The following is a post by Paul Hannam of Bright Green Leadership (a 3p sponsor) – offering internet marketing strategies for responsible businesses. The tips and observations in this series are aimed at green entrepreneurs looking to understand how internet technology can benefit them more.
A few years ago I co-wrote a book called Take Charge of Your Mind, about techniques to manage your moment to moment awareness. I believe that this is the key skill that separates excellent marketers from average ones, in the world of internet marketing in particular. Early in my career, I thought that successful marketing and sales was largely a science and all I needed to do was acquire more knowledge, skills and experience. So I read extensively, took lots of training courses and learned more and more strategies and tactics. The problem was that I did not practice or implement much of what I had learned. I mistook knowledge for action, and moved from one new idea to another.
My problem was one of emotional intelligence, rather than a lack of business or technical skills. In particular, I suffered from a lack of awareness about my learning and work style. I was caught in a repetitive pattern of learning more and more new concepts but never spending enough time on applying these concepts. My academic instincts and thirst for knowledge kept me addicted to exciting new innovations and the latest fad. I never gave initiatives enough time as I was too keen to move on to the “next big thing.”
At one level I was progressing, and at another level I was stuck in a loop. I then noticed that most of the really successful marketers did a few things really well and practiced and tested everything patiently and thoroughly. They were not in a rush to try the latest tactic or read five new books a month. They put their energy into getting things done, and implementing the strategies not talking about them. They did invest in their learning and kept up to date, yet their focus was always on execution.
Then I considered that there were deeper lessons that I had learned along the way, and personal skills I had acquired without being aware I was learning them. In my current work in internet marketing, I now accept how invaluable they are. And I also accept that most of the mistakes I have made have been personal, not business ones. These mistakes include the following
Lack of Commitment – starting a green marketing campaign without a commitment to doing what it takes to succeed, and giving up when the going gets tough
Poor Planning – Failure to plan my time effectively, so I do not have a schedule of the most important jobs I must complete. All success online derives from acquiring and following a step by step blueprint.
Insufficient Focus – not sticking to the plan, and taking on more projects than I could manage properly. Information and project overload is a huge problem as most internet marketers are addicted to new ideas and opportunities.
Poor Follow Through – Inability to follow through and complete critical tasks. My natural instinct is always to move on to something new rather than complete what I have started. In particular, I tend not to measure and evaluate our results properly.
Distraction – wasting time on non-essential activities, like chatting to friends online or surfing the forums. I need to do what is important, not what is easy.
I firmly believe that the key to successful green marketing is overcoming these challenges and developing self-awareness, self-discipline, self-motivation and other vital strategies that will boost your professional and your personal growth. When you begin to manage your moment to moment awareness, you embark on a personal journey that will reveal your strengths and your weaknesses – and give you the chance to transform your life in many exciting ways.
What has worked best for me has been a two-pronged strategy. Firstly, I have modified many of my behaviors to be more effective. Secondly, I have accepted that there are certain things I am never going to change and I now “play to my strengths and hire to my weaknesses” I only work with people who are good at finishing tasks and have mastered the many other jobs I struggle with. There is only so much that I can change and that is fine by me!
Paul Hannam is president of Bright Green Leadership that provides internet marketing services to responsible organizations. Paul is also Chairman and co-founder of Bright Green Talent and taught environmental business at Oxford University. You can get Paul’s free Green Marketing online evaluation or contact him at Paul@brightgreenleadership.com
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