That moment, when my leadership coach asked me: “Do you have anxiety?”
My reaction? “Yes, isn’t it obvious? Yes, I do.”
She goes: “No, I am serious. The business issue you are describing right now is not the reason for your anxiety; it is the outcome of your anxiety.”
As I am writing this blog post, I am still in shock. I’ve always known that I am an anxious person, but I never thought about it this way. Still in shock, I just realized that anxiety was the cause of many things I wanted to change in my life, and all this time, I was trying to change the things themselves instead.
This might sound obvious to you as you read this. We all have been reading self-help books for long enough, so we should know better that if we want to change our lives, we have to change ourselves, not the circumstances. Right?
Well. There’s a big difference between knowing something and truly understanding something. Working with a business coach has been an eye-opening experience of breaking through all the barriers between what I know and what I think I know. Theory versus practical behaviour, eh!?
Why am I writing about anxiety on a marketing agency’s website?
Running a marketing agency for the last 14 years has allowed me to work with many different small business owners, and I am now noticing a thread—a pattern. As a small business owner, you may or may not have an official diagnosis of anxiety or ADHD (which I will need to diagnose by a doctor, by the way, officially). Still, I am pretty sure you have so many things on your plate on any given day that they may give you full-blown anxiety, robbing you of sleep or affecting your relationships with your loved ones.
In a small team, you are the visionary, the leader, the project manager, the CFO, the CEO, the marketing manager, the sales rep, the HR lead and the doer of the actual client servicing work when needed. You stretch your brain so much daily and have so many thoughts that you may no longer know which thoughts are true and which ones are not. And when we talk about business and marketing (and life in general, actually), you never want to make any decisions from a confused mind -impulsively from the space of anxiety and fear.
- You want your choices to be factual. So when you make your decisions, they are clear.
- You want the outcomes in your business to be purposeful and effective.
- You want consistency and alignment in your daily decisions with the growth plans for your business.
The last two years of COVID have shown us that there are so many things changing in the workplace. You now not only need to think about client acquisition and retention but also about talent acquisition and retention more than ever.
The world is getting more and more complex – you can’t afford to make mistakes when it comes to hiring the wrong team member or working with the wrong client. Your efforts must be purposeful, efficient and effective so that at the end of the day, you still have space in your brain for fun (yes, FUN) after you finish your workday.
All of this applies to every aspect of your business, including marketing.
You already know that marketing is a vital part of business development. Competition may be growing because of oversaturation in your space, potentially lower barriers to entry in your industry or the changes your industry is experiencing due to the pandemic. The way we work and do marketing is different now. Add the global supply chain shortages and inflation to the mix, and you don’t have to have a doctor’s paper confirming that you have anxiety. You wish you didn’t have to deal with this. You want to sell your business; you want to shut the doors and make it all disappear. But the next day, you wake up, and it’s still there with all the same issues. Marketing included.
Listen, I get you. I wanted to close Cucumber Marketing so often that I couldn’t count on my hands. But every time I think about WHY I started this business, it gives me hope, joy and conviction that I love what I do and that I still have something to say, something to do, someone to help to live their gifts and talents through their 9-5. Clients and team included.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. But life is a journey, not a destination. Building a business is a journey, too. It’s not a sprint! It’s a marathon. Cheesy? Maybe. But it’s true and worth a reminder!
So, whatever is giving you anxiety today, as a small business owner, let’s ensure marketing is not one of those things! Let’s bring purpose, and data-driven decisions to the forefront of your marketing, so you can at least take the marketing manager hat off your head and create more fresh ways to grow your business and share your amazing gifts and talents with your cool clients! Get in touch with our marketing agency in downtown Vancouver if you want to chat about this more!