Marketing is essential and the truth is, some of the things you try will work and some won’t. When you have a string of actions that don’t work it can lead to “marketing burnout”. One of the definitions of burnout is fatigue or frustration from devotion to a cause that failed to produce the expected reward. Signs of “marketing burnout” are similar to other types of burnout.
You might feel exhausted and start experiencing some work avoidance behaviors. You might feel disconnected from your passion and even wonder if you are on the right path. It can affect your mood, appetite and even relationships. It’s really uncomfortable to find yourself in this state.
As entrepreneurs, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be successful. This can create a sense of urgency. A constant stream of thoughts that come from a place of urgency, gotta get this done today, what if it doesn’t work, I don't have enough time or resources dumps stress hormones into your body. These hormones, cortisol in particular, wreck havoc on your mind and body. And science tells us we have on average 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day, just imagine if a large percentage of those thoughts are triggering stress – holy buckets!
Before you get too alarmed, know that burnout is a normal response to ongoing stress and frustration and there are steps you can take to get back on solid ground and even prevent burnout in the future.
Strategy #1 – Relax
Meditation, mindfulness practices and massages are incredibly helpful but the real key is to learn to relax WHILE you are performing activities.
The stress response comes from an internal alarm that there is a threat of some sort. The alarm sets off a series of reactions that prepare the body to either fight or flee. All of this worked great when we were dealing with lions and tigers and bears but not so much when its in response to deadlines and expectations and internal pressure. A key player in the communication of stress is the vagus nerve. It runs from the roof of your mouth to the back of your head and branches into the thoracic cavity and down the spine to your pelvic region. The cool thing about this nerve is that it has two way communication.
Two ways to relax in the moment:
1. Use a timer set to frequent intervals. When the timer goes off, take a couple of minutes to relax your pelvic area (hips, sitting bones). When you relax/release/soften the core muscles in this area it sends the message up the vagus nerve that there is no threat and the brain can turn off the cortisol.
2. If you are looking at something or someone – even giving a talk on stage, take a moment to widen your peripheral vision and soften your focus. This too can stimulate a relaxation shift.
Strategy # 2 – Aerobic Exercise
You know this one I’m sure. You have heard it over and over that it’s important to get exercise. Exercise helps manage stress, it increases serotonin and gives you a way to work off the stress of a failed marketing campaign. No matter how busy you are – take time for aerobic activity at least 3 times a week.
Strategy #3 Self Compassion & Perspective
Getting mindful of the internal stories, beliefs and expectations that feed the stress machine is critical. I think one of the big internal stories related to marketing burnout is: because my marketing failed – I am a failure. On the heels of that one is: nothing I do will will work, my work isn’t good enough, I should just give it all up. Can you feel the pain and stress and anxiety in these stories?
The first step is to notice the stories. The second is to bring some compassion to them and begin to tease out the fusion between you and your marketing strategies. I know that you are not your marketing and it might take you awhile for you to embrace it too. Get some help from your coach around this if needed.
When it comes to marketing – well actually anything in life – it’s important to get clear about what you can control and what you can’t. Look at your marketing from that perspective and get some input on your expectations. I remember the first time someone I admired really spelled out the numbers in concrete terms (percent of an audience that will sign up for comp session, how many of those will show up and how many will convert) it was a huge aha. I had very unrealistic expectations – it gave me perspective. Get some perspective for yourself.
Strategy #4 Rest and Renewal
To begin to reconnect to your passion, your vision and your value it’s important to take a break and tend to your heart and your spirit. Your body desperately needs a break from the constant cortisol dump. Get plenty of rest, give yourself office hours and stick to them, take a vacation, get out in nature, nurture other interests and do things that 'fill the well'.
Remember – it's temporary!
When you recognize that you are experiencing marketing burnout – be gentle with yourself and create a plan to get back to the heart and soul of who you are. Remember – you are not your marketing. It’s a temporary state. When you are re-grounded, simply try something new and notice what worked and what didn’t. Marketing is after all a grand experiment.
Your momentum is driven by your “Will”, the energetic force that gets you into action. It helps you actually get your ideas created and implemented in your business. The six stages of “willing” described in The Act of Will by Roberto Assagioli offer a helpful framework, especially if you are stalling out on your project. Knowing what stage you are in can provide insight on how to get back into action.
