Stop Being Tactful; Start Being Strategic

Now that the New Year has rolled around and February is sneaking up, people should already be thinking about or are rolling out their marketing plans for 2015. However, in this fast-paced world, people tend to be more reactionary due to pressures of everyone focusing on the “now.” When this happens, you lose sight of the big picture. You lose sight of what is not currently in front of you.

While this may sound familiar to you or may sound good to you – it shouldn't. If you haven’t made a New Year Resolution yet, it’s not too late. (I won’t tell anyone you started almost a month in.) If you want a marketing resolution, here it is: I promise to not only know where I want to end up in a year, but also I will plan a road map of how I am going to get there.

Sounds simple right? The tricky part is sticking to it. Whether it is because you or your boss is too focused on numbers or that upcoming event next weekend – no matter what – it’s tricky. If you can take a step back and realize you need to think bigger than what is in the next couple of weeks, you are ahead of the game.

If you are constantly worried about what to say on social media every day or trying to throw together a promotion for next week, you are making it harder for yourself. I promise.

Imagine you are up 30,000 feet and looking down. You should be able to see an outline of what you are doing. Keep in mind, at 30,000 feet, you aren't going to see the details of everything, BUT you will be able to see what is happening in two, four or six months from now. As you get closer, you can start to make out a little more detail. Maybe there is something cyclical that happens in your company or city you can leverage. Maybe by taking a step back, without the pressures of now breathing down your neck, you can find new opportunities. You’re so high up, you've never seen over there in that corner. Or that one. Or even that one. Now’s the time to do so. Explore.

By seeing all the possibilities, you can sit down and create a plan that weaves them all together. You can build off of something to get you somewhere else. Hate how deadlines creep up on you and you have to rush everything at the last minute? Now you don’t. You know your deadlines weeks and maybe months in advance. You are able to set reminders and get everything together ahead of schedule.

Instead of only thinking about one huge goal that is “do or die” by the end of the year with no ladder to climb to get there, you now can build your path to that goal. Hitting milestones along the way. It’s hard to hit one, supreme goal in one jump. Trust me. We've all tried. If you can create mini goals on your way to the big goal, it makes it much more attainable.

Lastly, when you strategically plan, you cannot only learn from your successes, but you have time to identify what went wrong and craft a way to improve it for next time. When you are always 100 mph all the time, it’s hard to do and what normally happens is, you go faster and faster and become more frantic. Because you are running out of time. It’s a vicious rabbit hole to go down. Don’t do it, if you can avoid it.

So when you are feeling swamped and things seem to be overwhelming, take a step back and wonder why. Is it because you don’t know why you are doing the day to day? Do you not have a bigger picture planned out? Take that 30,000 view and plan all your steps ahead. You won’t regret it.

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