I never thought my most important lessons for success in business would come from my children, but the truth is, they have a lot to teach, hard lessons that the modern marketer and business owner would do well to learn from.
Lessons for Success — Start With Bacon
Every morning I wake up, turn on the oven, and cook several strips of bacon for my son. Yes, I cook it in the oven (it’s amazing and you should do it that way too), and yes, I cook it every. Single. Morning.
See, Travis is autistic, and his list of acceptable foods is quite short. So is the list of words he can use, so when Travis asks for “bakie” Travis gets his bakie.
Because of his intense love of bacon, we also pack a few strips in his lunch. This is where my story starts to get relevant, so just hang in there.
After he finishes his breakfast bakie, Travis makes a mad dash for the lunch box and tries to steal those precious strips of lunch bacon.
Because we are parents, it’s required that my husband and I make the same lame joke every morning:
“He’s stealing bacon from poor Future Travie!”
Lessons for Success — Don’t Steal From Your Future Self
See, future Travis is a chump. He’s going to open that lunch box and expect to eat some delicious bacon, but he’ll be sadly disappointed to find that, once again, Morning Travis already ate it.
How many weeks/months/quarters do you end with the feeling that you’re not that much different from poor Future Travie, resentful that Past You was a greedy jerk and left Future You to be a sad, hungry grump with no bakie to snack on?
Instead of putting the extra budget in to upgrade your website and digital marketing, you put it off, and now you’re wishing you had that sweet, sweet pipeline of leads a new website might have drawn in.
You spent one too many afternoons on Facebook killing time instead of putting your nose down and steadily working through a killer project, and now your deadline is here, and Past You has set Future You up for disaster.
Or maybe you took a look at your ad spend and got greedy, convinced yourself that none of that mess works anyway, and yanked the budget before those ads really had time to make an impact.
Lessons for Success — Don’t Let Fear, Laziness, and Greed Win
It’s so easy for us to let fear, laziness and greed take control and set us up for failure in the future.
That little bit of false comfort we get from eating the bacon now is a horrible trade-off for the pain and hunger we’ll feel later.
And yet, we’re constantly choosing to eat the bacon.
And that right there is the key. When bad things are happening to us in business (and in life), we point the finger outward instead of inward.
Most of the time, we aren’t really the victims we let ourselves think we are.
We are the bad guys in our own sad stories. We are the big bad wolves who huffed and puffed and gobbled up all the bacon.
Next time you’re tempted to distract yourself with things that don’t matter, or you want to hold back on putting your budget where it really should be, or you’d like to pocket a little more cash flow at the expense of your business development activities, take a minute to ask yourself this:
Am I stealing the bacon from future me?
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