The state of the world today should make it obvious to anyone: we humans like making things hard for each other.

Well, not so much “each other” as “the other”.

Think of all the snares you’ve hit on the way while building your business. When we don’t fit into the cookie-cutter rat race people resent us. They think we’re getting away with more, and can’t stand it. They think by doing things our own way we’re having more fun. Ha!

Even if you’ve made that first amazing leap into running a successful business, someone’s always going to try to make things harder for you.

Your local competition will make it harder for you. Always a new offer, always sneakily filling some gap in the market that you’ve overlooked.

The media will make it harder for you. Telling us what we should wear, who we should be, and what we should think. Heaven help us if we step out of line!

And big business will make it harder for you. You know – those big businesses. The ones who pay as much in stock dividends every year as your business might make in three lifetimes.

All those groups make it harder on you by thinking of the best things first.

How do they do it?


1. Hire a team

Even the CEO of your biggest competitor can’t go it alone. He pays people very well to determine the company’s strategy.

You’re never moving forward too fast to make the next turn. If your job is to manage and produce, you may feel like a strategy is best left to another person. A whole team of them. And that’s how it’s done.


2. Constantly acquire new customers

Your customer base is made up of aging humans. They can’t be the wind beneath your wings forever. Moving forward means reaching out to new customer bases.

This is best done by targeting just the folks who want to listen to you – something easier today than ever before. Maybe the media isn’t so bad after all. Digital solutions are in play that can tell you exactly which of your messages and offers are getting read, and which ones are falling flat.

And if you’re not doing it digitally, well, you’re not moving forward at all.


3. Use multiple channels like a pro

As you already know, you can’t go it alone. All those messages that the digital whizzes are testing out – someone has to write them. Someone who has transformed people skills into prospecting skills.

This is done by accounting for the media where your message is seen. The 3×5 ad you put in the newspaper might not fare so well on Tumblr. Someone needs to be on top of every media channel your business chooses to use.

And how can you choose?


4. Focus your approach

More power to you if you’ve got money to pump out to every channel. But even more power to you if you can target the ones that are working, and ditch all the other strategies.

Marketing needs stewardship. It means killing your darlings. It could be the best ad you’ve written – but if people aren’t responding to it, it’s got to go.


5. Reach outward

You don’t want that additional stress. Now more than ever, moving forward is actually reaching outward. Ivory-tower strategies won’t get you far. Get some eyes and ears on it. Hire a whole marketing team for the cost of one employee. Do what it takes – they’ll make it hard for you if you don’t.