You and I are holding hands and standing on the edge of the universe, watching the stars whoosh by. One of them is made of sponge cake and is spitting tiny crumbs out behind itself as it flies by. A sponge cake meteor.
I turn to you and say I have had a realisation again, and it’s pretty embarassing.
“What is it?” you reply.
So, I think we often create the resources we need for ourselves. Sometimes for our past selves – the thing we wish had existed two years ago – but often we’re creating them for us, as we are right now. Trumpets play the Macarena, off somewhere in the distance.
“And you’re embarassed about that?”
No, I’ve come to accept that. But it becomes a bit odd when I’m relaunching a resource I created nearly a year ago and the process makes me go through the lessons again.
“Dude, you’re the one who talks about spirals all the time.” You move sideways quickly as the floor has become snakes.
Trufax, no denying it. But there’s always this one little voice…
I pull you into a jellybean car and we drive through the stars to a ceramic prison with Delftware bars. Behind the bars a woeful Catherine moans the blues. She says, “How can you teach that when you just did that wrong? You don’t know what you’re talking about, a woah woah woah…”
The me that is holding your hand grins ruefully. She’s wrong, of course. I’m teaching these lessons from a few spirals up. But it’s still embarrassing to realise sometimes that I have to relearn them every damn time.
I present you with a bouquet of bees (non-stingy) and we drive on.
The car breaks down inside a surgical suite and we sit on the anaesthetist’s chair.
You play cat’s cradle and ask, “So, are you going to share this lesson?”
Yes. Absolutely yes. I drag in a chalkboard and begin to write in yellow chalk. So this is my model for marketing:
1. Understand what your Radiant Work is.
2. Identify the people who would treasure that work: your Brilliant Clients.
3. Offer them your Radiant Work.
“Okay, sounds fair enough. Is that the lesson?”
Nope, the lesson is the bit that it’s easiest to forget. I turn over the board and written there is:
4. Make sure that this process is enjoyable enough that you will keep doing it consistently.
“Enjoyable? Why does it have to be enjoyable?”
Suddenly I’m wearing a mortarboard and gown and I enunciate:
Consistency is more important than efficiency.
Consistency is more important than optimal.
Consistency is more important then everything.
There’s a limit to how much we can shove ourselves into doing work we don’t wanna do. The more we eliminate the gottas and focus on the yee-haws, the less shoving we have to do. Thus, more consistency. Science!
“And what happens if you forget rule 4?” you say as you pat a small golden dog.
Well, for me I know what happens is that I start going through the motions. Write the article. Email some people. Have to tweet something. Blegh. I wrestle with a small anthropomorphic pretzel.
“But don’t you like Twitter and writing and all that?”
Not intrinsically. I like doing them in specific ways – like writing articles that came to me at 1am while I was half-asleep, full of totally random imagery.
“So why don’t you do it like that all the time?” You’re wearing a flamingo. It suits you.
It’s easy to forget Rule 4. Sometimes I get too involved in how my heroes and mentors do things. Sometimes I set out to improve a system and accidentally squeeze out the joy. Sometimes I really really want something to happen and all my attention goes there. And every time that happens, I have to relearn the lesson that Rule 4 is not just a nice idea. It’s mandatory for excellent marketing.
“And it’s ironic that you’re relearning that right now.”
Yep, it sure is. Because the reason I got derailed this time is because I deeply want to fill both cohorts for The Pilot Light this month with amazing revolutionary business-builders.
“And why is that ironic?” You say, as the flamingo sues for divorce.
Because The Pilot Light is a framework on how to create a marketing plan that rocks all four rules.
Oh indeed. It’s a wee bit embarrassing. I water the potted plant with Proust’s coffee mug.
“I didn’t notice!”
You’re very lovely. But my last few articles have been a bit flat and lacklustre. And the rest of my marketing has been likewise efficient, but missing its heart. I’m about magnificence, transformation and play, and that needs to permeate every single atom of my marketing work.
I fold a perfect origami crane from maple leaves.
Usually I have no problem with this, but I’m going through the spiral again and I’m at the point where my plan needs to be refocused, refined and revitalised. So, it is both lucky and embarrassing that this is the time when I’m relaunching The Pilot Light.
“Do you think it’s a coincidence?”
No. I’m now wearing a steel-covered sari. I think it’s shitty and irritating and necessary.
“So, uh… why is this story so crowded with random stuff?”
Creative logjam has broken. It tends to make a mess.
You eat a bouncy donut. “And you don’t want to clean it up before the others get here?”
Nope. Remember, I’m about magnificence, transformation and play. This glorious mess belongs. And my Brilliant Clients will get that.
“And sign up for The Pilot Light?”
I would like that very, very much. But I’ve enjoyed writing this article, and that’s a reward of its own.
Rule 4, baybee.