Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New

Imagine you’re running a program aimed at growing an area of the business.  It includes a new website, e-commerce solution, product development, marketing, and a conference.  You’re a little light on people to begin with, but everyone is super smart and aligned to the project’s goal.  Everyone is committed to its success.

But that warm fuzzy feeling suddenly turns prickly.  Some of those super smart people just got reallocated to another critical effort.  You talk to the team.  They tell you to give it a try and fill the shoes of those who have left.  Suddenly, you’re trudging into a territory you’ve never been before!

This scenario just happened to me.  The new territory; developing a marketing plan and event coordination.  Now the event coordination, I get that because that’s a project that has a timeline, dependencies, and potentially a whole lot of human drama.  I also have a mentor who is helping me.  But marketing, that is definitely NOT in my wheelhouse.

So home I trudge to a library of books I refuse to throw away.  I dig, then dig more, then wallah, my 2013 Marketing book!  As I page through I get some good ideas.  I write those down.  Then, I hop onto Google and find more ideas and examples.  I write those down too.  Before you know it, four sheets of paper are filled up and I take my first stab at a marketing plan.

Next, I find someone who is good at marketing and for the price of coffee, ask for them to review my work.  It was “adequate.”  I’ll take that.  Twenty minutes of suggestions later and back I go for another round of updates.  I review it with another marketing person who says it’s not bad for a rookie.  Score!  A couple more edits and it’s ready to review with the team.

There will be times, whether at work or home, where you’ll need to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new.  Don’t be afraid to give it a try.  Even if your first attempt isn’t that great, make changes and try again.  Even if the end product isn’t a masterpiece, you learned something new.

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