Last weekend at a retreat for entrepreneurs in Denver, I was talking to an entrepreneur about...drumroll please...marketing.
And she said, "Marketing is hard work. Like harder than I ever imagined."
And while I would've loved to have given her a big hug and said, "No, honey, there's the sweet short cut that you can take to avoid the stress or fear or anguish or frustration or disappointment or work that you need to put in to make it good" I couldn't.
Because marketing is hard work.
And thinking that there won't be stress or fear or anguish or frustration or disappointment or hard work in life is what the brilliant Harvard psychologist Susan David calls Dead People's Goals.
Only dead people never get unwanted feelings like that. And dead people, she says, are the only people who can do things better than a live human being.
Meaning they'll never do street drugs. Or have a panic attack. Or shame themselves. Or cut someone off in traffic. Or feel depressed. Or write a lame Facebook post. Or put together a jenky sales page that doesn't convert.
Because they're dead.
Rather, Dr. David suggests that we embrace all the uncomfortable emotions that are part and parcel of life...especially the entrepreneur's life.
She calls this Emotional Agility and suggests to consider your emotions like data – data regarding your past and what you value.
When you take the emotion out of the emotion and ask "What is the purpose of this emotion?" you can decide how best move forward because you'll have an indication on how much what you're doing means to you.
If launching your next online course makes you want to puke because you're so nervous, it probably means you really care about your work. And when you have that belief and care in your work, it helps you keep on keeping on.
She says, "Emotionally agile people still experience feelings of anger, sadness and so on - who doesn't? - but they face them with curiosity, self-compassion, and acceptance."
And even though emotional agility doesn't make marketing any less hard, it does helps you understand how important your work is to you...and the people you're going to help to propel you forward. Even when the work is hard.
Plus, on the flip side of those angst-y emotions you'll find pride, joy, achievement, new friends, success, so many a-ha moments, and meaning.
And that feels like a pretty decent trade-off to me.
As always, I'm rooting for you!