After speaking at an event I was approached by a member of the audience. She said, “I’ve’d been trying to develop a social media marketing campaign for over six months, and I haven’t gotten very far. Any suggestions?” I needed a bit more information before I could respond, so I asked, “What’s your social media strategy?” She smiled back at me, but didn’t have an answer. Most business people haven’t figured out a profitable answer.
I recommend this first step… and I always offer to assist: Clarify the marketing strategy for your social media campaign.
Some accept my offer of assistance, yet many tell me they’ll try to come up with the strategy themselves and get back to me for the next phase. That’s great… but they don’t. Why? Because they’re focused on trying rather than doing.
Are you trying to do Social Media Marketing?
How many times a day do you hear people say, “I’ll try”?
I’ll bet you hear that little phrase a lot. I’ll bet you say it yourself.
Well, what’s wrong with that? After all, from an early age you’ve been told, “Whatever you do… always try hard.”
Trying is not doing. The act of trying may actually be counterproductive.
What price do you pay in your business and in your life for trying rather than doing?
The following exercise will clarify this abstract concept.
Ready? Place your pen or pencil on the table or desk in front of you. Now… try to pick it up.
Did you pick up your writing utensil?
If you did, I have one thing to say, “You didn’t follow the instructions.”
Trying will rarely produce your desired result.
How often have you said to yourself… or others… “I really want to accomplish X?” How many times have you followed that statement with, “and this time I’m really going to try?”
You can probably remember a project, a task, or even a New Year’s resolution that was left incomplete, about which you can sincerely say, “Well, I tried.”
You had every intention to complete the task. You remember trying to accomplish what you’d intended. You remember the task being left unfinished.
“Trying” dilutes intention.
The more you want to or try to accomplish a task, the more challenging the completion of that task becomes.
In Episode V of Star Wars, Yoda gives a set of instructions to his pupil, Luke Skywalker. Luke responds to Yoda’s instructions with the words, “I’ll try.”
Yoda counters quietly and with conviction. He says, “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
Adopt this cinematic saying. Keep it close to you at all times. Make it a part of your daily action plan. Write it out. Paste it on the wall.
We all want to do the right things. We all try to do the right things. However, the mindsets of wanting and trying come with a cost.
That cost of wanting is best summed up in this excerpt from the first in a series of books entitled “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch. Walsch’s literary depiction of God shares these words, “You can not have that for which you ask. Nor can you have anything you want. The very request is a statement of lack and your saying you want produces only want in your reality.”
Here’s the tip: Remove statements that include the words “try” and “want” from your personal vocabulary. Focus on action oriented statements like, “I’ll do the task”, or “I’ll complete the task.”
The next time you hear someone say, “’I’ll try to do the task”… rather than, “I’ll do the task”… make sure you ask them to clarify their plan.
Ask them to spell out clearly the steps that will result in a completed project.
Review the time frame. Discuss openly the consequences of leaving the task unfinished. You can demonstrate your support by simply asking, “What support do you need to complete the task?”
Here’s an exercise designed to build up the muscle of “doing.”
Over a two week period keep a simple journal in which you log the frequency of the phrase “I’ll try” in your environment. If you’re the source of the comment, ask yourself “What specific action can I take, right away, to move the project along?”
If someone else is the source of the statement you can ask, “What might stop you from completing the task?” Bring it out in the open so it can be handled. Bring it out in the open before the frustration sets in.
If you choose to take on this assignment remember to say to yourself, “I’ll do this assignment” rather than, “I’ll try to do this assignment”.
Make this shift in your communications style and watch more tasks and projects get started and completed.
As simple as it may seem, this shift in language really makes a difference.