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Picture the scene. It’s 1984. Legwarmers are BIG news. It’s Saturday morning, and having watched Noel Edmonds Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, I’m on my way to Gymnastics Club.

I don’t particularly like gymnastics, but as one of three highly chatty sisters, my parents wanted at least one of us out of the house at all times; we did lots of clubs.

As I said, I’m not that mad on gymnastics, and as a rather rotund ten-year-old, I am also not designed for fleet-of-foot activities. What I do have is an intensely competitive nature, that is probably inappropriate for the youngest AND smallest child in the class, with a keen love of cake. This desire to achieve has made me DESPERATE to secure the BAGA 2 (I have no idea what this stands for but, fyi, it’s a gymnastics badge).

The problem is, in order to secure the BAGA 2, you have to do a headstand. And, no matter how many hours Chris Sullivan’s dad is prepared to spend coaching me (God bless that man), I just can’t do it. I’m not built that way (try standing a pear on its head and you’ll get the idea). He teaches me, trains me, cajoles me, props me up, leans me up against things, every single Saturday, but I just can’t do the sodding headstand.

Eventually, after six months of Saturday mornings (I’m not even exaggerating) spent straining, wobbling up and down and holding my breath, I finally get there. A very brief, very precarious, ten seconds in the correct, upside-down position. The sense of achievement and relief is incredible (mainly for Mr Sullivan).

I got my badge!

And, then… I immediately gave up gymnastics.

I realised that nothing was worth that much effort.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, call me controversial, but I believe that if something is proving this difficult, it’s possibly not worth the effort. Maybe you just aren’t cut out for it! Imagine how good I would be at sailing by now if I’d spent every Saturday splicing a mainbrace instead of trying to heave myself into a ridiculous, and, frankly, untenable position.

And this applies in marketing too. You may have set your heart on being a public speaker. You may think that all of your future business could come from a stellar social media campaign. You might fancy yourself as a pro-blogger. But, if it’s not working out because you don’t have the natural skills that are crucial for the task, and no end of training is improving your game, cut your losses and move on to the next thing. Marketing should not be like pushing water uphill. Go with your strengths and capitalise on them.

Great writer? Double down on this. Write blogs, write articles, write a book, leave speaking engagements to business owners who genuinely can excel in this area.

Confident speaker? Book yourself in to speak wherever you can, and record videos, offer yourself as a guest on live video.

And, if you don’t have the skill, but you still want to do the thing because you think it’s vital for your business, outsource. Hire a great writer, employ someone who can get up and speak on behalf of your business. Save yourself a ton of stress.

Let us know if we can help.

P.S. Interestingly I recently met Mr Sullivan at a funeral, he’s in his 70s now. He told me that getting me to do that headstand was one of the hardest things he’s done in his entire life! 

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