June 15, 2016

This blog post is going to be a little different than most. You see, I had an epiphany recently, while on vacation. And, while I am going to share some actual tactic type stuff in this post, I’m not writing it for sharing purposes. I’m not writing it for SEO. I’m not writing it for publicity.

I’m writing it for you. My readers and audience. Who have been there on my journey, who understand what it means to be a working parent, who struggle to get through the day sometimes.

Let’s face it, if you know much about me, you know I’m a *slightly* busy person  With a full time job, a blog and side business, and a now 10 month old baby, I can get pulled in a lot of directions. But what you don’t know, and what I haven’t shared publicly is a lot of other stuff going on in my personal life. We all have “stuff”. Some of us more than others. And this stuff can be downright exhausting.

I’ve felt stretched too thin for a while now. Trying to hold it all together and keep everything flowing. Staying on top of blog posts, sharing content to social media, appearing on webinars and podcasts, maintaining my membership community, taking care of clients…

And I’ve felt like I’ve been failing. Maybe not publicly, fall flat on your face failing. But failing nonetheless. I haven’t produced the amount or quality of content I strive to. I haven’t posted as much content as I like to. I haven’t felt like I’ve given my community enough of my time. And I’ve diminished my marketing to attract new clients because I don’t feel like I can give them the quality they deserve.

And the more I worry about not performing to my standards or expectations, the more it stresses me out. It’s counter-effective and adds to the negativity mindset.

But then I went on vacation. Nothing crazy or too exotic. Just a simple trip to visit my parents on Vancouver Island. I took Brini for her first time to Canada, her first airplane ride, and a chance to explore new things. OMG, we had SO much fun! It was amazing and wonderful. And, thanks to my not-so-awesome international travel plan, I could only get internet on my phone when I was connected to wifi. So it forced me to get off my phone and unplug for most of the trip. Well, that and my parents snapping at me to get off the phone when we were at home 

So, I got a real vacation!

But that honestly wasn’t what generated the epiphany.

The epiphany came with a conversation I had with my mom. Although I doubt she realized it at the time. In fact, I didn’t either. It took me some quiet time and reflection to really grasp her casual comment.

My mom has been gardening since I can remember. She loves it! More flowers, the better. Every spring she stocks up on new plants and blooms and replants her entire yard. Every. Single. Day she tends to that garden. Watering, pruning, weeding, turning planters, tilling soil, and whatever else it needs from her. It’s a chore – at least, that’s how I always looked at it. Like work.

But to her, as she told me as we stood there in the backyard as she watered what seemed like the hundredth plant, it’s her passion. She said, others golf, or buy lottery tickets, or cook. She, she gardens.

To her, no matter how much work it takes, she doesn’t think of it like work. It’s her passion.

And, that my friends, was my aha moment.

Yes, Jenn’s Trends is a business. It’s work. It takes a LOT of maintenance. Creating content, marketing, and building a brand are exhausting and time consuming. But you know what? I love it. It’s my passion.

So, if that means I work later nights or longer hours, if that means I take an extra call or schedule another podcast, that’s because I enjoy it. And when I start thinking about it as fun and passion, and less about “work”, all of a sudden, it doesn’t seem so stressful anymore 

Ok. So I had this epiphany and that’s all good and whatnot. But the story doesn’t end here.

As I watched my mom tend to this garden every day we were there, I started to realize that not only is it her passion, but it’s her commitment to the garden too.

This is what (part of) her garden looks like:

You can see why it’s inspiring!

And this is what her garden showed me about marketing:

It is Meticulous Work

As I’ve already said, it’s a lot of freakin’ work! A good marketing strategy, like a gorgeous garden, takes a lot of work, maintenance, and upkeep. But, that work pays off in dividends.

You have to make time for marketing every day. It’s not something you can casually tend to and expect to see big results.

Consistency is Key

I have preached this more times than I can count, but it’s true. When it comes to a garden, you have to be consistent. Consistently watering, feeding, pruning, and more. If you skip days or weeks, those plants dry up and die and you have start all over again with even more work to get it back to where it was before.

Marketing is much the same. You have to be there every day working on it. If you slack off or skip your routines, you lose that momentum and it can take even more work to get back to where you were before.

Weeds are Inevitable

No matter what you do to your garden, the weeds will show up. Left to their own devices, those weeds will take over and choke your garden. Sometimes you have to try a different chemical or different removal tactic, but you can overcome them.

In business and marketing, weeds are… trolls, negative reviews, disgruntled customers. They’re there no matter what you do. And if you don’t take care of them and resolve the issues causing those comments or reactions, that negativity can take over your brand.

Passion Drives Results

Have you ever seen a gardener, horticulturist, or florist talk about what they do? They light up, right? They love it and can spend hours on the subject.

Now think about the best marketers, sales people, or business owners you know. What do they have in common? They’re passionate about what they do! It’s less “work” and more excitement for what they do. They build their business, close sales, and generate leads because they are genuinely enthusiastic about what they’re marketing. They know that the “marketing” is part of the “job” but they do it so effortlessly because they don’t treat it like work.

