· Mindset,Perspective,Courage

Here goes nothing could be the start of everything

Many years ago, when I was still in school, there were countless times when the teacher or professor would ask a question, and I would instinctively know the answer but never raise my hand.

On some occasions, no one knew the answer, and the teacher would have no choice but to blurt it out—and I would confirm I had the right answer, but no one except myself knew because I chose to be silent.

Fast forward to being in the workforce in my twenties and thirties. The same situation, but now it's in meetings where the teacher is replaced by the boss or manager. A question is asked, a solution to a problem prodded, but the answer my gut would provide remained muffled.

That split-second light bulb moment is almost as quickly expelled by doubt and fear, making me second-guess my instincts and inevitably shut up.

For each of these moments, I regretted not speaking up. There was no point in saying, "I knew that was the answer," after the moment had passed. I'd just look like an ass.

But things have changed in my forties. In this season, I feel more relaxed, caring less about what may or may not transpire knowing that everything will work out in the end, and more confident in acting on my instincts. Through my share of ups and downs, I've come to terms with accepting that life is exactly that—just a series of high and low seasons, both offering a lesson, a piece of advice, for the next round.

I know (and accept) that my gut cannot and will not be right 100% of the time. And if it isn't, it's not a matter of life and death. I was simply wrong, won't do that again, period. But the times they end up being right have the potential of being absolute game changers. When I take a leap, a risk, without anything tangible backing it up and it works out, I feel aligned with the Universe. Something I couldn't explain gave me an invisible nudge, and I act on it with unfounded trust that somehow it was the right thing to do.

This applies hugely in marketing. You have to be comfortable playing near, at, or beyond the fringes. You can't rely on a script at all times and do what everyone else does. Doing so does the complete opposite of the goal, and you end up drowning in an endless sea of sameness.

The point is to stand out. Get noticed. Have people know you exist. And if you're wearing the same clothes everyone else is wearing, you're sure to be missed.

Take a risk every now and then. Show them your personality, even if you're offering something as boring as life insurance or anti-termite services. Show them there's a human being behind that email address, someone behind that Instagram handle laughs at the same things they do.

You don't always have to sell, sell, sell. A good formula is to help, help, help, educate, make them laugh, sell, show some behind-the-scenes moments, and rinse and repeat. If you keep doing that long and consistently enough, at some point, you won't even have to ask the question—they'll all already be raising their hands.