Slow & Steady Is the Key To Success, Personally & Professionally

This is Part 1 in a series on branding and marketing from the perspective of a creative entrepreneur with 30 years of experience.

As of right now, I will have been out of the hospital for 8 full months. The first month was all about getting adjusted to living in my own house again after several months of living in basically a hospital bed. Needless to say, it was discombobulating in the extreme. But we humans are resilient and over the past four weeks I have started to get into a routine of rest, therapy, writing, and general goofing off that appear to be working.

I am much stronger now and have progressed quite a bit, although I am mostly just taking everybody’s word for that. It’s hard to really feel your development when you are thinking about it all the time. I am able to spend a lot more time in my chair. And my shoulders and neck ache a lot less sore when I am writing for an extended period, which is good because I want to get back into doing some paying work.

But mostly, I am finally starting to come to terms with the idea of keeping my expectations in a realistic perspective, and truly respecting the reality that this is a game of inches, not feet or yards, and definitely not miles, although I have already traveled a few of those.

The Personal Parallel

The hard part of making yourself well isn’t in the physical work you have to do to get your body to cooperate. It’s about your determination to do that, establish processes that work for you and then stick to them.

Most of the people who backslide or progress very slowly are ones who are not willing to be determined. Who says to themselves that the way they are is the way they will always be?

Believe it or not, I met quite a few of those people in the hospital people who would faithfully attend their rehab sessions and then go back to their rooms and veg out, never doing anything to help themselves in between these sessions. There are probably a lot of reasons for this. The meds they are on can sap their energy. I know this is true because for at least two weeks after my surgery I did nothing except lay in bed and stare at the ceiling.

Fear Is The Mind Killer

But mostly it’s about fear. Many people living with the fear that they can’t make it back. This can cripple someone even more than their affliction ever could.

Fear really is the mind-killer. I kept chanting that to myself every day, with every new thing I challenged myself or my therapists challenged me to do. It was the scariest shit you can ever imagine. But bit by bit, if you don’t let the fear consume you, you move forward.

I have no idea how long it will take me to get total control of my body again. But I do know that my dedication and mental toughness are very strong and that is half the battle. Or maybe even more.

The Business Parallel

Quite literally, as I was writing this, it occurred to me that the parallels here are striking. But the main thing they have in common is the fear factor.

In the case of business, a lot of this is wrapped up in fear of rejection. I have seen many instances of this play out, especially in the smaller and micro-business area where I have done a lot of branding and marketing work in business. This fear tends to develop when people’s expectations overpower the reality of the situation they are in. They start to become anxious, and this anxiety eventually starts to erode their confidence and they become fearful, mostly of rejection.

Another reason this fear develops is simply that people fundamentally believe that whatever it is they have should some something that everybody in their audience needs. And it can be quite disheartening when they discover that, in reality, that’s not always the case.

In short, there are a lot of people who just don’t respect the good old 80/20 Rule Of Just About Everything, which clearly states that an 80% or greater rejection rate is par for the course, no matter what business you’re in or what you’re selling in any competitive environment

The successful business people I have met and or worked with, acknowledge that and their mantra is…well I guess I just have to knock on a lot more doors. Whereas the rest, sit around in a state of bewilderment wonder why the world doesn’t think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Well, the sad reality is that the world doesn’t know you. The world doesn’t know what you’re trying to sell them. And even if they did, the world isn’t ever 100% sure they need it. The reality is if you want to sell these people, you’re going to have to invest some quality time and provide a lot of quality information to make their job of choosing you a complete no-brainer.

Because your job actually consists of getting yourself in front of these people and, at the same time, making sure that your prospects know everything they need to know about you and your product or service to make an informed decision.

And if you do this right, there really is no limit to where it can take you.

Post Script: Now how you go about convincing people that they need what you have is a whole other matter. And one which I am going to be exploring as this series goes on.


Jim Murray
Jim Murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. I had a  20-year career in senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and effectively retired. I am now actively engaged, through blogging and memes, in showcasing businesses that are part of the green revolution. I am also writing short stories which I will be marketing to film production companies. I live with my wife, Heather, in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life.

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