There are two types of people in the world: those who embrace the “New Year, New Me” mantra and those who despise it. Even if you are a proud member of the despising party, there’s probably a part of you that welcomes the optimism that comes with the start of a new year – a new opportunity to conquer last year’s challenges and outdo your own victories. What happens, though, when the optimism wears off and you find yourself overwhelmed by the challenges ahead?
You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about resolutions in March. Keep reading: it will all make sense.
Let’s take a quick poll: how many of you made resolutions for the new year? Are you still making progress with those resolutions or have you given up already? (You can be honest, this is a judgement-free zone.)
Honestly, I’ve always been a bit of a flip-flopper when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. On the one hand, I’m a proud supporter because they push you to take an inventory of the past – what went well, what didn’t, where are improvements needed – and make informed decisions on what you plan to do differently going forward. On the other hand, they’re virtually impossible to keep, making them seem almost useless. New Year’s resolutions have been around for almost 4,000 years and I’d guess even the ancient Romans struggled to keep their promises to the ancient gods. What’s the point of making a resolution if you’re only going to fail, right?
Most of us have made resolutions. And we’ve all failed to keep them. But the important thing is that we learn from those failures. If you made NY resolutions in January and abandoned them in February, let March be the month that you learn from those failures and start making changes that can help you overcome them.
This is my (almost) 4th year as a full-time marketer and the farther along I go in my marketing journey, the more resolutions I set for myself and more resolutions I fail at achieving. These are some of the things I’ve learned about myself from marketing resolutions that have fallen by the wayside, and those learnings are helping me do a better job of keeping resolutions this time around.
Small Team, Big Dreams
When you’re part of a smaller marketing team, you may feel compelled to take on and do everything. You have to tackle the day-to-day and work towards that big strategic goal your team has committed to. Newsflash: it’s just not possible. More importantly, it’s not effective. You may have heard the saying, “multitasking is just messing up several things at once.” It’s true. When you try to do everything, most things don’t get done (especially not well).
Fortunately, there are several steps we can all take to get out of the small-team mindset and dream bigger.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.
Your priorities set the direction for where you’re headed and if you find yourself spending time working on tasks that don’t support those strategic priorities, it’s time to assess their importance.
There will always be more to do than time in the day, but using your time wisely to spend on those priorities ensures you’re reaching goals and keeping your eye on the prize.
Priorities set? Plan & schedule.
Without a plan in place, you’ll still be wandering aimlessly through a forest of endless tasks. Connect with non-marketing team members like those in PM to support you in your planning efforts. My friends over in PM are some of my favorite to connect with because they have so much great insight to offer marketers around effective management for marketing projects.
Once you break those big tasks into much more manageable chunks, you’ll feel much less overwhelmed and much more empowered to execute on those strategic goals.
Tap into internal SMEs.
I mentioned the importance of taking time to learn from internal experts in my last post, “One Skill Every Marketer Should Have – No Matter Your Pay Grade,” but it’s really worth repeating. Taking some of the load off of yourself can happen when you spend time learning from the experts around you and applying some of that knowledge to your efforts. Why reinvent the wheel when there’s someone who has already used, revised, and optimized it?
Get Out Of The Weeds
If you’re a perfectionist like me, you may know how easy it is to fall into the weeds and get caught up in the small details. While we should all strive to do our work skillfully, spending so much time in the weeds causes us to lose sight of the clouds aka our strategic goals.
Once you’ve gone through the process of prioritizing, planning, and connecting with your brilliant colleagues, outline where you spend your time. What tasks do you commit the most time to? Are they supporting your big picture goals? Are they a priority? Can it or should it be deprioritized?
You can’t ignore the recurring tasks like updating the blog, but you can look into alternative approaches that might support your ability to check the items off your list without sacrificing quality!
Take Risks, Or Risk Failing
Last year for Women’s History Month, our CEO Rhoan Morgan wrote an article on the underestimation of women in the martech space. In that article, she highlighted a really important point: “We don’t have to be perfect. We can take a few more risks. We can be a little bolder. We can ask for more.”
Trying new things, new approaches, new methodologies, new tools – it all comes with an underlying risk. It’s those risks that tend to reap the biggest rewards. It’s those risks that help us stay ahead of the competition; that help us stay on the brink of innovation; that prevent us from being trampled by the risk-takers. Taking risks may not come easy, but think about what you’re risking by not taking risks. Besides, sometimes our greatest lessons come from mistakes we make.
The marketing profession comes with lots of change and that change can lead to many challenges. However, those challenges present boundless opportunities for growth and progress. If you or your team is struggling to get out of the weeds and pursue those strategic goals that get results, let’s chat. We’ve helped companies in this same position transform their entire marketing departments and can do the same for you.
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