On my morning walk today, I had to stop and take a photo of this driveway. It made me smile and brightened my day. The message is so simple, yet it’s something that we often forget…especially these days when we’re all getting tired of physical distancing and quarantines.

Also while on my walk, I was listening to a podcast, like I always do. The message in this episode was basically “If you’re asking the universe for something, stop turning down the opportunities presented to you just because you don’t like the wrapping.” That really resonated with me – it’s happened before that something was practically dropped in my lap, but I overlooked it because it wasn’t in the form that I was hoping for.

I’ve been doing a bit of soul-searching over the past few days…it’s probably been going on a lot longer, if I’m honest…that’s why not much has been happening in my business life. I thought I had a grasp on the direction I wanted to go, but it seems that life had different plans for me. I just wasn’t recognizing those plans.

I’ve been doing some affiliate marketing for the last few months. The idea behind it is great – you promote a product that you believe will help people achieve whatever goal they’ve got in mind, and if they purchase that product through the links you provide, you get a commission. Pretty simple, pretty straightforward, and on the surface a seemingly easy way to move forward.

But one stumbling block in this plan is that you need to have people to promote TO. It’s not effective marketing to simply throw a link out into the media and say “Hey, this is a great product! You should buy it!” But many – well, let’s say inexperienced – affiliate marketers gather contact info from many sources and send out emails or tweets or whatever, saying basically that. And the message tends to fall flat.

The reason is that old cliché – People don’t care about you till they know how much you care. Firing out email after email to a group of people who don’t know you and don’t really care what you’ve got to say is a surefire way not to succeed at sales.

And I fell into that trap with the program I was in. The campaigns came quickly, with short fuses, not giving us much time to warm up our contacts to the idea that we’re going to be sending them stuff. As a result, many emails went unopened, many people unsubscribed, and very few showed any interest.

Also as a result, I was left feeling cheapened by the process, and I think many of the people on my email list also felt “used.” I don’t care for the last-minute, FOMO-type approach to marketing. Maybe I’m naïve, or maybe I’m simply not a marketer at heart…that remains to be seen, I guess.

So…each new day…I’m a new person. I’m reinventing myself and holding fast to the parts that feel right, while sloughing off those that don’t suit me anymore. And one of these days, I’ll have the pattern right and the formula will be perfected…or maybe not.

After all, aren’t we all simply works in progress until the end?

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