime at the home of friends for how she conducts herself and does her part without being asked.
Good Marketing and Business Development work best and over time as part of a well-planned strategy that includes doing what is right and ours to do ~ even when it is inconvenient. So we take the time to write up a business plan and a marketing plan that is filled with great activities that could yield new business, referrals, and directly impact sales. And then we get busy because our marketing is working. We may stop our drip-irrigation method of marketing (that is working!) to attend to the clients we have and love. It takes remaining committed to excellence, good process and consistency to semi-automate keeping the pipeline full with high quality prospects. Why? So that wherever we are, we are ready for an opportunity to appear and we are welcomed in quickly and welcomed back with enthusiasm.
Speaking as a parent, one of my primary goals is to cultivate the best foundation I can with and for my daughter so that she is able to manage her self well and wisely and flourish. As a self-employed person, If my business grows to be even half as successful as the young lady my daughter is becoming, I’ll be grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
Here is to Raising a Business as though we were Growing a Child!
How do you see the similarities and/or the differences? Curious me wants to know! Let that opinion “Be Expressed!”
Deborah Drake – Authentic Writing Provokes