So, if you’ve ever been to a beach in Europe you might have heard of the so-called “Lucky Lucky man”. I don’t know where the name comes from, but keep it in mind for later.
These lucky lucky men walk up and down the beach all day long, trying to sell fake branded items like sunglasses, baseball caps, jewelry, perfumes – basically anything they think will sell to tourists.
Part of the “charm” of the experience is that you get to haggle them down from their initial price to a price you think is low enough not to refuse.
I’ll come back to the lucky lucky man shortly.
Right now I’m on vacation and there are several of these guys on the beach outside our hotel. But for a couple of reasons, this trip is not as pleasant as it could be.
The first reason is that I’ve been silly and managed to get heatstroke from too much exposure to the sun. Staying in a quiet, dark room with air conditioning on full is not so much fun as enjoying the sights and sounds of a new place. I have nobody to blame but myself for the heatstroke.
But the other reason is probably even worse. I’ve kept wanting to tear myself away from the sea and sand – and good company – to check emails and do bits of work and even to write this blog post!
I was planning to write this post last week, but being confined to bed delayed me.
Not the best way to get some rest 🙂
The reason I’m telling you this is that in my previous post I explained that there is a kind of internet addiction that hits many marketers and would-be marketers.
And it is not confined to newbies! Even 10 year veterans can find it very difficult to resist the lure of “activity”.
I certainly find it hard to resist the siren call of the computer. I’m sitting here in my hotel room writing this at 10pm and wondering if I have enough images!
So what’s the story about the unlucky lucky man? On our first day here we were on the beach and I was watching how one of these guys was working. He basically approached every single person as he walked down the beach.
The only way he could earn twice as much money was to do twice as much work, in effect. And then I saw something that happened.
He approached a couple of tourists who proceeded to examine most of his merchandise and ask him tons of questions. As he answered them other prospects passed by.
At the end of the time the tourists told him they wanted none of his goods. No sale. His opportunity to sell to others had diminished by the 20 or so minutes he had spent on a failed sale.
The problem for this lucky lucky guy is that he cannot really work smarter. He has to work harder to earn more. Even if he used his best intuition about a tourist, he can never really tell if any particular one will buy, or how much they will spend. He has to spend the time with them to try to make the sale.
In the previous post I talked about working smarter, not harder. Sadly, many of us really do fall into the trap – over and over again – of trying to work harder when we really, really should be working way smarter. I’ll give you an example of that in a moment.
Have you ever fallen asleep at your computer? If so, you’re not alone. I have, on more than one occasion.
But my lucky lucky friend was unlucky because he got no sale, despite the time he put into his pitch.
His hard work did not pay off. Another time, another tourist and it might have paid off big. But he can’t really do any market research in such a situation. He simply has to work as hard as he can, to earn as much as he can.
And time, for all of us, is the one thing that you get an absolutely fixed amount of. You get 24 hours a day, same as me.
As for me, the constant pull towards doing “something” on the computer is very hard to ignore, even at those times when there really is no need to be in front of it.
The only way to avoid this trap, that I’ve seen work, is to be ruthless. I want to give you an example of that. Jonathan Leger is actually ruthless (he doesn’t know I’m writing this!) .
No not ruthless in an “evil corporate CEO” type of way. He’s ruthless with finding the most efficient solution to any problem. That takes hard work to find, ironically. But once he’s found that solution he then ruthlessly uses it and avoids wasted effort.
It’s actually an elegant solution, because it capitalizes on hard work to find the easy way to do something – and then rinses and repeats the easy way!
When you’re not sure whether a product or service will sell well, you could develop it fully and then hope for the best. Or you could be pragmatic and test the waters first, before you put serious time and energy into it.
Jon’s going to be doing that with a new service we’ll be offering later this week. Why spend a ton of time on a fancy website, management systems and back-end coding before we are sure enough people want it?
If interest is sufficiently high to warrant it, you put in the time and effort to make it work, then you streamline it until it’s a well oiled machine with extremely high efficiency.
The same is true of any of your internet marketing efforts. Many times you will spend effort and energy on something before you are sure it warrants it. Testing can help you to avoid making the mistake my lucky lucky man made – you can avoid trying to sell where there is no customer, or no customer who is actually interested.
When you do that, the time you save can then be reinvested so you can do more of what works.
You’ve heard this before, right? There’s a famous phrase:
“Rinse and repeat.”
Are you rinsing and repeating? If you are, you may just be luckier than the unlucky lucky man I saw earlier this week. I hope for your sake you put as much energy into working smarter, as you do into working harder.
The investment in yourself will pay dividends in the years to come.