On an overcast, late April evening, my six-year-old daughter announced she wanted to go dig for bugs in the backyard. She pulled on her neon pink raincoat and slipped into her muddy boots. Then, equipped with her kid-sized shovel and a plastic bowl, she set out to find some “pets”.
It began drizzling.
Within five minutes, my daughter was huffing and puffing, feeling absolutely defeated because she had dug a massive hole in the backyard and found zero bugs. With tears in her eyes, she complained, “I’ve been diggin’ and diggin’ but there are NO BUGS.”
I looked up from my work and gave her a pointer. “Why not try the area by the rose bushes? We found lots of bugs there last week.”
She ran off and started making another massive hole by the rose bushes. I could hear her chanting, “I’m not gonna give up! I’m gonna find bugs! I’m not gonna give up…”
Still no bugs.
Face wet with rain and wrinkled with defeat, she returned home and said, “Mom, you NEED to come out here and look. There are NO BUGS.”
With a sigh, I saved my work, and followed her outside.
Sure enough, she had dug out a fairly substantial pit in the backyard, but there were no bugs to be found. Under the soil, or above it.
“See, Mom? I told you! I’m never going to have any bug pets.”
Not wanting to disappoint my daughter, and feeling like she deserved a reward for her efforts, I thought about where I could find insects, if they weren’t in the soil. Just a few days ago, when it was hot and sunny, tens of thousands of ants, woodlice, snails and other multi-legged critters were all over the place.
But that night, it was cold, windy and rainy. The garden appeared lifeless.
Within seconds, an ‘aha’ moment struck.
“I know where they are,” I said, carefully lifting up a rotting plank nearby.
Sure enough, we hit gold. Hundreds of bugs of all shapes and sizes were huddled together, swarming underneath the moist wood, sheltering themselves from the elements.
My daughter’s face lit up. “You found them! Yay!” She began jumping up and down. It was as if I’d performed a jaw-dropping magic trick.
As my daughter began picking up the bugs and putting them in her little plastic container, I walked back into the house, feeling triumphant that within seconds, I had solved a most pressing problem in my little one’s life.
Anyone can find and capture bugs when the weather is nice and the critters are all out and about in the thousands. It’s easy. You don’t need any time, patience, strategy or experience, just a few basic tools.
But when the weather is crappy and all the bugs have gone into hiding, those same inexperienced individuals will struggle and perhaps even give up on their goals. Even if they are persistent, they might spend an hour digging a massive hole and find only a few measly bugs. Because they’re looking in the wrong place. They’ve directed their focus on one singular mission without considering the big picture.
They’ve set themselves up for failure.
It takes strategy and experience to efficiently achieve your goals, especially when the going gets tough.
That’s not something you are born with; it needs to be developed over time, and with practice. Naïveté is most pronounced and inexperience, revealed the quickest, when a challenge presents itself. When you are used to a sunny paradise filled with ease and abundance, it can be quite an adjustment when a storm comes.
BUT once the storm passes, you will have either failed as a hole-digger (and learned a valuable lesson on what NOT to do in the future) or succeeded as a log-looker (and discovered a winning method to replicate and test in the future). Once you’ve survived one big storm the next one will be easier to weather.
The next time it rains, my daughter will know exactly where to look for bugs.
We are braving a worldwide hurricane right now. Everyone is sheltered and waiting out the storm. Customers, revenue and foot traffic have dried up for many businesses. But that doesn’t mean it’s game over.
This is a time to innovate, test unconventional strategies and look for business in new places. Here are some ideas:
- Change up your lead gen strategies. Try a different approach that your competitors wouldn’t consider, such as making a video introduction packed full of value!
- Learn the inbound marketing methodology and apply it.
- Invest in and create more valuable social content that engages and delights.
- Develop ongoing insights based on industry news and share them.
- Build up a powerful network of like-minded individuals and help others out. A rising tide lifts all boats.
- Explore untapped markets and start conversations with new audiences.
April 30, 2020