Last Saturday I was honored to open and close the Women of Words (WOW) conference in Roseville, Minnesota. (Thanks and welcome to all the wonderful participants and presenters!)
The theme was finding-and using-the POW (Pearls of Wisdom) from the WOW conference.
Pearls form when a parasite (not usually a grain of sand) enters an oyster, clam or mollusk. To lessen the irritation and pain from the intruder, the oyster spins nacre layers (a crystalline substance), which becomes the pearl. It takes at least three years to create a quality pearl, whether natural or cultivated.
So hold that image.
Over the past few weeks, I signed up for marketing courses for both my book and speaking. Frankly, some of it provoked irritation. I felt threatened by the information, at odds with what I expected. I whined and moaned. (“Why are they asking me to do THAT? I’ve already done THAT. THAT doesn’t work for me. I hate THAT.”)
I took the marketing courses expecting to find a beautiful shining pearl I could display and use right away. Instead, I found what looked like the ugly parasite. I wanted my pearls of wisdom to look and feel good NOW. No such luck.
Worse, it looked like this parasitical knowledge was going to displace and purge all my previous marketing work.
My press kit designers and good friends turned me around. Yes, although you signed up for this course…no, you don’t have to use everything you learn right away. You can stick with what you designed for now. Your publicity and press materials are going to change over time anyway. Integrate new information as you can. Yada-yada.
So I closed up some of those marketing ‘shells’, spun some others in nacre and opened other ‘shells’. Some of the information is pretty and shiny and easy-to-use. (Guest blog posts? I’m your writer! Approaching podcasters? Count me in!) and others…not so much…More defined niche work? Yuck! Learn to speak SEO better? Do I have to? Write Out My Pain/Gain flip points? Can’t I just market my usual, gentle, positive thingamabob?)
So some techniques feel like that proverbial parasite. But I’m willing to give it some time.
Because parasites can become pearls.
It just takes time.
(But I hope it doesn’t take three years for me to get better at this marketing stuff…) Whine, moan, tap feet, and look at clock. GET BACK TO WORK…!)
May we pursue our paths, embracing the obvious pearls, wrapping others in potential, and giving the parasites time to become true pearls of wisdom,