Tradition, rituals, protocol…
Traditions get passed down for a reason. They seem to work when it comes to creating a reliable outcome.
Sometimes that outcome is control of another. In a happier sense though, that outcome is a positive connection, such as spiritual wellbeing or safety. Traditions and protocol create social coherence. They are also the link to career success. Rituals are the specific activities that allow the tradition or protocol to be expressed.
If you are lucky enough to have had parents or mentors who knew how to pass on positive traditions and rituals, you are already poised for great success, however you may choose to define or recognize that.
It is very challenging to be what Barbara Sher calls a “first generation winner.” This is not to say that your parents were losers. They may have been winners at a game you have absolutely no interest in playing, in which case they didn’t have the tools you need to play the one that does.
The tools we inherit matter tremendously, because traditions and rituals become an unconscious protocol, which I guess you can call your ‘habitual way of doing things’.
What is your protocol? Before change can happen, we all need to analyze that. Is it to try something for a week or two, stop, then decide there must be another way (also known as the ‘silver bullet’) and so you find something else to take a shot at (or with, in sticking to the metaphor)?
It’s high time to drop the gun-slinger-protocol altogether, don’t you think? The truth is, there is no silver bullet.
There is only sticking with things. Most importantly, it’s sticking with the right things. “How do I know what those are,” you reasonably ask. Well, you don’t. Its trial and error, at least for a while.
BUT!…once you know better, you do better… or at least you should… unless you’re enacting Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity.
Now that I know better, I realize that the key to career success is consistency of action and participation in community. Nobody does it alone and nobody does it from behind their computer (exclusively).
There are active actions and passive actions, which may sound like a contradiction but I maintain, if you do only the actions that take you out of the house or keep you picking up the phone, you can actually get where you want to go... whereas if you don’t, and just tinker with the website (or newsletter) and never call anybody or ask for help, you won’t.
So here’s the hierarchy of outreach actions to follow: In person, on the phone (or via teleconference or webinar) and as a last choice, via text or email. (Although if it’s an old-school, hand-written note, that precedes electronic writing as it really stands out these days.)
And if you have to make a choice, you need to give up most or, or delegate the virtual stuff.
That way you’ll have the time and space to sustain the real money-making activity: the active, interpersonal stuff.
In creating your marketing protocol, you need ritual activities that become habitual. A certain number of phone calls a day for example…WITHOUT FAIL. A certain number of face-to-face activities…WITHOUT FAIL. Start small…1 phone call a day… so that you don’t discourage yourself. Make a commitment not to stop for a certain amount of time, say 90 days. Then look over your shoulder to check the results. Chances are you won’t have to. You’ll have experienced some already.