How many times have you had this conversation with your kids:You: “Here try this” Your kid: “No, I hate that” “Have you ever tried it?” “No” “Well then how do you know you hate it, if you’ve never tried it?” “I just know”
We all have them: preconceived ideas about people, places, and things. Maybe we decide we don’t like someone before they ever utter a single word, or immediately dismiss a new idea based on who-knows-what, or refuse to try snail larva (is there even such a thing as snail larva???) because it just sounds disgusting. We all do it; it’s primal and instinctive in us – part of our survival instinct. We used to (and maybe still do) depend on being able to make these unconscious snap judgments to sense and ward off danger.
But now, in the 21st century how often do these preconceived ideas hold us back from trying something that could be fun, tasty, or profitable? (Who knows maybe snail larva tastes like chocolate, with a fraction of the calories!)
I started questioning this at a trade show in San Francisco recently. As the Marketing Consultant for the event I walked around talking to exhibitors and taking pictures to post on Social Media. I approached one vendor and asked if I could take their picture for a Facebook or Website post and their response was, “NO”. Taken aback, I replied, “Really??? Why not?”
“No, I’m not comfortable with that.”
WHAT? I was dumbfounded. You aren’t comfortable with what exactly? Promoting your business? Getting more exposure? Potentially reaching thousands of new customers? WTH? (Ok, in all fairness, maybe they were former mob informants and part of the witness protection program. Or maybe they felt they were having a bad hair day.. Who knows?)
This surprising response got me thinking: we all do it. Everyone judges things before trying them. Then I started wondering: what things am I judging without trying that could be holding me back in business? Or what fears or insecurities or doubts do I have about things that are preventing me from being the success I could be? Then I realized, I can probably name 10 off the top of my head – how about you?
So maybe it’s time we get honest with ourselves about these things. Inventory them. Examine them. And get real. I’m not saying this small business should be on Facebook and I’m not saying that every pre-judgment, concern, or fear is unwarranted. What I am saying is that as business owners we need to be aware of these things to make sure they aren’t holding us back form true success in business.
So I encourage you to write down the things about marketing that you judge, condemn, or dislike and then examine your real reasons for not trying them. What scares you the most may be what you need the most!