 

To be honest, when people ask how I built my brand so successfully so quickly, I often tell them it was two things. One, I was genuinely me. I love social media and I let that exude from me in conversations, podcasts, blog posts, and more. Two, I work my ass off. I put in the time, with passionate commitment, to build this brand to what I know it can be (I’m not there yet, but I will be!).

But, you know what happened? Life. Chaos. Busyness. Expectations. It stopped being about “fun” and became about driving clients and sales and proving myself.

And it’s time to stop that.

Life will always happen. We’re all busy. I set unusually high standards for myself. But I need to find my fun factor again. I need to get back to the “gardening” factor.

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. This is a great post, Jenn! You are so right on about the “work, consistency and passion”. Sounds like you needed a little break to take a breath and get your mojo back.

    I think its back!

    1. Thank you Georgia! I definitely needed that break and I hope the mojo is back 🙂

  2. Thank YOU for THIS Jenn-!!!
    And, all your expression & passion-
    You inspire me to continue to do what I am passionate anout too-!
    And , to know that is indeed the path to a balanced, fulfilling life-
    Appreciation & hugs to your mom too-!

    1. Thank YOU Deborah! I’m so glad you appreciated this post and my passion. That’s so great that you are on your own path and following it with passion. Keep it up girl 🙂

  3. Hi Jenn,

    glad to know you were able to enjoy your vacation. Let me tell you that from the exterior it sure doesn’t look like you are struggling. Thanks so much for sharing you gave me the boost I needed today! Merci!

    1. Thanks Christelle! I’m glad it doesn’t look like it 😉 But I’m happy this post could give you a boost too.

  4. Jenn,

    I could not agree with you more! Consistency, but also for me it’s all about Faith in the Project! Just in the “Believing.” Knowing you are on the right track…that you will or can make the connection to someone that gets your message, hears your voice, etc.

    Social Media is an overwhelming concept, but it is Today’s style of Marketing, it’s not going away, so step by step we go!

    i am glad I discovered you last week!

    Keep up the good work!

    Best,

    Penelope Bent-Lippincott
    EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
    FUSE Fashion Magazine

    1. Thank you Penelope! And you’re right, there is an absolute faith in the project. We know we’re doing what’s right, and for the right reasons, and we have to trust that it will all work out.
      I am so glad you found me recently too and I look forward to getting to know you better and learning more about what you do with your magazine and your social media.

  5. Hi Jenn,

    I first must say that your mother’s garden is amazing..thanks for putting in the picture. The analogy of a garden and marketing is on point. I loved reading this.

    The weeds will always pop up and it is up to us to just pick them and toss them away. We cannot get all frustrated by it. Consistency is the key and to be consistent we must have the passion for what we do.

    That passion does shine and lights up our face when we talk to others. As I read that part I thought of how many times people have said to me that I was lucky because I light up when I talk about my business. It just confirms I’m on the right track.

    Life is hectic for sure…we all have to juggle so many things, but if we enjoy what we do it is not work at all.

    I enjoyed this post so much and I thank you,

    -Donna

    1. Thank you Donna! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and my mom’s garden 🙂 And I love that you light up talking about your business and that you’re doing something you enjoy so much.

  6. Hi Jenn,

    This is my first visit to your blog. Your mom’s garden is beautiful and great analogy between gardening and marketing.

    I agree with the others, it seems you needed a break in order to find your happy place with what you are doing.

    Great post and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Hi Monna and thank you! I’m so happy you came across this blog and appreciated the tips and analogy 🙂

  7. Jenn! I disagree that you don’t post often enough or quality enough content. I am far too busy myself to notice the gaps you’re noticing (in timing, that is) In fact, I probably miss half or more of the content you do share. But three emails you’ve sent have caught my attention and I have been SO enriched, inspired, motivated by them, and have shared them with friends who are doing a bunch of marketing for their own brand out of financial necerssity, without that gene I refer to as #mktggeek … you know, the one where you get EXCITED about innovative strategies and market testing and target market feedback… like a baker playing with frosting, or a gardener with flowers. THANK YOU for what you DO do. Trust me, it is enough!!

    1. Hi Brianne! And thank you for the support 🙂 I am so glad you are happy with what I’m sharing and providing. I think we always have higher levels of expectations for ourselves and those outside our world often aren’t aware of everything we feel isn’t getting done.
      And thank you for sharing my content too! I really appreciate you taking the time to do that and trusting my content with your audience. It’s great to have others who are excited and geeking out on marketing and media 😉

  8. Jenn, your blog post really hit home. I’m a new blogger, and at times I feel overwhelmed with all I have to do besides blogging.

    But your comments about consistency and the garden analogy are inspiring. They made me think about why I’m doing this and this helps me keep going.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi John! Congrats on your new adventures as a blogger. It definitely can be overwhelming at times but I promise it’s all worth it 🙂 I’m glad my analogy brought some clarity to you and will hopefully help on your journey into the blogosphere.

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