I have paid bucket loads for courses, programs and workshops over the years. And I am mad!
Mad at myself. Why?
Because quite often I do NOTHING with the content I have learnt. I walk away, pat myself on the back and then get frustrated as to why I am not moving forward. Even if I do something with the content, if it does not work the first time, I stop…qui…curl up my toes and sulk.
Now… I am the one creating courses, programs and workshops. I find people come, subscribe and DO NOTHING. I feel like I am ripping them off.
When I researched why people do not move forward with the valuable information shared, I found a big soft squishy marshmallow.
And delayed gratification is at the centre of this phenomenon. It got me thinking about why people do not stick to a marketing strategy or why they have a go at sharing a story with the media, do not get a win and give up.
Here’s what I found.
The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s led by psychologist Walter Mischel.
The experiment has been conducted in multiple formats over the years but ultimately this is what happens.
A child is offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards if they waited for a short period. The tester leaves the room and the child has to make a choice – to eat the marshmallow and get a buzz from the instant gratification…or wait and then get two.
Follow-up studies found children who waited had better life outcomes – job prospects, relationships, health.
For you, the humble small business person, this means – give yourself a break. PR is all about being persistence, resistant and consistent. It’s about will power, grit and determination, getting your head space right and never giving up.
Understanding delayed gratification will help you in all aspects of your business…and life. If you are frustrated your competitors are getting more media coverage or more clients than you…just know they understand the long game.
It is not about getting the massive win right up front (well, that is nice but hard to sustained) but a series of wins over time. The most important aspect of growing any business starts and ends with mindset. Be clear on where you are, where you are headed, clean up your systems, know who your target market is….
Getting even the smallest of wins can be hard fought. As we head into Christmas, take some time to look at where you are at….and how measuring that can help you improve and move forward.
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