The environment we live in matters to us. We want air that’s clean enough to breathe. We want water that’s clean enough to drink. We want land that’s clean enough to stand on. We don’t want to be surrounded by poisons and toxins and wastes. We don’t want to be surrounded by pests or dangerous predators. We don’t want to be subject to a natural disaster. So, we make an effort to exercise reasonable control over our environment. To some degree it works, to some degree it doesn’t, but the point is that most of us try.
As writers, most of us realize that our writing environment matters, too. We want a space to write that meets our needs. For me, that means quiet and enough room to spread out. It means having cork boards I can pin things up on. It means a desk, a computer, and a chair that I can sit on comfortably while sitting lotus-style. It means a computer, Internet access, and sufficient electricity to keep my computer going. Unfortunately, it also means a space that I can smoke, which defeats the whole point of air clean enough to breathe—but, what can I say, addiction’s a bitch to kick. Anyway, the point is to produce our best quality work, we need to exercise some control over the environment in which we write.
Now, what does this have to do with marketing?
Isn’t it obvious?!? As a self-marketer, you need to understand that your marketing environment matters, too. An economy is basically a financial ecosystem*. You write and sell in an economy that’s bigger than yourself—just as your personal and your writing environments are part of ecologies that are bigger than you can actually control. But you can control some of the things that you require to have a healthy marketing environment that works for you.
(*One thing that you learn if you study micro and macroeconomics, or by paying attention to the financial news, is that we now live in a global economy that is, despite our best efforts, outside the control of even the biggest, most powerful of government cooperatives. We can influence our financial ecology, but it is subject to natural forces outside of our control, including booms and busts and the occasional recession and depression. These are natural corrective forces that we cannot control or avoid. In many ways, our shared economy is very much like our shared ecosystem. If we had more respect for the global economy and the global ecology, then we’d all be in a lot better shape. But, hey, we’re human and too many of us are greedy and wasteful and destructive. Go figure that we tend to muck things up.)
The point of all of this is that there are things that are within your control within your marketing environment. The better you understand what you can’t control and the better control you exercise over what you can, the healthier your marketing environment will be and the better it will serve you.
Or to put it another way… Apply the Serenity Prayer to your marketing environment.