Marketing Depth

September 23, 2012


Life has this way of sweeping you off your feet in a certain way, taking you with its currents into eddies or side streams or even way out to sea. You get clarity in moments or seasons about who you are and where you want to be (artist, poet, centered, enough), and then slowly – or even in a blink sometimes – you find yourself drifting away from that place.

In my observation, life also has a way of reminding us what’s happening – of waking us up to that drift and to where it is we want to consciously get back to.

So it was with a nod of recognition that I read my friend Jen’s words this week about why she resists so much about online culture, and her words earlier in the month about how to be soulful online (both totally worth reading).

She’s a voice in my life that beautifully and persistently reminds me how sacred and necessary – even salvific – it is to name the currents that swirl around and pull at us, to talk about our discomforts with them, and to do what it takes to shift back, again and again (and again), to where we want to be.

I’m feeling the swirl of life’s currents as I approach and market Trust Habits (a 30-day course on trust fundamentals). At heart I am a mystic. I’m a poet. A seer. I live mostly deep beneath life’s surfaces and experience wonder at the discoveries I make there.

And my natural bent in response to what I see is to want to be quiet with it. Reverently so.

So there is awkwardness, for me, in the task of then peddling these discoveries to YOU. As though to fit them into the same formulas that are used to sell widgets, or used to sell products and services that aren’t mined from such depths dishonors their true value. Dishonors some important, hidden thing that was a gift for me to see at all.

Like peddling glimpses of unicorns.

There is a robustness to trust, a robustness to these things I want to share, that isn’t a unicorn glimpse at all. But the feeling is present that to sell them like widgets, or like “10 easy steps to a happy life” isn’t what they’re made for.

…isn’t what many of your treasures are made for, either. I feel this to my bones.

In the swoosh and swirl of the online world, I want to align and re-align myself with people whose lives and words and even stumblings are a call to come home (and come home…and come home again) to a holy, private wonder, and to the challenge of discerning in each instance how a product or service can be offered not according to how the currents of our world or the Internet are pulling at us, but according to how each of these treasures can most truly, effectively, be shared.

The difference might not always be clear, but the work of this discernment will surely birth words and images and types of media that better honor our from-the-depths offerings than those that life’s vaster currents bring. Birth words and images and media that – maybe most importantly – keep waking us up to who and where we deeply want to be.

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Do you wrestle with dissonance between what you want to share (art, ideas, courses, books, etc.) and HOW you feel obligated to share it? Have you found voices or examples that help you find your clearest, truest way? I’d so love to hear in comments below.

Are you new here? If so, welcome! This post is a great distillation of what I believe about trust. And if you’re wanting a deeper dive, Trust Habits is wonderful 30-day journey into what trust is, how it is and isn’t grown, and what it means to practice tending it. Class begins October 1st. I’d love to welcome you!

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5 comments   |   Filed in: Meditations   |   Tags: ,   |  

5 Comments »

  1. Yes. Brilliant! I feel a similar frustration in my own writing. I get asked over and over for advice on how to live and work abroad. Yes, I have lived and worked outside my home country for more than five years, and yes, I have plenty of opinions about it and I’ve learned plenty of things that could be useful for someone interested in taking a similar path. But with those opinions and lessons learned, I also have a lot of doubts.

    Might I have more stability if I’d stayed in the US? Is the career I’ve created “enough” to promote it as an example for other people? Do I need to address the underlying privilege that has made all these leaps possible, or should I focus entirely on the things I’ve done myself?

    I pushed aside these doubts and created my very first offer this weekend. Here it is: http://www.leslieforman.com/how-to-create-your-international-career/ It’s an experiment.

    Thank you for continually shedding light on these big questions. Your course sounds so fascinating!

    Comment by Leslie — September 24, 2012 @ 6:09 am
  2. Leslie, thank you so much for this. I love that you’re asking the questions you’re asking. They make me really trust what you end up sharing.

    Huge congrats on launching such a wonderful and unique offer!!

    Comment by Kristin — September 24, 2012 @ 6:20 am
  3. I totally hear what you’re saying here. When it comes to helping others in ways that might traditionally be called “spiritual”, how does one possibly bring marketing into that? Of course I’ve seen these things marketed, but most times I’m completely turned off by the commercialization that seems to underpin it.

    So how does one talk about creating an exchange of energy around these things? Money does make it possible to devote one’s time to deepening in these matters, and is needed. The way my brain wraps itself around this is by thinking like a consultant. People are not “buying” a “product”, but are exchanging money so that our/my expertise and wisdom will save someone else some time or angst while moving on the same journey. It’s a way of supporting someone (i.e., me/us) walking ahead and clearing some of the brush away so that progress (or depth) is more easily possible. Or if not walking ahead of, walking with, as an adventurer might hire an indigenous guide.

    But then, do I/we feel comfortable calling ourselves “guides”. On the one hand, no — because there’s always more to know and deeper to go(and that’s good, because it’s far too easy to let ego and desire for affirmation and praise control the show). Yet, yes — how many years have I/we been doing this, on this journey, drilling/falling deep into our depths? And we HAVE learned something, something that WILL be of help to others.

    Note: I haven’t yet offered my services or expertise in a public way, precisely because I haven’t yet found a way to do it that seems totally consonant with integrity and dignity. So it’s very helpful to be watching you through this process.

    Comment by Cat Charissage — September 24, 2012 @ 8:53 am
  4. YES!

    Comment by Andrea — September 24, 2012 @ 3:51 pm
  5. Cat, thanks so much for your reflection. It sounds like you’re feeling dissonance about charging for services and, connectedly, about standing in your power as one who leads. Is that right?

    That feels like a super important conversation to have. And maybe more foundational than the dissonance I’m currently feeling. I feel I have value to offer, and (though this didn’t necessarily come across in this post) that I’m ready and wanting to offer it. It’s the process of doing so that has me uncomfortable, as the common forms for doing so that I see feel slightly, or in some cases hugely, mismatched with what I’m offering.

    Another related conversation that seems important to have, and may be tied to some of what you’ve said here, is about the ways it’s possible to hide out inside of critiques about how other people are packaging or marketing things. When we feel out of our element, such as in marketing arenas, it’s easy for our scared egos to say “the problem is there aren’t good ways to market my particular stuff”, when really we’re just feeling afraid that we’ll flop or flail in an arena we aren’t familiar with yet.

    The challenge for me is to own these very fears while at the same time honoring what I *think* is my deeper, wiser self calling me to find ways to share my gifts that truly honor those gifts, and don’t unthinkingly conform to popular marketing trends – *especially* when doing so compromises what it is I’m trying to share or say.

    It’s tricky. Not always easy to untangle.

    Comment by Kristin — September 24, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

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