This is Week 20 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. See my companion blog, A Virgo's Guide to Marketing, for additional links and other marketing-related goodness.
My health continues to improve, albeit slowly, and while I wasn't able to make the bigger networking event I'd planned for this past week, I managed to get out twice for productive (and sanity-making) meetups with colleagues.
One of the nice things about sharing openly with people is that you start seeing how we all have our struggles and blind spots. And, of course, one of the other things that's great about sharing is that you can end up with some great help seeing where your own blind spots are, and getting some good advice on how to get out of them. (This presupposes that you're hanging out with bright, with-it people, but hey—if you're reading this, of course you are!)
Additionally, there have been two great discoveries I've made as I've about my business at a reduced capacity.
The first is realizing that I can do less without stopping completely. My task list before was probably ambitious, possibly unrealistic and definitely unsustainable, although it was fun getting all that stuff done.
The second is that I've found if I ask for help, I generally get it, and cheerfully at that. People are incredibly understanding and supportive, which they probably were all along—I was just too busy feeling like I had to do it all myself to notice.
So this week, while I didn't get out all that much, just by asking for stuff I managed to create some new opportunities and deepen some beginning connections. When I saw that my friend, Pamela Slim, had posted her summer travel itinerary for promoting her new book, Escape from Cubicle Nation (a wonderful book which I've reviewed on my own blog), and that her schedule had her doing an all-day workshop in July, I floated out the possibility of me joining her to do a sidebar on branding or social media marketing and, good sport that Pam is, she jumped at it. So I immediately started putting out feelers with some of my other Chicago connections about doing some presentations while I'm in town; nothing locked down so far, but the wheels are in motion and I'm fired up about turning it into a little project.
I've also set up a little ongoing accountability tete-a-tete with an L.A. writer friend who is also itching to write a book, planted a seed with a friend who is starting to do women-centric marketing workshop about collaborating and firmed up plans for a fun blog co-promotion with—I kid you not—an archivist from Wisconsin.
Am I itching to do more? Yes…and no. Truthfully, right now I'm still in a delicate enough state that while I'm looking forward to doing more when I feel better, I've grown more sanguine about my current level of activity. I appreciate what my inability to do everything has taught me about the advisability of trying to.
Still, I will feel better when I'm again able to shoulder both the regular load of marketing and the bigger, ongoing projects contained in the calendar. They really have helped move my business forward in the past; right now, I'm just dreaming—and plotting—about how they'll do so in the future.