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The Unboxed Brain is a monthly ezine bringing you innovation, spirit and creativity.  We feature articles by coaching professionals and others working on the creative frontier.

The Marketing Person You Think You Aren't

by Beth Woodward, CPCC       

After working in the corporate field for 25 years, it was time to nurture my creative inner self and find my passion in starting my own business.  I found a fulfilling profession as a Personal Life Coach.   Helping others find their passion - it just doesn’t get any better than that.   After achieving my certification I found myself asking the question…Now What?  Although it was my choice to develop my own business, I did not have the marketing experience and desire I needed to build that client base. I simply wanted to do what I do best – Coach!  The truth is, I disliked (kind word) marketing, I didn't want to feel like I was selling and I knew I didn't have what it took to achieve this part of my business…or thought I didn’t.  The fact is, if I had a dollar for every time I said, "I'm not a marketing person," I wouldn't have to market my business; I'd be set for life.   

I did the typical routine of sending some letters of introduction to my friends and business acquaintances, giving away sample coaching sessions and making a few calls that felt safe. I even put a few ads in the paper. I soon came to the reality that the phone was not going to ring and people were not going to approach me while I was sitting comfortably at my desk. Then a turning point came while I was standing in my office one afternoon. I realized I just wasn't a person that could be an independent business owner - what was I thinking that I could do this. I decided I should quit and go back to an office job. At that moment I heard a voice; it was very clear. "If you quit before you've given it 100% you will be very disappointed in yourself for the rest of your life."

What can you do when you're ready to quit?

I thought I'd give it one more try. How was I going to do this? I asked myself two basic questions. What did I need and What did I want? The answers I received were simple. I needed movement and I wanted color. At that point that was all I knew. I decided to trust that these answers would forward my direction in marketing and building my business. About one week later I drove past a juggling academy in Burnsville MN. Color, movement - I signed up. I started with a juggling class, networked with friends and business peers and developed a monthly call with other business owners about "manifesting" what you desire. I started looking at me; what made me tick, what energized me and when was I at my best. This became a time period of self-discovery. I had been so tied up in who I thought I wasn't, I had forgotten who I was; a great team player, a great partner, the queen of brainstorming and resource extraordinaire. I thrived from the energy of others to help build my business. I needed diversity to keep things interesting and took a look at what really interested me. What were my strengths and what made me unique? I also looked at what was giving me energy and what was taking my energy. I decided to cut loose a part of my business that was draining rather than energizing. About 2 weeks later "Marketing On The Playground" was born. I had created the space for what was supposed to come in by releasing what wasn't working.

The journey from then to now, 2000 – 2003, has been one that was inspiring, difficult, exciting, emotional, challenging, exhilarating, passionate and filled with aha’s.  I feel as blessed as a person can be.   We are given what we are meant to have and we get to choose what to do or how to be with it.  I was meant to have a struggling emotional first year, create a wonderful program for others through that learning and create my current vision to take it to the top. 

Take a risk... make mistakes... ask for help!

Does it sound like I’ve done this alone? … Hardly!   When I didn’t know the answer I learned to ask for help.  Funny thing, it didn’t hurt a bit.  If I didn’t know where to go I learned to just take one simple step forward, no matter how scary or uncertain. It would always take me to the next question or open the next door.   A very wise person told me that when you take the first step, the second will appear.  The most common “stuck” place I have seen my clients and other new business owners is the need to know all the answers before taking a step.  Needless to say, you will remain stuck and deprive yourself and your business of the richness it needs.  The best material I have written and programs I have created happened when I took a chance, made a few mistakes and asked for help.  One more awareness - we are meant to help one another and work in teams.   It’s more fun giving and helping others build their business – in return you receive so much more including help to build your business.  Bring the right people around you for support, creativity, goals, vision and motivation. 

Through creating my big vision and honoring my strengths, passions and interests, my business has blossomed into: 1) writing the booklet, Marketing On The Playground, 2) publishing the Marketing On The Playground book (to be complete by the end of 2003), 3) delivering Playshops and Teleplay shops to business owners across the country, 4) working with individual business owners who want to find their own marketing style and take their business to the next level and 4) creating Retreats for Entrepreneurs that need time to get away and develop their ideas.  By the way, we ALL need time to get away and develop our ideas.  You and your business not only deserve it, you must have it to give yourself that development and quiet time. 

Make your marketing an extension of yourself

Here's the bottom line. Discover what works for you. It should be an extension of your own strengths, passions and uniqueness. You have chosen to be in your own business; that took guts, passion and a desire for making a better life for yourself. Tell me again why you don't think you have what it takes to market your business? If you have passions, interests, the strength, and I do mean strength to step into this world and set your own course, you have what it takes to market your business. Now, it's just a matter of finding what works for you.   I challenge you to identify your comfort zone, stand in it and doors will open.

What was my secret for overcoming obstacles - "True" belief. Belief so strong that you are willing to stand up and overcome anything and everything that challenges your vision.

 A Few Marketing Tips

  • Give yourself "permission" to follow and create your own style as an extension of yourself.
  • Network and Market Through Your Strengths, Your Passions, Your Uniqueness and Your Comfort.
  • Trust Yourself - You are the only one who has Your own unique talent to market Your business.
  • Look at what's working and what's not - If it's not working do you need to cut it loose?
  • Seek out the right team(s) of people to help you succeed. 
  • Believe in Yourself, and "Be" Yourself.

© 2003, Beth Woodward, all rights reserved

 

 

 

Beth Woodward is a business coach, speaker, writer, author and facilitator. She is the Chief Kid and Founder/

Creator of Marketing On The Playground - playshops for business owners - a fun marketing program to help you identify your marketing style through your strengths and passions. You can contact Beth at marketingontheplayground.com

 

 

 


 

 

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