Remember the famous fable about The Tortoise and the Hare?
Here’s a recap in case you need a refresher.
The speedy Hare challenges the slow Tortoise to a race. The Hare takes off like a lightening bolt and gets way ahead of the Tortoise. Confident he would win; the Hare decides to take a nap.
The Tortoise keeps plodding along and gets ahead of the Hare while he napped. And ultimately, the Tortoise wins the race.
The moral of the story?
Slow and steady wins the race.
Although it might not seem like it, this story has business implications for us too.
Think about it.
In business, we often want to be like the Hare.
The Hare is fast and flashy. The Hare is a winner.
Or, so it seems.
But, here’s the problem. The Hare is cocky, lazy and easily distracted.
Doesn’t that happen a lot for us in business?
We start out with a new initiative and we get excited. We have big ideas and start off running.
But, what happens?
We get bored. We lose interest. And we find another shiny object to chase when we don’t see results right away.
And ultimately, we don’t reach the finish line. And, we wonder why our competitors are beating us!
Business Success Requires Perseverance
Instead, what you need is perseverance and consistency like the Tortoise.
The Tortoise is a winner because he sticks to his goal and steadily works to cross the finish line.
Yes, it’s boring. Yes, it’s tempting to quit.
But, perseverance is the secret to success.
Perseverance in Marketing
How does this apply to marketing?
Here is what perseverance in marketing looks like:
- Actually implementing that marketing strategy you developed.
- Sticking with that new marketing initiative for at least 90 days before abandoning it for something else.
- Consistently publishing your blog posts or sending that e-letter like you planned — even if you don’t feel like it.
- Testing and tweaking your existing marketing efforts before giving up on it.
- Using social media to build long-lasting relationships that take time to develop.
Oftentimes, the reason why businesses don’t succeed with their marketing is because they gave up too soon.
Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. And, success doesn’t come over night. The companies that win with marketing are willing to roll up their sleeves, do the work and stick with it.
Anthony Iannarino wrote a great blog post this week about the importance of execution. And, he’s right. So often businesses come up with great ideas, but they abandon them for the next shiny object instead of sticking with their plan.
The next time you think you need to develop a new plan or strategy, ask yourself — did we do a good job of implementing the last initiative? Did we actually stick with it long enough to know if it worked?
Yes, you can always change direction if something doesn’t work. But, before you do, make sure you didn’t just abandon great ideas because it was more fun to try something new.
What do you think?