It is easy to focus on what remains outstanding and not see
what you have accomplished or how you have grown over the
past year. Even marketing experts have difficulty nailing
down time to market. I too fritter away time at trivial
tasks like organizing paper clips, shuffling paper from one
stack to another, updating my computer and watering plants.
On worse days, I prefer doing laundry and making my kitchen
Is that you? Procrastination does directly affect how much
revenue you make and the bank account doesn't lie.
Throughout the years, I've found ways to kindle excitement
for tackling my marketing and funneling the procrastination
bug. Let me share seven steps to help kick start your
marketing for the new year.
1. Acknowledge with Truth
You can't change what you don't acknowledge and you can't
acknowledge what isn't the truth. Find the truth by
determining whether you're dragging your feet or simply need
an incubating period. As an avid writer and marketing
consultant, I receive many ideas. At first, I lied to
myself thinking I will remember them. For years, I recorded
them in idea journals. Attached to that, I always felt
guilty because I didn't do much after documenting them.
Later, I began allowing myself free write whatever thoughts
were connected to those ideas as well. The guilt still
came. When I gave myself permission to allow myself to fail
all heck broke loose and I allowed myself to go in any
direction it took me. Sometimes I began in the East and
finished in the West. I gave myself permission to not have
all the answers.
Unexpectedly, I started to create 101 and top 10 lists on
various ideas. Sometimes, the idea emerged and I only got
to five, sometimes 30. When the flow slowed, I taped the
list to the wall. Every morning I reviewed the wall and
added more. Throughout the day, answers came from tons of
different sources and the lists kept building.
The lists circulated. The guilt for not following through
disappeared, the process became easier, creativity and
Do you need all the answers before you start? Do you need
an incubation period or wall system? Try new things and
explore your way to success.
2. Identify What You Loathe
What do you hate to do in the marketing process? Make cold
calls? Follow up? Write web site content? Create flyers?
I didn't like cold calling and editing. And creating new
web content and planning ranked very low on my list.
Identify what you procrastinate. Pinpoint the why. I put
off cold calling because I felt I lacked the “right"
language. When I asked myself “why, " I remembered a
marketing seminar and how I bought into presenter’s beliefs
about cold calling.
My fear seemed powerful. To dance around it, I began
writing mini-parts of a phone script, created a list of
questions I wanted to know about them, and then a list of
points I wanted to leave them with about me. I made a list
of possible call to actions - what action I wanted from the
call. One action was to get them to my web site and
subscribe to an ecourse or ebook. When I finished, I had a
strategy that made sense. It was easy to initiate the calls
afterwards. If they weren't interested, they didn't visit
my web site and I didn't feel rejected. I refined the
script and calls after the first ten calls to reflect my
What whys do you have for each reason on your list? What
solution possibilities are there? Ask others to brainstorm
with you if you are stuck. Are there some solutions that
are only a one-time action? If yes, consider outsourcing.
Find one “mini" step to start and leave the next step
unknown until you are ready. Keep mini-stepping until you
3. Find Something Good
Maybe your incubation period deepened your knowledge or
passion on the subject. Look for the good in the why. It
could be that while you procrastinated your vision became
clearer. Be honest with yourself otherwise you aren't
acknowledging it (#1).
I found my marketing planning similar to my disability to
sort clean socks - no patience. Then I looked for planning
methods that don't require much patience - I began Mind
Mapping. I fell in love with the topic and later became a
As I traveled through all this, I learned to let go of any
feelings of “not knowing it all before I started". It was a
fantastic freeing experience. I no longer felt I needed to
follow through on every idea and just the ones that “had
more" to them. Then I saw that they all meshed eventually
and my trust in the universe and me seemed to flow. I
meshed my gift for ideas with my writing and marketing
consulting and I had a winning strategy that continues to
Just like in construction, first need to “de"struction
before you can “con"struction. Creativity is messy. Roll
up your sleeves and laugh along the way.
Give yourself credit for your gifts, ask the why for the all
the others, take one mini-step and watch a new self-
4. Visualize Your Successful Self
Envision your marketing project or goal done. Really see
it, feel it, and connect to the emotions. Don't look for
the dots to connect. They will come. Trust the universe
and in yourself. Pull from a personal experience where it
did work that way. Give it the visionary power it needs to
promulgate. Start small or start big, just start. If it’s
cleaning off your desk, see it clear, feel it clear, feel
the emotion of working on it cleared.
If it’s writing, see the acceptance notices. If it’s
marketing, envision the “we want to hire you" responses. In
fact, write script them out and create a stronger pull with
5. Determine What You Need to Move Forward
Who wouldn't stall, needing the tools, how tos, strategy,
system or different approach?
With marketing, I felt overwhelmed easily. I created a list
of things I could do when I felt it coming on. Now when I
feel panicky “my overwhelm signal" I reach for my list.
Deep breathing is the one I practice until I find my list.
6. Make the Dreaded Task Fun, Easy and Simple
Are you a people person? Perhaps you'd benefit from a
social approach to procrastination. Find people or a
support group that listens well, allows you to BMW (bitch,
moan and wine) and doesn't allow you to get away without
meeting the BMW rule. RULE: You have permission to BMW for
three minutes if, and only if, you provide a solution/action
step to move past it at the end.
Are you an alone person? Schedule more alone time to help
you process your thoughts. Arrive at work early, sit in the
car or somewhere quiet (not your office chair) and close
your eyes. Arrive at the restaurant early, sit and write
through your thoughts. Alternatively, you can stay
afterwards and write over a long cup of coffee or dessert.
7. Stop Stalling and Get Going
Create a check-in trigger that reminds you to take a review.
You can use anything that chimes or rings and set it up to
create noise on the hour. Keep trying different things
until you find something that works for you. If it stops
working, find something new. It took me five tries before I
found a clock that chimes every hour to work. When I began
anchoring the clock to an automatic check-in, I made a list
of questions to ask myself. Am I on target? What is my
attraction/energy level? Can I do any of this faster or
easier? If so, how?
When I'm out of the office, I use an old beeper (no service
needed) to vibrate on the hour. Works well in the library.
Go ahead take your ideas as far as you can, let it germinate
and watch it create a new growth, success, and self-
confidence. It’s fun to experience. Moreover, since it
always works, you will keep doing it and doing it until it
becomes a new habit. The rest is history.
Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing &
Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internet
writing and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters
and articles available at: http://www.abundancecenter.com