Overcoming Marketing Obstacles

Last issue I asked everyone to make two columns on a piece of paper. In the left column list all the good things (accomplishments) to happen to you the past year and in the right column list all the obstacles you had to face or overcome or are still facing. I will assume that at least some of you have completed this task, if not take a few moments and do it now. Now, as promised, I’ll show you how to get a great head start on this new business year, reduce your stress level and start moving in a positive direction.

Put a check mark beside one bad thing and a check mark beside one good thing. They cancel each other out. Continue this procedure till one column (either one) has no more items. Now look at what you have left. Are they the good things or the bad things? Human nature dictates that it’s a pretty good bet your “negative” column still has some items left. If this is not the case and all you have left is accomplishments. Great! You must of had a wonderful year. Either that or you’re an eternal optimist.

Now write down 3 goals you would like to accomplish within 2003 in the order you would like to accomplish them. Top priority first. Chances are, what is left in your “bad” column is keeping you from obtaining these goals. They may even be related. This is not a magic trick. It is based upon the psychological premise that human beings often put up barriers, either real or imagined, to impede their own progress. Not a fear of failure but more accurately, a fear of success. For example as one of your goals if you wrote “get out of debt” or “make more money” look at your obstacle list and decide which item is the single most influential barrier to attaining this goal. Chances are you’ll find something in there which -directly- restricts your goal progress. Thus the solution is quite simple. Concentrate on eliminating or overcoming that specific barrier. Once it’s out of the way your momentum will increase and your stress level will plummet. The interesting part is that forward movement has begun, not by concentrating on our goal, but by eliminating the barriers holding you back.

Quite often we try too hard to achieve something by blindly pushing toward it, thinking this is the fastest way. This bullheaded approach often impedes your progress, because you end up dragging the weight of all the barriers (obstacles) along with you, and believe me, they don’t get any lighter as you go. You may think your balloon is rising, but in reality the extra (sometimes sub conscience) weight you are carrying keeps you near the ground. It can also prove to be a physically exhausting, and frustrating experience. After a year of trying you may be no further ahead whatsoever, because the weights are even heavier and there may new ones added.

It’s much more beneficial to simply stop and re-prioritize the barriers, not the goals. Analyze them and figure out which ones are the fastest to achieve. Not simply disregarded… I’m talking about cleared up, negotiated, mediated, contracted, subcontracted, delegated, compromised, eliminated, or overcome. There are hundreds of ways. Pick the best one and get started. The faster the barriers come down, the sooner you’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

If you happen to feel overwhelmed by your obstacles, seek professional guidance. There are experts out there with the knowledge and expertise you require to help you. They have helped many people before you, with exactly the same problems. They will have perceptions and insights you may not have considered. Your solution could be one phone call or one meeting away from resolution. Knowledge is power. Get it. Use it. The first time you actually overcome one of these obstacles, you’ll wonder what took you so long. Suddenly the mountain won’t seem as high and other obstacles will not seem as insurmountable.

To recap. Analyze and re-prioritize your immediate obstacles, not your goals. Your goals are probably fine. It’s the obstacles which impede the progress. Find the fastest way to disassemble those obstacles. Move forward. Revitalize. Your goals will suddenly begin moving toward you, instead of the other way around. Meet them in the middle. Success is a journey, not a destination. Have a great year.