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Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.

Philip Sweet
Today's fortune submitted by:
Philip Sweet

Bristol, UK

Phil Sweet has over 25 years of experience in social housing, previously working as a Housing Inspector and regional director for Raglan Housing. Now a consultant and trainer, Phil has supported 30+ UK housing organizations and charities. His recent roles include facilitating for ARHC's Tenants’ Group and managing consultancy projects. He served on a housing association board and joins the Regulator of Social Housing to enhance sector standards and resident quality of life.

Eyes on the Goal

Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.


Let's talk about today's cookie... There is a delicate balance one must maintain in marketing between following the competition and not following them. Yes, that's correct. Read it again. Follow what they are doing, but don't just mimic them. Make sense?


When establishing your marketing goals, it is a good idea to first understand what the competition is doing. They often represent one of the biggest obstacles to generating the leads you need. Before you start moving, take a close look at them. What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are they offering? How do your competitors' products compare to yours? How are they positioning themselves in the marketplace?


Once you've studied the competition, recognized your opportunities, and established your goals, you must take your focus off of them and fix your eyes on your goals. Looking around too much once you're rolling can be dangerous—especially if you are a relatively new marketer. A seasoned marketer knows that focusing too much on competitors can make you start to look and sound like them, and you'll lose your differentiation in the process.


I remember when I was first learning to drive my mother's giant brown, wood-paneled station wagon. She took me out so I could practice driving on the highway. Wowee! Driving on the highway is the big time for any sixteen-year-old! As I punched the gas to climb the on-ramp, the engine roared, "big bessie" kicked into high gear, and we were flying. I felt like Bo and Luke Duke in the General Lee yelling, "Yee Haw!"


My daydream was abruptly vaporized as my tires started rolling over the rumble strip and I was quickly running out of roadway. Oh no! As fast as I thought I was going, all the other cars were driving even faster than I. Huge trucks stormed past us and I could feel the car being rocked in their wake. Yikes! I felt sure that we were going to die. Then, ahead of us was a bridge, with no breakdown lane, and I had no choice but to merge into the stampeding traffic. I don't know how, but the other cars suddenly parted like the Red Sea and I was driving on the highway at high speed. Woooot!


I was feeling more confident cruising on the highway. I had moved into the middle lane. I was doing great! Then, I started to feel so comfortable that I began looking around. I saw the old man driving a pickup truck full of old rusty scrap metal. On one side of us, I saw an old woman wearing a wide-brimmed hat with her little purse dog sitting on her lap. Then a guy with a long beard, wearing a chrome helmet, zipped by us on a motorcycle. I looked out of my window and saw a pretty girl driving a Mustang. Then I felt my mom's hand grab the wheel. Whoops! I was drifting. My mom steered us back into the center lane and scolded me about keeping my eyes straight ahead.


That's how it is in marketing when you look too much at your competitors. Once you climb the on-ramp and get your campaign running at high speed, you need to keep your eyes on the road ahead and watch your dashboard. You have plenty of things to worry about: How fast are you going? How is the engine running? Do you have enough gas in the tank to get there? 


Monitor your own success and if you decide that you need to change lanes, do so based on prospect response. Don't lose track of your lane. When you stare at your competitors too much, you could lose the essence of what makes your positioning unique and start drifting into their lane. As you continue to focus on your goals, the obstacles and distractions will disappear, and you will start to see opportunities to pass them!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie

Percent Daily Value

Inspiration

Percent Daily Values are based on the essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy mindset, fostering success in your marketing, prosperity in your career, and fulfillment in your life.

100%

100%

100%

100%

Affirmation

Motivation

Aspiration

Submitted by:

Philip Sweet

Unpackaged in: 

Bristol, UK

Cookie Ingredients:

Ingredient

What marketing is really saying:

"Kid's popcorn, candy and soda: $158."

What marketing says:

"Kid's discounted movie tickets: $8."

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