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1. the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.


You don’t need any reminders that life is inherently hard. What if I told you that part of the reason it’s hard is that we unintentionally make it harder than it needs to be with unhelpful habits, burdensome mindset mistakes + out-of-whack expectations? The same is true for marketing.

As a creative consultant, I’m empathetic with leaders in small businesses who struggle with marketing. And, while most of them recognize this is one of the most challenging areas for them to address, they’re interested in why it feels so uncomfortable creating + implementing simple, achievable + relevant plans.

The root cause of this dynamic? The misperception that marketing is an external platform, a website or advertisement, when instead it should be seen as both an external display + representation of a company’s internal values.

How to find clarify through simplification

Let’s explore ways of creating congruence between internal values + external actions to propel you forward + help you avoid waste + inefficiency. The start | stop | continue approach is an instrument I use with coaching clients to help them gain clarity about the impact of their choices.

For this application, “Start” is about choosing ways to more closely align your mission + vision with marketing strategy. “Stop” encourages you to reflect on current practices that aren’t serving your business well that need to cease. “Continue” offers a chance to identify + evaluate which activities help bring your mission + vision to life.

Start | Stop | Continue

  1. Being curious: Curiosity is one of the most easily neglected traits in business. Yet, it’s what enables companies to navigate complexity + discomfort. Uncurious leaders are more likely to hold onto tried + true methods that have a tendency to create stagnation.

  2. Asking good questions: This is a cornerstone of learning + living. This skill allows us to  more clearly define problems + expectations, experience more effective team communication + take a more proactive in solving challenges. Empowering, open-ended questions deliver the best value.

  3. Consider customers’ perspectives: Studies in behavioral sciences have shown that we don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are + how we’re impacted by the situation. Our interpretations are a result of our beliefs + past experiences about ourselves + others + the meaning we’ve assigned.

Start | Stop | Continue

  1. Allowing emotions to empower reactions: When humans experience discomfort, uncertainty + anxiety often drive reactions. When we react (a sign that emotions are leading us) rather than choose a response (an indication that we’re leading our emotions), we often end up undoing the resulting damage - whether it be relational or performance-based.

  2. Getting too buried in ‘busy’ to think differently: In America, ‘busy’ is worn as a badge of honor + has reached epidemic proportions. In workplaces, we confuse ‘busy’ with productivity. As a result, it’s difficult to do hard things because we don’t feel we have the time or energy. We repeat the same behaviors + experience the same results.

  3. Being afraid to ask for help: Fear - of being viewed as weak, needy or incompetent - is the single biggest obstacle to asking for help. Yet, the complete opposite is true. The act of seeking help requires courage + strength!

Start | Stop | Continue

  1. Doing what’s right: Knowing your values - personally + professionally is essential to sustaining business + building more prosperous societies. When humans relentlessly adhere to what’s right, life gets a lot simpler. Additionally, committing to this way of being is priceless + sets the ultimate example to those around you.

  2. Embracing the power of positivity: It’s possible to train your brain to let go of negative thoughts + limiting beliefs. While it may appear difficult, the power of positivity is achieved, much like anything else you choose to learn, with persistent practice. Altering the way you see the world around you + yourself is profoundly worthwhile.

  3. Being helpful: Be helpful in general, not just when your product or service can solve someone’s problem or bring your company immediate rewards. Being helpful builds + sustains trust.

  4. Thinking of available resources: More than likely there are humans inside + outside your business who could provide value to your effort. Additionally, it’s helpful to realize you’re not the only business that’s ever faced a particular challenge. You may discover abilities in others you didn’t know existed + form stronger workplace bonds - something that enables creativity + resiliency.

fullCIRCLE is here to help! If you feel overwhelmed by the concept of authentically marketing your business, reach out for a 30 minute phone consultation. We’ll talk about the possibilities such as clarifying your mission + vision or generating an authentic marketing strategy aligning internal values with external actions. I welcome the chance to connect with you!