I’m standing in my unfinished pool house, looking at the plumbing for what feels like the thousandth time.
The plumber glares as the 2 holes in the concrete for the toilet and water and asks me “Why didn’t they run the sewerage line out to the street?”
I wish I knew. I’m not a contractor.
The guys who did the foundation and laid the plumbing lines told me everything was done. I had no idea about where to “stub” plumbing or what lines needed to be dug and where. I shrug…
“Whoever did this is an idiot,” he says. “Now we’re gonna have to tear up your yard to run the line out to the ditch and that’s not covered in the estimate I gave you.”
During this little pool house project, it seems like every contractor who handles a different part of the project has started the conversation the same way.
Everyone else is an idiot. They would have done it differently. Better.
I continue to be amazed at how lessons in my personal life cascade into my business life.
We just started working with a new client who was unhappy with his prior vendor. “The guy is an idiot,” he told me during our first conversation. “I don’t trust the work he was doing and I have no idea what I was really paying him for.”
In 10 years of being a marketing consultant, a lot of conversations have started this way.
The problem is, it doesn’t solve anything. Complaining about the prior idiot doesn’t get you the results you want. It doesn’t fix the plumbing or improve your conversion rates.
In fact, it brings attention to the real idiot – me. Or whoever lacked the information or ability to supervise something they were paying for.
The reality is that the prior idiot probably did some things right. They may have even done a great job or left you a good foundation to work with.
Such was the case with my pool house and with my client who was frustrated with his prior vendor.
My pool house came out great. Yes, we had some unexpected expenses and did in fact have to dig a trench in the yard, but so what? In a month we’ll forget it even happened.
Same thing for my client. His website was in decent shape. His search rankings weren’t bad either. I’ve certainly seen worse.
The road to improving your marketing results is a journey, not a destination.
Each step along the way you’ll learn from the people around you who give you advice, feedback and help with the details. Some will excel in certain areas and some will have glaring weaknesses.
That’s normal during the growth process. And when the time is right, the universe will put that idea or mentor in your life to help you make the big breakthrough.
Remember that good marketing comes as a result of studying what isn’t working as much as what is. So the mistakes and shortcomings are just growth opportunities in disguise.
My suggestion is to learn during each step along the way so that the next time, the idiot in the room isn’t you 🙂
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