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Oct. 1, 2022

Bikes & Books - What Old Granny Fox Teaches Me.

Bikes & Books - What Old Granny Fox Teaches Me.

When I was a child, there were two things I loved to do more than anything else, ride my bike and read books. I am a Gen X'er, so when I was little, I could ride my Hot Wheel up and down my grass hill or up and down the driveway. Unfortunately, we lived on a busy road, so I felt stuck until I was old enough to ride a two-wheeler safely. And I disliked the confinement of not being able to go where I wanted to when I wanted to, but once I was free to leave that driveway, I was always on that bike anytime I could ride to town, friends, and nowhere seemed too far. But when I turned 18, I finally got my license, and that's where I eventually fell free, taking random trips whenever I got the chance. My idea of a road trip was to get in the car and drive on the highway for an hour or two, pick a random exit, find a dinner or coffee shop, relax in the anonymity, and read.

My reading was a bit the same. My mom would put me to bed, and I'd be up with a flashlight under the covers, reading for hours, and my imagination would have me soaring into the world inside the book. Unfortunately, eventually, my mom would come in and catch me, and the flashlight would go and tell me to sleep, which was not my favorite thing for a child with an overactive imagination. My favorite books when I was under 8 were Clifford the Big Red Dog, Winnie-the-Pooh, and the Little Golden Books. 

When I was older, my reading tastes evolved to Nancy Drew, Ramona the Pest, Anne of the Green Gables, and course, I snuck books I wasn't supposed to read, according to my mom, as I got closer to graduating high school. For instance, Flowers in the Attic and all Vampire Diaries. And alas, it was time for college, and I stopped reading books for fun; I started to read course books. And it felt like I didn't read another "fun" book forever. Though I read fabulous books for my minor in English, they all felt more mature and worldly.

You may wonder why I went through my reading history with you, as I swear I have a point to all this. When I finished school, it took me a bit to realize if I had missed reading. I would have to be intentional and take the time to read a good book now and then. So I started reading again through the year's mystery books. I love them and can't get enough of them, but again I started to feel like I wasn't serving myself by being narrow-minded in my book selection. And I began to intentionally expand my book selection to autobiographies, biographies, and business books.

So, what am I currently reading? Old Granny Fox by Thornton W. Burgess. My son picked it up to resell for his business, and I asked if I could read it before he put it up for sale. You may be thinking, but that's a kid's book. Yep, it is. I intentionally read a kid's book a chapter a day and love it. 

Why do I love reading a kid's book? Because just like being intentional and not reading just one genre of text, I'm reading into the lesson the book's storyline has to offer. Old Granny Fox is a strategist. She is high-level thinking, she's always trying to get food, but she understands that to be successful, you have to look at sustained success over time. On the other hand, her grandson Reddy Fox is all about the short-term. When things don't work out, he gets mad, gives up, and doesn't trust that Granny Fox's wisdom will help him because he's hungry today and not thinking about tomorrow.

And as I read this, I can't help thinking about how much it relates to business, specifically, marketing. When I was new in business, how often would I choose the short-term win over the long-term success? I'd get upset if I lost the client in front of me, instead of seeing, to easily let that go because the Universe had a better one behind it. 

So, here are six lessons, reading and Old Granny Fox have reminded me about marketing.

  • A marketing Mindset does not start with tactics but strategy. - In the book, Reddy Fox's latest tactic may have felt like it would score a big win, but it was quick-thinking and did not align with what he was asking the Universe. So, instead of having another tactic to make you viral today and forgotten tomorrow, get a strategy together that will allow the Universe to give you sustainable momentum and income.
  • When considering marketing strategies, ask yourself, how will this fit into what you are already doing? - As I said before, I was an avid reader and would often be in trouble for staying up way past bedtime to sneak read. As a child, it never dawned on me that I could come in early from playing and reading. But then, I was trying to fit it "all" in, leaving me exhausted and cranky the next day. And like anything else, if you or someone else is creating a marketing strategy for you, then make sure it fits into what you are doing; marketing strategies should not recreate the wheel for you but be able to put the missing spokes into place.
  • Do It Your Way - There is no need to read things that don't align with you; reading material is about your preferences. Mine is still a mystery, possibly because my undergraduate degree is in Criminal Justice. But whatever the reason, I can read anything that feels good to me, and right now, it's Old Granny Fox. When you get a marketing strategy done, it should be the same. Throw out what you have and work with your strategist to find what will work for you and your company.
  • Ask to receive - When was the last time you asked for an excellent book to read? It usually has many answers if you ask on a social media platform. Now, let me ask you when the last time you asked for a review of your product or service was. Similar to asking the Universe, if we don't ask, the Universe will hand us more of what we have, which is often nothing in the area of things we want. The same goes for asking for a review. So, take a chance and ask for what you need, which includes help writing a Google Review strategy that will work for you and your company. 
  • Google loves updated websites. - I can no longer say I'm an avid biker; I wouldn't even dare. When my son was 6 and 9, I biked to the Farmer's Market every summer. He's 17, and I haven't been on a bike since. In theory, I still like biking, but it's not my intentional rotation that brings me joy today. Having a website you built ten years ago is similar; you may still love it, but like any relationship, it requires attention. And if you are not paying attention to it, Google wonders why they should. Your website should be refreshed with updated content monthly and redesigned every few years. And as a side note, many want a refresh to their website without a rebuild. And sometimes, this can cost more than having a new one built because web designers have to try to get new technology to mesh with your website's old technology; a website designer can do this, but it usually takes more time and money. 
  • Look and see what your most-read blog is and do a refresh. - I'll be honest, I read a few books twice, but when a favorite author writes an updated version, it will get my attention. Think of your website blog the same way; go through your analytics and see what blogs have the highest clicks and views. And then, create a 2.0 version of that blog by refreshing the information to be a bit more current. 

If you have found this blog helpful and would like some help coming up with a marketing strategy that is useful to you and your company, schedule it here: https://wendymanganaro.as.me/claritycall

If you have a book suggestion, reply to this email. I'd love to hear from you and what you are reading.