marketing plan

How To Avoid The Pain Of Your Marketing Plan – (and it’s not what you think)

One of the recurring themes for people is finding the right tool to make their marketing work like magic.

When I ask people what they need the tool for they say something like, ‘to make marketing simple and save time.’

Before we go on, I had to work this one out too.

I thought a tool could save my life and then when I dug a bit deeper, I realised I did not know what I wanted it to do.

So to cut to the chase, you need to know what you want your marketing tool to do. And please, saving you time is a given – you would not use a tool that would have you take MORE time, would you?

Start with knowing where you want to go, what your goals are and where you will focus your energy. You can read about how to do this in this post here.

Everyone Does Not Have It Together

I know it looks like everyone has it together, but they don’t.
If you’re in a peer group, decent networking group, coworking space or mastermind you soon find out!

Side note: if you want to grow and save time, you should be in a peer group.
As trust grows you find out your peers are not the David Ogilvy or Arianna Huffington you thought they were.

They don’t have it together either!

The Hard Work Of Working It Out

While articles like this one help you kick the can down the road, you have to do the painful thinking and working it out.

The good news is that you save time in the long run by planning well, but don’t let planning be all you do.

Working it out is hard, having the guts to commit to something is scary, and no one knows if it will work out.

I often start to whimper out because I’ve run into something that looks like work. I whimper especially hard if that work might lead to success, in fact, I get ready to run away.

Two Stupid Things I’ve Learnt With Tracking Weekly

Through tracking my behaviour via the ’12 Week Year’ book I’ve noticed two stupid things I want to do at an exact point.


I always want to change the project tool I am using.
Something makes me think that if I move everything from one place to another, I will.

I’ve tried SO MANY project tools over the last ten years, and I’m at home in every one of them.

It is the work you do that counts towards your goal, not the device or gadget.
(BTW the ones I like the best are Meister Task, CoSchedule and Things – but that is another post.


I always want to change everything I am doing, even if it is working.
I want to change lanes and start a new business instead of getting on with this one.

One of my hardest lessons from all my 12 Week Year tracking is sticking with my original goal and plan.

Keep Going On Your Plan

Staying true to the plan is where the money is, plans don’t fail; it is the execution that fails.

You will think you are being smart and insightful by looking at the plan and finding shortcuts.

You may see yourself as a Formula One pit crew tweaking mid-race, but you are avoiding the real work of execution.

For example, if you have a business or project and don’t put anything on your website about it.

This is because you are always changing your mind, you are bleeding valuable energy.

My mate Donald from Storybrand always points out this: “If your competitor communicates their product or service better than you do, they’ll win, even if yours is better.”

Don’t Change Lanes

Changing lanes is exhausting for you and others when I am part of a team that changes it’s mind all the time I want to leave.

You may get very mentally invested in things you work on. And when your subconscious smells that you’re going to use all your creative energy changing lanes it will tap out before you know it.

You may love the brainstorming, love new ideas and fantasy, but at a certain point, you’ll need to move and get on with it.
Actually ‘doing something’ is where the gold is because so few people do.

Both the ‘Storybrand’ and ‘12 Week Year’ books both put a significant emphasis on execution. Which means carrying out the plan you made, not changing ideas every 10 minutes.

I took a live workshop with Donald Miller, he talked about how many people he has met who fail to execute and get overtaken in the market by people with inferior products and services.

I was in tears, is that all I needed to do my whole life? Write some articles and send some emails?

Tracking London Coworking Spaces

I’ve been tracking London Coworking Spaces in a Google spreadsheet for a few years now.
And only a few of them ever update their website!

When I say update, I mean post fresh content like blogs or articles.
New words on your website are free AND the best way for Google to notice your site every week is updating it with new words.

Less than half of the two hundred plus London Coworking Spaces on my spreadsheet post and article every six months!

Yes – SIX MONTHS – so you can become one of the most active forces in London Coworking online, by posting once a month.

With around 8 million people in London, and say there are 400 coworking spaces.

(No one can get a straight answer on this).

With an average of 120 people per location (according to Deskmag) that means there are thousands of people who could be looking for a desk.

But if there is nothing on your website, are you really there?
Is that why you don’t have the business you need?

But It Is Too Complicated!

Picking a few things to do and doing them will start to get you results.

In Meet Up’s and workshops I run people always, and I mean ALWAYS walk in and start talking about SEO.

They blab about the front page of Google before they’ve even written and published a post, or built a website.

This is why it is too complicated, reading stuff in books and then doing it is harder than you think, but it is not complicated.

Talking about concepts and strategies above where you are operating right make it complicated.

I read a lot of books when I was depressed as hell all those years ago.I’d lose myself in them and get an idea of what life could be like, the beliefs and practices gradually became ingrained in me.

Nowadays, I read the same books and pop my head up to find out I have done most of the work.

I can’t describe the joy of reading something and then realising I’m already doing it.

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts

John Wooden

Which brings me here.

I hope this section will help you get going.

Another book that is a massive influence on my life in the last two years is the David Goggins book Can’t Hurt Me.

A long time “Goggins take-away” for me is to stop blaming others and get on with it.

As he puts it “No one is coming to save you.” – You could add to that, “not even a paid Facebook advert or project tool.”

This weeks “Goggins take-away” is double down on your weaknesses.
For example, my weakness is not ‘learning Japanese’ or ‘tight rope walking.’ My’ weakness’ is consistency with my content production.

My Weakness

My weakness is something I need to be my strength, but writing and making my website perform with the consistency of a Rolling Stones World tour is hard work, so I avoid it.

Having it as one of my 12 Week Goals has made me drill down on where this fails.

My Strength

Getting people together is so natural to me, I don’t notice I’m doing it. Running our London Meet Up’s on Podcasting, writing and art and the London Coworking Assembly is second nature to me.

Coming Up

Over the next few weeks, I’ll document how I’m fixing one step at a time.

I’ve been asking everyone at Write Club, my coworkers at Mainyard and people at Coworking Conferences where their blocks are.

I don’t actually know anyone who does NOT struggle with getting stuff on their website, even though it is one of the best things you can do!

I even joined a self-help group about it earlier last year, and that is certainly helping!

If you would like to get help with your content production to choose one of my half-day workshops.

Choose from Email Marketing, building a 90 Day Plan, Podcasting and Storytelling – full details here.

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