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Growing Your Business with Marketing, Week 17: Failing to plan (and other lessons from the road)

Posted by Colleen Wainwright on

This is Week 17 of a 52-week project/experiment in DIY marketing. Armed with nothing but a copy of the 2009 Grow Your Business Marketing Plan + Calendar and my bare wits, I'm applying the skills you need to grow a business in real time, day by day, and reporting on them week by week. I'll provide a topline of my experience here every Monday; see my companion blog, A Virgo's Guide to Marketing, for the full story, additional links and other marketing-related goodness.

Careful readers will note that this weekly update, which typically posts of a Monday, is posting instead on a Wednesday.

This is due to circumstances which were completely within my control, but which I failed to accept as such. I assumed that there would be time and energy to write this post when we arrived at our destination motel on Sunday night, after a full day of driving. I assumed that there would be high-speed Internet (we only stay at the cheapest motels, which seem to be much better about delivering the goods than the ritzy, business-traveler ones). I assumed that if, for some reason, there was not, I'd be able to use my boyfriend's high-speed travel modem as a backup.

You all remember that Odd Couple episode where Felix shows the group what happens when you A-S-S-U-M-E: you make an ass out of "u" and…

This week—week 17, just over a third of the way in—was FAIL week. Failing to write, failing to post, failing to plan. While we're at it, other than the most basic of marketing duties—following up with prospects, posting to my regular blog, maintaining a minimal presence on Twitter and Facebook—this week was also a big FAIL. I'll be honest: in my panic to get as many things as I could out the door before I left for a five-day road trip (at least it was to some kind of networking event), I did not even crack open the calendar.

Ilise and I gave a webinar on cold calling this Tuesday—one of the many things I was racing to finish prep on before heading for the desert and its spotty, spotty 3G reception—and something struck me during the course of the call: it is so easy to throw in the towel when things don't go well. Just as Deidre was grappling with things a couple of weeks ago, this week, during many stretches on the drive home, I listened to MP3s of Joe Frank radio shows and let my thoughts drift to fantasies of a Stupid Day Job that would leave me with time and energy to just write. Or be a Buddhist nun. (There's a lot of Jack Kornfield in those episodes.)

But I was reinvigorated by today's call, and today's results. Despite not feeling well or energetic, as I'm very much under the weather, I managed to have a useful and productive day. Not the best-planned of days, but that's good, too: it's helping me to see the value of planning.

I hope you're chugging along with your calendar. I intend to get back on the horse tomorrow, and make sure I'm well-rested for my monthly Biznik meetup in the evening. And I intend to make some of those calls and chip away at a page or two on the website I've been meaning to update.

And then, I intend to use this next weekend's trip for rest and reflection—a pre-mid-year look at where I'm at, where I've gone off the rails, and what I want the rest of the year to look like…realistically.

How are you doing? And if you're going strong, I'd love to hear what you're doing (besides reading these updates!) to keep yourself in the game and motivated.

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