Where have you been?
- Your grandfather died.
- You were ill the last few days.
- Your laptop broke.
- The flood/typhoon knocked out your internet.
- A family member needed you to help them with something.
And hundreds more excuses than I am able to remember. I’ve heard them all.
These are all important things you should take care of– for which you have a valid reason to miss work.
But what is not okay is abandoning the team and the clients— only telling them AFTER the fact.
Let team members know BEFORE you need to take a day or two off– so they can cover for your part.
An unfortunate pattern we see with people new to digital marketing is using excuses to cover up reliability and performance issues.
Digital marketing is hard– there is so much to learn and so much to do that it can be overwhelming.
Too Much Freedom
Plus, you have all this freedom, which is easy to abuse.
Not that you are lazy or do not want to work– but because friends think you are “available” all the time, they invite you out to do things.
So you want to be nice to friends and hang out, thinking you will get back to your projects later tonight or tomorrow.
Except that never happens, and you fall further behind– since more distractions come up, all from well-meaning people who think you are not doing anything.
A shift worker does not understand a digital marketer since their view of work is like a factory job when you show up at a certain time for your shift.
If you are at home sitting on the couch, why not text all day, play with the dogs and goof off?
They do not realize you have project deadlines— team members counting on you and clients putting their business in your hands.
Once Things Start Catching Up With You
So when you realize you are behind, feeling “all by yourself” in your home, it is easy to go into excuse mode.
“Let’s see… what is the best excuse I can come up with?” is what you are used to doing. We can usually think of something since if you look for something bad, you will find it.
And that excuse might legitimately cover you for a day or two, but not for the months you have continued to struggle.
So then you get caught in a loop of being so far behind, team members and courts chasing you down, and feeling unmotivated.
I would rather watch Netflix and play video games to avoid the situation that is only getting worse.
Allow this to continue and the clients will fire us. The team will believe you are not reliable and do not care.
Communication and Discipline Instead of Excuses
The root of this is you not having learned team communication skills and not having the discipline to work in an environment that does not have physical supervision. Sure, you would be more reliable if you had to drive to an office and be there by 8 am each morning and have a rigid schedule. There is much good about being a wage slave.
But if you can learn the discipline to work in digital marketing, you can have amazing time freedom and be wherever you want.
You have to decide if you are going to focus on excuses after the fact or whether you are accountable and proactive.
Do you want to be the receptionist or factory-type worker that responds only when someone comes to the counter or calls? Or are you a leader who takes charge instead of moving only when someone tells you to?
It’s Not Too Late for You
If you are reading this, you have fallen into the most common trap of new digital marketers.
The good news is that it is an easy trap to escape from, as thousands have learned on their path from beginner to pro.
Read “How I Manage 1,000 Emails a Day“
Read “What to do when you feel overwhelmed“
Read “The Importance of Lightweight Touches“
My friend, are you wondering why I asked you to visit this post?
If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s because we didn’t hear from you for a few days. We tried to reach out to you, but you failed to get back to us.
And when you finally responded, you most likely attempted to justify your absence and lack of communication with a “valid” reason.
That’s why you’re here.
I created this post to show you where I’m coming from. I hope that by now, you understand why I am so critical about good communication.
This blog post is my best attempt to explain this most painful problem. I hope that starting today, you will work on your weaknesses so that we can get back on track.
Why Don’t You Start Now?
Do those five things, and you will see your teammates start applauding you instead of chasing you.
And you will be able to experience the awesome freedom of digital marketing instead of working in a dead-end job in some place you have to drive to each day and back, doing the same boring thing in an endless cycle.
If you want to grow, you are in the right place. And you should expect that learning new skills is a challenge you should be up to.
Now let us get going since the team and our clients are counting on you and rooting for you!