Tuesday 2¢ – What’s Stopping You?

This week’s thought for Tuesday, I confess, I carry an anxiety of not doing enough, but I think the problem is not time but focus for us and our teams.

The premise of this title might come across as a bit of hustle porn, you know, stop watching Netflix, work harder and longer, that sort of thing, but I’ve started to believe that the number of hours worked isn’t a metric of effectiveness.

Saying “I’ve started to believe” might have you giggling as it’s such an obvious statement, but I don’t think I am the only one with a nagging anxiety about doing more, having never taken my full holiday entitlement in years, and all of those things.

To continue stating the bleedin’ obvious, it doesn’t matter who you are or what talent you have. We all have a limited number of hours in the day, and working longer than the next “carbon unit,” as an old boss of mine was fond of calling colleagues, is not a differentiator and only leads to burnout.

I have learned that aside from time, more importantly we all have a limited amount of focus and energy. You may have hours left in your day to sit at your desk and be present on all the channels. Still, without energy and focus, you are a LinkedIn doom-scrolling zombie that might as well be somewhere else doing something fun or, and I have not tried this, some advice from a podcast I listened to yesterday – taking a nap.

There is all sorts of great advice around this topic about how we should balance energy-sapping activities with those we enjoy to keep our energy and focus batteries topped up. It’s mostly about how we plan our day better. I would love to add some fantastic experience and insight into doing this, but I am frankly rubbish at it – although I am keen to do better.

But something I have learned, especially working with smaller companies and startups, is that as a marketer, you should take a look at how much marketing you are actually doing. Bearing in mind that we only have a limited amount of energy and focus during the day, how much of that is going into your professional craft?

This might reveal that you are not really a marketer any more, but a professional people manager, project manager or something else. Especially in large organisations, we are running on a hamster wheel within a machine of hamster wheels.

We lose sight of doing the marketing in favour of doing the politicking, the expectation managing, the meetings, the attribution, the justification, the dashboards, the constant technology tinkering, and the random executive requests (etc.. etc..).

Some of these might be needed as it comes with the job; I’ve heard the CMO role is more politician than a marketer, and you might be skilled at these things. But, if that’s the case; who is doing the marketing? And do those activities support that?

And if you want to do more marketing, less of all that stuff, what other activities are stopping you from getting your hands back into the marketing dirt?

If you read this regularly (firstly, thank you) then you’ve read me bang on about marketing’s job being to create ART (Awareness Revenue and Trust), and you may even have heard or read me bastardise a quote from Jan Carlzon, who was the longtime CEO of the Scandinavian airline, SAS, he said:

If you’re not serving the customer, your job is to be serving someone who is.

I suggest that:

If you’re not creating ART, your job is to be serving someone who is

That’s my 2¢ for this week, take a look at your day and your team’s activities. How much of your and their limited energy and focus is actually being spent on raising awareness, building trust and supporting revenue generation?

What’s stopping you from marketing?

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