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Benefit by doing things that others give up on.

Tracy Varner Francis
Today's fortune submitted by:
Tracy Varner Francis

Midlothian, VA, USA

Tracy Varner Francis, Independent Director at Thirty-One Gifts, specializes in offering personalized handbags and totes to her customers. Tracy is also a co-director at Chesterfield Christian Academy, where she teaches math to homeschooled children, finding joy and fulfillment in educating and inspiring the next generation.

I had the privilege of meeting Tracy and her husband Skip when I was invited to come on a Varner family on a road trip to Florida. Such good memories!

Do It The Hard Way.

There is a continuous gold rush mentality in marketing that you won't find quite the same way in any other industry. The pressure to produce leads and sales is greater than ever, and marketers are looking for shortcuts, quick wins, and the next big thing. They wonder about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, mobile apps, and what's new or hot. When something new is discovered, they scramble to be first adopters, stake their claim, and hope to strike it rich, but in my opinion, most give up on a campaign before it's had a chance to take root.

I designed my first corporate website before companies had domain names and before people used web browsers. Customers had to direct-dial their modem to connect with a website and use their keyboard to navigate through the menus. Eventually, the Mosaic Web browser was introduced, followed by Netscape, and very few companies took notice. I saw the infancy of the Web, and people didn't think it would last. Even Bill Gates said the Internet was nothing more than a fad.

One day, the makers of Yahoo! began listing all the sites in a directory. It was a smart idea because more web sites were popping up every day. I remember the day I first discovered Yahoo!, and I tried to view every known website listed in their directory. By 1994, Yahoo! had hit a million visits in a single day, and the gold rush had begun! Everyone rushed to join what I was doing. Microsoft was late to the game but eventually launched Internet Explorer.

Then, suddenly, it was like the levee broke, and the floodwaters started rushing in as companies clamored to get a piece of the pie. I remember when frames, inline photos, and the ability to create a pop-up window were introduced into web browsers. Sun Microsystems introduced JavaScript, making it possible to do all kinds of cool stuff. I was a beta tester for Real Audio, Shockwave Flash, and many other tools I can't even remember anymore.

Then, a barrage of Web editors like FrontPage and DreamWeaver came along, which brought even more companies onto the Web. Web Design companies sprang up, and the Content Management market exploded. Soon Yahoo!, the directory that kept it all so well organized, took a wrong turn and chased after the portal concept. While trying to offer everything, Yahoo! lost their prominence as Google offered next to nothing with just a white screen and a single search box.

As all of these new things popped up, marketers came running, hoping to discover and exploit some new untapped white space. You might not believe it, but for a few years, I spent a lot of time helping companies maximize MySpace. Yep, you heard me. I said MySpace. 

It has been a crazy ride! However, the gold rush mentality is too superheated. I'd like to see marketers be more strategic when trying new things. I would urge them to stop looking for the "quick hit" and make more meaningful and purposeful moves.

Some of our client's competitors have rushed in on a shiney new platform, saw how hard it is, and have already given up. They come panning for gold, and with an ever-decreasing amount of patience, they leave just as quickly as they came into it. I believe as today's fortune says, their lack of patience may be an opportunity for you to succeed.

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Submitted by:

Tracy Varner Francis

Unpackaged in: 

Midlothian, VA, USA

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