Ulysses and the SirensRecall this story of Ulysses: his ship is passing the Sirens who live along the rocky shore, and he asks his men to tie him to the mast so he won’t succumb to their Siren Song, smashing the ship into the rocks.

Flash forward to your business today and compare this story to your marketing. There are plenty of Sirens calling to you; are you in danger of smashing into the rocks and wrecking your business ship? Below are several Siren Songs, and how you can safely navigate through them.

Don’t listen to the voices in your head, aka learn the Siren’s Song.
Each of us has a particular type of conversation that gets our attention more than another. Your Sirens know exactly how to talk to you to get you to stop doing whatever it is you are doing and turn your business ship towards the rocks. They may whisper, “You don’t know how to market,” or “Your business will never grow,” or “You’ve tried this before and it didn’t work then, what makes you think it’ll work now?”

Identify the main conversations the Sirens whisper to you, and understand those conversations aren’t the truth. Make a list of what the truth really is and keep it handy so you can talk back when needed. The Sirens are trying to steer you off course with their song; like Ulysses, if you put beeswax in your ears it’ll be harder to hear them, and when they do you’ll be ready with how to respond.

Know your weak points, aka use your beeswax.
Ulysses was smart enough to have his men put beeswax in their ears, get out the sturdy rope, and tie him up because he knew he wouldn’t be able to resist the Siren’s Song. Knowing what you’re susceptible to makes it easier to spot and plan ahead for. Are you someone who loves a constant stream of information and gets lost down the rabbit hole on the internet? Perhaps you are used to responding to email or other notifications immediately when you receive them. Or maybe you work from home and feel the tug of the kids, the housework, or the couch.

By understanding what’s most tempting to you, you can develop a plan to combat them when they arise. For the examples above, you could work offline for an hour, or set specific times each day to respond, or have a dedicated work schedule to keep you on track.

Set up a structure to lean into, aka tie yourself to the mast.
When your work and marketing time is unstructured, it’s easier for the Siren’s Song to lure you in and pull you off course. Client work, urgent calls and the normal demands of the workday all compete for your attention. Without a plan for how you’d like to spend your time, including a dedicated time for marketing, it’s easy to get thrown off course.

Having a structure to lean into — similar to how Ulysses tied himself to the mast — makes a huge difference in how effective you are in staying the course (this way you’re not relying solely on your willpower). Think about how you work best and develop a structure around it. If you’re a night owl, create a work plan that sees you doing more work at night. If you’re chipper in the afternoon, set aside time several times a week from 1-4 to make sales calls. Whatever your natural rhythm, use it to create a structure that keeps you away from the Siren’s Song.

By taking some time in advance, you can brace yourself for the Siren’s Song and sail smoothly past temptation into a safe marketing harbor.

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