Success and Growth is Possible Thanks to the Obstacles

seize the obstacleThere are no obstacles on the path, the obstacles are the path. – Zen quote

Recently I was talking with Audra Casino, our podcaster/AV-master extraordinaire here at Firepole Marketing.

I remarked how I’ve come to learn that all of the struggles, challenges, and apparent obstacles I’ve encountered on my path to success (still very much in process) have actually been part of the path… not obstructions to it.

It hasn’t been an easy lesson, but it’s been an incredibly valuable one.

And while I’m nowhere near attaining even a modicum of the success that I aspire towards, the reminder that obstacles on the path are the “stuff” of success helps me on a daily basis.

Discouragement: The First Hurdle

If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere. – Frank A. Clark

For most of us, when we’re starting on the path of entrepreneurship, or even if we’ve been there for a while, the obstacles we encounter can be discouraging and disheartening.

And for many of us, we use them as props to support our own belief that while others may succeed, our own success can’t happen for whatever reason we choose.

While the appearance of obstacles on the path may seem to be a sign that we’re not on the right course, there are those who will tell us differently.

Like the quotes I’ve used throughout this post, there are many extraordinary individuals; CEOs, spiritual leaders, politicians, artists, athletes, (and parents!) who will tell you that it was only by learning to take their obstacles onto the path that they found their true greatness.

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BR12: Taylor Pearson on Reimagining the Future of Jobs

If you’re an educated professional with a strong skill set and a head full of best practices, that makes for great job security and a fulfilling career, right? Think again.

In Taylor Pearson’s book, The End of Jobs, he talks about how this segment of the job market could possibly be shrinking – significantly. Today, he and Danny discuss what could take its place, and if you’re an entrepreneur at heart, you’ll want to hear what they have to say.

Download the transcript here.

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5 Storytelling Techniques to Improve Your Sales

Storytelling is making a comebackThe emphasis on analytics driven digital advertising nearly destroyed storytelling’s role in marketing.

However, with a new push in content marketing, storytelling is making a comeback.

After years of measuring clicks, impressions, and sales, marketers now measure effectiveness in engagement: likes, favorites, retweets, and shares.

Marketers are learning to go beyond getting an audience’s attention and utilizing storytelling to engage an audience with the actual material.

As Matthew Turner from The Successful Mistake mentions, “every individual and every brand and every business has a unique story.”

Strong narratives have an impact on sales and can trump data alone. Stories are an effective marketing tool and resonate better with customers than data alone because of the following attributes:

  • Stories are easy to remember
  • Stories provoke emotional response
  • Stories are shareable (on and offline)

To illustrate, consider a University of Michigan study where participants were told that they had a terminal illness and offered a drug effective 90% of the time. The drug was then offered with a story about a single patient that took the drug that resulted in either a positive, neutral, or negative outcome.

With positive or neutral stories, 85-90% of the participants opted to take the drug. Unsurprisingly, when coupled with a negative outcome story, the participant chose the drug only 39% of the time.

How can we tell a better story, then?

We all know someone who tells a great story, but figuring out how to do that in a business context can be challenging.

Below are five tips to help you tell your story and best market your company.

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Does Your Plan Control Your Business?

ask theReadersIf you listen to stories of successful entrepreneurs, there’s one thing many of them have in common: the idea they had when they started their business is very different from how their business ended up.

Danny, for example, started Firepole Marketing with the intention of creating a marketing class. Which, of course, he eventually did — but the Audience Business Masterclass has very little in common with the class Danny originally intended to teach.

And Danny’s not the only one whose original idea for his business was very different from where the business has gone. In fact, the idea of “pivoting” — changing your business direction in response to your audience — is a core value for many startups.

But what about you? Do you have a business idea you’re “married” to, or are you willing to change as you discover what your audience truly needs? Are there aspects of your original business idea that you could never give up, even if it looked like it meant your business would never succeed? Are there parts of your original business idea that you’ve already changed, and how has that hurt or helped your business?

Are You Making These 7 Lethal Marketing Mistakes?

charge your audience with emotionContent marketing can be a serious pain.

You drill into your tired brain and dig out lessons for your readers, hours of researching, and reading leaves your eyes feeling like dry wood.

And you ruthlessly edit your work with the hope it helps your readers and generates sales.

But despite your hard work, you’re not getting a good return for the brutal effort that you put in.

You feel like you’re just… wasting your time.

So what’s going on?

Chances are, you’re making some mistakes. Mistakes that are damaging your business and undermining your content marketing efforts.

So here are 7 lethal content marketing mistakes you can’t afford to make.

Steering clear of these mistakes will catapult you above the noise and help you use content marketing to attract a bigger and better audience to shoot up your business growth.

Let’s go.

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