Purpose, Motivation and Intention
As you think about business strategies and products you might create, it’s important to have them aligned with your purpose and to make sense in your business model. You also want to feel excited about it. Creating from purpose arouses motivation. So your first question in response to a product or business idea is “why am I wanting to create this?”
Once you have an idea, exciting as it is, take some time to reflect on it from both a strategic perspective and from an intuitive one. I often invite clients to imagine the idea completed and explore what that looks like. Where does it take them, what doors open up etc. Products often have a life of their own so the important question to ask yourself: “Is that where I want to go?”
Choice and Decision
Once you have deliberated and are clear that yes, this idea has energy and it will take you and your business where you want to go, you make the decision to pursue it. The decision is not about “trying”, it is about a commitment to do it.
Declaring your choice and your decision in the form of an “I Will” statement activates it. It is about embracing certainty, faith and conviction. It is often helpful at this stage to post your “I Will” statement where you can see it. Making it visual also empowers the statement so consider creating a collage or draw a picture of your finished product.
Planning and working out a program
This is about breaking your project down into steps and setting milestones for yourself. This process outlines how the action will unfold, deadlines to meet and resources needed.
Direction of the execution
You have your decision, commitment and plan. This stage of “will” acts as command central and directs the action. It harnesses your energy, talents, imagination, intellect and heart to move forward.
If you feel stalled with your project – take a moment to reflect on each of these stages to identify where the problem is. Are you motivated by purpose or calling? Is it the right project for you? Have you fully committed? Do you have a workable plan? Once you know whats going on you can correct it.
We had a great experience at the ICF Midwest Conference and returned feeling energized and connected! This coaching conference was PACKED with learning and inspiration plus I got to meet people I had known only "virtually" before – pictured above is Danielle Cornenchuk and myself. I learned about some awesome
resources while engaging with all the other vendors and of course my good friend Garry from choice magazine was there (in the third picture above). It just so happened that Belle Star had a booth next to us and she takes "aura" pictures. She did a couples aura picture for Rick and I – pretty cool! And of course, being in Kansas City we had to try some Kansas City BBQ!
Conferences are such a great place to get inspired and current in your profession and to gather fuel for your passion. If you aren't able to attend a conference like this, consider creating your own "mini conference" experience.
Learning on your own, at home and at your own pace will help keep you sharp and engaged. To make it a "mini conference" experience consider inviting a couple of colleagues to join you. You each pick something cool to learn and then meet for dinner to share – voila – a mini conference experience! If you have attended a conference you know that dining out with colleagues is one of the best parts of the experience.
Here are three suggestions for learning
1. Marlena Field's Embodied Resources
– This is a great program on using the body and mindfulness in coaching.
3. Easily Wired Combo
– this is a great tool to learn best practices and strategies for networking for business growth and to advance within an organization..
What are some of your favorite learning products and programs?
As part of our ongoing 10 Year Anniversary celebration, It’s time to select the Coaching Toys 2013 "Art Of The Heart" Product Award. This is award number 3 and the last one to be awarded in this series.
The“Art Of The Heart ” product award category is all about the ‘heart’ of being human; connecting with spirit, intuition, personal growth and deep acknowledgement. The four product finalists are all standouts in this category. Take a look and vote for your favorite!
Introducing the four nominees for the "Art Of The Heart" Product Award:
1. Enrichuals Cards
Encouragement, wisdom and inspiration are at the heart of this delightful deck of 64 cards. Each card has
an engaging collage image on one side and powerful writing on the other. The words on each card are rich, wise and packed full of ideas, exercises and perspectives to ponder. One card might encourage you to create a joy jar, another to create a collage of possibility, another might offer a new perspective or invite you to stretch a little. Very few card decks pack so much in. Whether used as a journal prompt, part of a daily ritual, or even in a workshop setting, these cards celebrate the human spirit and invite growth. Another powerful contender for the “Art Of The Heart” Product Award.
2. Manifest Magnificence with Kids
If you are looking for a fun, meaningful way to nurture a child’s self-esteem, Manifest Magnificence for Kids
is a perfect choice. The images on the cards appeal to the child in all of us and the affirmations are perfect for children. “I am” is such a powerful statement. “I am an explorer”, “I am amazing”, “I am growing” and “I am original” are all examples from the deck. The intention behind this deck is important for all of us as our children are our future. Imagine the impact of a colorful affirmation card stuck in your child’s book bag or lunch box every day. A child’s confidence effects all areas of their lives from ability to learn to interactions with others. This product is loaded with passion and heart and stands tall in the “Art Of The Heart” Product Award category.
