Commercial Curiosity – Boundaries

January 8, 2024
by Charlie Whyman

Many years ago, I worked for someone that kept ringing me at 6am every day during my morning commute.

It was annoying, I hated it, and it distracted me from catching up with the marketing podcasts and audiobooks I had chosen to keep my knowledge up to date.

My commute was my ‘me time’ so every time I answered the phone, I had to say no to the things that were important to me.

One day it all got too much, and I spoke to my boss and asked him to stop – his response…

“I’m not going to stop ringing you – I’m not forcing you to answer – you’re choosing to answer”.

He then went on to share a quote about tolerance and said:

“When you tolerate what you get, you get what you tolerate”.

My first thought wasn’t something I will repeat here – I’ll leave that to your imagination.

However, once the dust had settled and I gave this some more thought I realised that this man had just taught me an important lesson.

The importance of setting and adhering to your own boundaries.

So, this week, I thought it would be good to dive into a challenge that many entrepreneurs, business owners, and marketers face: the art of setting boundaries to protect marketing priorities. 🤿

Because we all know that when things get tough, or you get a bit too busy – marketing is usually the first set of tasks to slip 😅

But it’s essential to remember that consistent and effective marketing is key if you want to grow your business and avoid phases of feast or famine.

So, let’s explore how you can set clear boundaries and avoid tolerating the behaviour that can distract you from doing what you know you need to do…

which is, dare I say it – marketing 🙌


Let’s Explore the Challenge 🦦

How often do you find yourself feeling like your marketing needs to be more:

  • Consistent

  • Efficient

  • Planned

  • Actioned

Have you ever reflected on why you’re not winning as many new customers as you’d like or selling as many products and services like you feel you should and thought?

“I didn’t do enough marketing – I know why I’ve not made X sales in this situation”.

In the fast-paced world of business, it’s easy for marketing tasks to be sidelined by urgent, day-to-day operational demands. This can lead to missed opportunities and a lack of strategic marketing direction. The key challenge lies in balancing immediate business needs with the long-term vision of your marketing strategy, without sacrificing the quality and consistency of your marketing efforts.

So how do you overcome this challenge and what do you do?

The key is to understand your priorities and set clear boundaries with the people that distract you from working on them.


Commercial Curiosity: A Couple of Questions to Help You Move Forwards 🧠

1️⃣ What marketing tasks have you been avoiding or putting on hold? How long have you been doing this? This will help you understand what aspects of your marketing are being neglected.

2️⃣ What (and who) are you reacting to that’s distracting you from your marketing activity? Make a list so you can understand what you’re doing with your time and for who.

3️⃣ What behaviour do you tolerate from others that you wish you didn’t have to? Why do you tolerate it? How could you structure a conversation with that person that’s positive that will help you either make them stop doing it or help you avoid reacting to it?


Next Steps ⚙️ ➡️

  • Schedule Dedicated Marketing Time: Block out specific times in your calendar exclusively for marketing tasks. Treat this time as non-negotiable and don’t leave it until evenings and weekends.

  • Prioritise Marketing Tasks: Don’t spread yourself too thin. Understand what tasks need to be done versus the tasks that you think would be nice to do.
  • Speak to the people that are distracting you: Explain how you feel, understand their expectations and reasons behind them, let them know the impact to you personally or commercially and come to an agreement that works for both of you moving forwards.

  • Delegate or Outsource: If certain operational tasks are consuming too much of your time, consider delegating or outsourcing them. This will free up more time and mental energy for you to focus on marketing.

  • Focus on one marketing channel at a time: It’s tough to be consistent when you’re trying to be everywhere all of the time. Focus on one marketing channel at a time and dedicate the time to being consistent and showing up well. One channel done well is better than 3-5 channels done sporadically.


Ninja Tip 🥷🏻

Remember, it’s not just about saying no to non-marketing tasks; it’s about saying yes to marketing. By setting boundaries, you’re affirming the importance of marketing in your business growth. Even small, consistent marketing efforts can yield significant results over time.

It’s also worth making sure you’re not blaming other people for distracting you.

Instead think about how you can change your behaviour towards them – do you HAVE to respond immediately? Are they just used to you working in a specific way, do they understand that they are distracting you and if they knew would they still behave in the same way.

I always like to assume positive intent and encourage you to do the same. The people distracting you probably don’t know they are doing it. They probably don’t realise the impact of their behaviour.

A simple conversation can sometimes clear the air and help you agree a way forward that works for both of you – this works with both clients and colleagues if you have them.

As annoying as my old boss’s response was to a conversation, I’d wanted to have for weeks…he did have a point and I learned something valuable that day.

You can’t control other people’s behaviour, sometimes they won’t change but you can change how you react to it.

If you’d like support setting boundaries or just with some helpful accountability to create a marketing plan and get what you need to do done – then have a look at my upcoming ‘Master Your Marketing Plan Accelerator which starts next week —> Click here

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