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You can do hard things. Stop. Say it 3x.

If you're a Peloton user, you know who says “you can do hard things.” This helps so much when I’m only a mile in and walking seems so much easier than running three more miles. And lately, I've had a lot of one-mile-in feelings when it comes to marketing.

On a recent podcast episode of the Two Marketing Moms, I found myself saying (multiple times): "It may not feel great. It may not feel natural. You may feel the urge to resist. But get over the discomfort and tackle it." I’ve had to dive into the uncomfortable more often than not in the past year. And realized I should say this to myself as it pertains to my work and the mountain of tasks it takes to get things done. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, but sometimes I get overwhelmed. Even admitting that makes me uncomfortable, but I bet you can relate. Even the best athletes need to hear Jess Sims tell them they can do hard things.

But I'm not here to convince you, just look back at what you've accomplished this past year. It was alllllllll the hard things. Did you keep your business afloat, or even grow it over the past year? Did you take care of kids while working full time? Did you navigate loneliness and heartache? Did you find a new job or a new passion? Did you get things done that have been on your to-do list for a long time? See! You can do the hard things. In retrospect, I know I can, too.

So, when I think about combatting the overwhelm that is marketing, I have turned to a few things to help me manage my time and my tasks:

  1. Printing out my weekly calendar and hanging it near my computer. I mark off every meeting and every day. ✔️accomplished!
  2. I've started to organize each of my projects in Trello boards, for my eyes only. Gosh, it feels so good to move a task into done! ✨
  3. When I write down my daily tasks, I then go back and rank them in importance. I also now **try** to schedule my harder tasks in the morning hours when my brain is fresh, and easier tasks in the afternoon. ♛
  4. I use Google docs for a brain dump via a shortcut in my computer menu. I've found when I capture my thoughts when they are ultra fresh, I can knock out a huge chunk of work while not even thinking about it. I don't try to suppress the thoughts, I harness them. 📝
  5. I like to start a draft of a marketing plan as soon as it's spoken into words. I just start with a list, usually of tactics. I know I can always work backward. 🤸

Whether it's overwhelm, imposter syndrome, excuses, fear, tiredness...fight it. The fight will turn into good things and good marketing (if that's your thing.) Now that's #marketing #motivation.

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Don’t let the weekend derail you! The "I'll start a diet on Monday" isn’t just for what you eat. It applies to your planning, doing, accomplishing, and relaxation goals, too! This article from the only hard-copy magazine (Fast Co) that I subscribe to is a great reminder that old habits die hard. Keep it up on your days off, and you'll reap the rewards.

This is a deep dive if there ever was one on Excel. I can accomplish just about anything using a pivot table. Before I had my first child I used Excel to compare the pros and cons of strollers and uncovered I had both friends and clients who thought it was genius and helpful. But did you know how many products are inspired by Excel? This is a helpful reminder of where good ideas come from.
For anyone up for a challenge...My whole family participated in an Instagram challenge for Special Olympics to raise awareness for the mission and celebrate all abilities. Watch, enjoy, and join in!

For those wishing to impart some wisdom...If you listened to this podcast episode, you'd know I'm working on a book. I have a solid outline going, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, too. Throw your ideas into this thread.

For those in need of a pick-me-up...Let me send you some love your way with a compliment card. It's a double-dose of joy because who doesn't love getting actual mail? (Yes, I will send it to you using a stamp!)

For all the visual learners...Access to my hand-drawn infographics from the High-Five Nonprofit Marketing Ideas video series. 
"Can you recommend some free marketing courses I can take online?"
 
A request after my own heart. I live by the "always be learning" mantra. In no particular order:
  • If we're connected on LinkedIn, you know how much I utilize the platform. But have you checked out LinkedIn Learning (formerly known as Lynda.com)? Go through their onboarding questionnaire, and they will customize the recommendations for you. It's free with a LinkedIn monthly subscription, so not entirely free.
  • Hubspot Academy is a great place to start for any marketer. Even if you don't use the platform, the processes and philosophies can be applied to your marketing efforts elsewhere.
  • I just learned about EdX, but it looks valuable and credible. 
  • While many of these courses are not free, they do have some that are - check out General Assembly. You can even do classes with experts in your own geographic area.
  • If you do any paid social advertising, Facebook Blueprint is for you. 
  • Udemy has great courses for minimal fees. Some of these seem like basic topics, but how great to have an expert walk you through the intricacies and give you an insider tour?
  • Part of Google's Nonprofit Program is marketing courses (on top of the $10K free advertising!). This is a can't miss.

Thanks, as always, to the Facebook group Nonprofit Communications Professionals for this question.
Be persistent!
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