Manifest Magnificence with Kids
3. Spirit Cards
Simple and sacred are the two words I would use to describe the Spirit Cards. The words are paired with a
simple affirmation. The words in the red box are paired with the affirmation “I Am…” The words in the orange box are paired with “I Will…..”. The look, feel and energy of these cards always puts me in a ritual state. The words fit in the palm of your hand and if you take a moment, you can fe el the prayerful energy infused into them by their author. Take a deep breath, center yourself and draw a card. The word you choose, paired with the affirmation will touch your soul in just the perfect way, as if spirit is tapping you on the shoulder and whispering….you are love….you are freedom…you are powerful, you are….. Spirit Cards definitely exemplify “Art Of The Heart.
4. Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit
Creating a vision for your life is a powerful gift to give yourself and the Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit takes
it to a new level. This very cool kit invites you into a creative, artistic process that engages your heart, captures your vision and elicits energy every time you look at it. Making your vision visual allows you to touch, see and enjoy the energy of it whenever you want. Creating a vision is an act of courage for many. It is declaring out loud and on paper – this is what I want, this is who I am. A perfect contender for the “Art Of The Heart” Product Award.
Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit
Now it's TIME TO VOTE!!!!!
It's up to you to determine who will WIN the Coaching Toys 2013 "Art Of The Heart" Product Award.
Vote HERE: Vote Now
Voting Ends September 10, 2013 at 6pm Central Time.
As part of our 10 year anniversary, Coaching Toys initiated three Product Awards. We awarded the "Out Of The Box" product award in March. Now it's time for you to help us choose the winner of the "Big Life Big Action" Award.
Meet the finalists for the 2013 Coaching Toys "Big Life Big Action" Product Award.
The "Big Life Big Action" product category is all about helping people move forward both personally and professionally. The product finalists are all standouts.
The final winner will be determined by YOUR vote.
Voting ends May 28! If you already know your favorite – go ahead and vote now, or read on to learn more.
"Big Life Big Action" Finalists
Q? Basics. Open-Ended Questions for Coaching Mastery
This training tool has been a best seller since day one. New coaches use it to hone their skills, trainers use it to introduce managers and leaders to the art of open-ended questions and it's a great self-coaching tool. Open-ended questions empower, shift perspectives, increase awareness and ignite action. Definitely a Big Life, Big Action Contender. Learn more here
Easily Wired, With No Unnatural Acts
Featured in the newsletter recently, this product gives you an easy to use blueprint to leverage and expand your sphere of influence. Your network is gold and this product helps you value and maintain your connections in a way that feels authentic. The tips and tools work equally well for job seekers as they do for corporate executives needing to build strategic relationships. Networking opens doors, builds bridges, and provides the type of foundation that allows you to leap into a big life and take big action. Learn more here
Road to Resilience Values Deck
I love the fact that this deck is really two decks in one. On one side you have a values card sort. Flip the deck over and you have lots of wonderful inquiries to help you explore how to bring those values more alive in your life and work. The perfect tool for coaches working in any arena; business, executive, relationship, teams,life, leadership – you name it. Values are core to living on purpose and with integrity. Values motivate, clarify, and define who we are in the world. That kind of clarity and purpose leads to big action. Learn More Here
The Right Brain Business Plan
The world needs more innovators and creatives and thank goodness for this awesome book that helps right-brainers creatively embrace the fundamentals of business. The Right-Brain Business Plan speaks the language of the artist, makes business planning creative and visual and even fun. There are undoubtedly countless creative businesses thriving today because of the ideas in this book. this book is totally committed to big creative dreams and taking action. Learn more here
Four awesome contenders! Which is YOUR Favorite?
Your vote matters and will only take a few seconds.
VOTE HERE: 2013 Big Life Big Action Product Award
Voting ends May 28!
Besides being recognized as the best product in it's category, the winner gets featured in Choice Magazine and wins a coveted spot on the featured product page of the Coaching Toys Store. (And maybe another surprise or two)