“Pushy Mothers’ is a national organisation that started around Newcastle and aims to help young mothers to get or stay fit and well. It’s a great idea and a great name . . . or is it?
We’re working on our first sales strategy and really need to ‘get out there and sell’. But we’re terrified of looking ‘pushy’, especially in yoga circles. I’ve looked it up and the definition of ‘pushy’ is ‘excessively or unpleasantly self-assertive or ambitious’. No. We definitely don’t want to be that. And yet, when we read all the sales and marketing ‘stuff’ that’s what we need to be if we’re to survive in this terribly competitive environment. Is it easier to be pushy online? We could get some lead management software to turn contacts into ‘hot prospects’ (?!) but doesn’t that mean pestering the virtual life out of people until they simply unsubscribe? Still, then, we’re struggling with the balance between that which we (think we) can control and the the influences of the wider world. Is it enough just to be present? To be there? Will business come to us when we’re ready? Or do we have to push with all the resistance that implies?
We’ve got a full on week ahead – two new outlets for our books and we take our first delivery of MyogaMarzipants (this year’s coolest look – on and off the yoga mat. Pictures soon). Admin mounts and so the iBook version of the MyogaManual will have to take a bit of a back seat (despite the fact I’m up to chapter 11 of 13) as we’re both pretty much occupied by the day jobs too. It’s hectic. And it would be so easy to fall into the trap of becoming busy fools, running frantically around getting frazzled and enjoying very few of the little treasures each day offers if only we could slow down enough to see them.
My promise to myself? To perform two activities a day with mindfulness. My favourites are (1) my morning shower and (2) eating cake – and of course my yoga practice. Here’s hoping this will help with the busyness and make us more productive. We can hope.
So, no cake yesterday – a shocking state of affairs that will be remedied at our earliest convenience (which might be some time actually). In the meantime, we’re reflecting on our first 6 months in business. It’s early days of course, and in yoga terms, we’re still mastering Dandasana. But we’re amassing crumbs of wisdom that, one day, might make a substantial cake of their own. This is some of what we’ve learned so far:
- People will only engage with you if they like you and what you stand for
- Selling is harder than mastering Hummingbird
- Saturdays and Sundays are pretty much like Mondays
- Yoga may be magic – but it’s not an instant fix and that’s what a lot of people are looking for
- Wisdom isn’t highly rated. Handbags are
- Cake is a must at meetings. It can make or break your day
- A little bit of fairy dust goes a long way.
In summary, I think we can say that, after the first few months, we pretty much know what we’re up against. And we’re grateful for these little wisdoms we’re picking up on the way. The challenge is ours. Everything is sent to you for a reason.
We’re still a very little start-up business but we’re trying to be ‘green’ and to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. We’ve published our first book and all our suppliers have been local to the City. We’ve used paper only from sustainable resources, and as little of it as possible. And we’re just embarking on a fair trade project with Marzipants. We’re publishing the MyogaManual as an iBook soon (once the grim and painstaking reformatting is done) and are looking at an audio book/CD for our next publication. And pretty much all of our marketing is done via the web. Smugness isn’t something that sits well with yogis but we thought we were getting it right – at least a bit.
But now I read that the power consumption of one Google search is equal to half that needed to make a pot of tea (a figure contested by Google of course) and someone’s avatar in second life (and I tried this once so I know what it’s about) uses as much energy as a real-life Brazilian! Well I don’t know about you but I’ve yet to see a carbon footprint calculator that asks you to include browsing and parallel living in the estimate of the number of planets we each consume.
So, what to do? No bloomin’ idea. But I’m pleased to say that, as it’s Thursday again tomorrow, the afternoon will see us easing off on Google and using our quota of energy to heat the tea. And if we have more ‘board meeting’ cake, I’ll post a photo, wondering how much energy that consumes. And I used to think the biggest problem was the kilojoule . . .