I have a problem. I think it may be a disease. It might even be terminal. I look at everything around me with my “Marketing Glasses” on. No matter where I am or what I’m doing… I see ways things could be done better, made easier and more profitable.
I look at poor customer service in a restaurant and have the urge to talk to the manager about it. (I don’t do it, but the urge is there). I will express my dismay if asked, but I refrain from giving “how-to” advice to fix it… and it’s a real effort on my part.
I know that unrequested advice is not appreciated. It’s obnoxious… but still it dances around on the tip of my tongue.
I have been working weekends with some video companies (my boyfriend is an artist with the camera — of the still and motion types ), so I’ve had this opportunity to learn some new skills while hanging out with him on the weekends and taking some weekend trips). Most of the time I really enjoy the trips. I enjoy doing something so very different from what I do all day long in my own office… but sometimes I make myself nuts.
While on these trips, what do I do? I look at the fact that each member of the crew isn’t wearing shirts emblazoned with the company name. I stress over the missed opportunities to promote the company in question. I re-organize the sales booths in my head. I listen to the way the sales staff answers inquiries and addresses problems. I make a check list of the missed opportunities that could be realized with just a few dollars in marketing materials or a few minutes coaching the sales staff.
I literally wring my hands and complain to my dear, patient boyfriend about how this and that could be improved with little effort. I bemoan the loss of potential income due to a lack of attention to tiny details.
He laughs and hugs me and tells me to let go, that it’s not MY business and they aren’t MY clients. I apologize and tell him that I can’t help it and he smiles and tells me that he knows, and he wouldn’t want me to be any other way. He says it convincingly enough that I believe him.
I think it’s hopeless. Sure, I’m a writer. I do content. Marketing was never intended to be anything but a secondary endeavor for me and my business…
But after working with small business owners and entrepreneurs for so many years, guiding their efforts to ensure that the money and the effort they put into the business pay off… I seem to be stuck looking at everything that way. I even do this when I go into stores. I do it when I look at ads. I do it everywhere I go. I talk business at social events, brainstorm with relatives at family reunions, offer advice when the conversation turns toward someone’s latest business idea when I’m out with friends.
Is this a common thing for people in the business? Are there any other consultants out there that can’t “turn it off” during down time? If there’s an “off” switch, I sure would love to find it!