Marketing and motherhood. While you might wonder what those two things could possible have in common, there’s quite a bit, actually. Both are usually a hot mess in the beginning. But then you figure it out and realize it’s something you have to do well or you could cause some pretty bad damage.
Trust me, I don’t consider myself an expert at either one, although I’ve been involved in marketing for 18 years and started motherhood about a year ago. But I’ve seen some similarities that make me go hmmmmmm.
Let’s start with the opening — or birth — of your new business. You’ll receive unsolicited advice about on how to market your business and raise your baby. What do you do with all the advice? What most people don’t realize is that every business is different just like every baby is different. Not only do the people around you not realize it, maybe you don’t realize it yet, either.
You might operate one of five cupcake shops in your town, but you’re the only you and your passion is yours. My son, Carter, might be one of 100 babies in my immediate circle, but he’s the only Carter. I’ve always known each business is unique and must be approached from a fresh perspective. I don’t know why that was so hard for me to realize with my baby. But it was, and it cost me precious time. I spent weeks trying to make sure he was “normal” according to all the solicited and unsolicited advice I received, and missed out on hours of just holding my baby and enjoying him. If you’re a new business owner, don’t waste time and money trying to follow advice or miss out on the one thing that might work — just be who you are.
The other way that marketing and motherhood are similar is the only constant is change. That might contradict what you’ve always heard about marketing, which is consistency. While that’s still true, be flexible and fluid. The only constant with marketing is change: the way it reaches people, the medium that works for your business and the response. Still, the message should remain consistent.
The same goes for babies and sleep. Just when you think you have something figured out and breath a sigh of relief, nope, they’ll throw you for a loop and you’ll struggle to figure out what changed to make it better or worse. You master a nap schedule and then they start teething or get a cold. It’s always something. I’m sure a lot of business owners feel that way about social media. They finally get the hang of Facebook and how to use it for business and then something changes. You’re left scratching your head to figure out the next stage. It’s exhausting and you want to give up, but know you can’t. Remember the damage it could cause?
You have to just clear your head, listen and take action. Get off the Internet, put down the book and just listen to your baby. With your business, take some time, consider the changes and think about your customers.
With marketing or motherhood, I hope you have at least one person you can rely on to just listen and offer advice when asked. I had one for my baby and I am happy to serve in that role for others who have questions about marketing. It feels good to have that person and be that person.
Marketing and motherhood are both fun. I mean really fun. I’ve never experienced joy like I have with this tiny squishy creature — or the stress. Marketing brings people joy and elation when it works and stress when it doesn’t.
Marketing and motherhood both offer huge rewards and constitute a long journey you can’t just quit. I think I’ll stick with both.