The reality of where we are at right now
It's tough enough running a business, without having to deal with the things in life that make you question your own decision making process and to a degree, the path that you are going on.
I have wasted the last few years in no-man's land, pushing through on the business front and having great success that has made me proud of the people involved who have made it happen, but for me personally, I am not quite there.
Sometimes as an entrepreneur we can make our benchmark too high, which is ironic when I think about it because I was rightly accused in my 20's of making it too low and not setting high enough goals. It appears I listened and now I am less satisfied with the outcome than the years of being free and easy in my youth.
My business is challenging because it is moving in many different directions. I am not sure how some people seem to manage these things with so much ease because I personally find it hard and in particular exhausting.
From a business front, the outsourced marketing department model is a no-brainer. It's easy to implement, our processes are right, our team kicks goals and we continue to deliver day-in, day-out on the work that we do.
We haven't become stagnant in the 9 years of operations, and instead have not only been innovative and the first-in-market to capitalise on new technologies and ways to market businesses - but we are talking about it and implementing it long before our competitors and often on a tighter budget.
Marketing Eye's magazine is tracking well and was received by all key stakeholders as being a substantial magazine full of interesting and diverse entrepreneurial stories along with insightful and forward thinking editorials on marketing, arts and psychology. It was a big coup for us and something that the team who worked on it were very proud to present to the world.
But our biggest and most exciting part of our business is technology and how technology is driving marketing. We are challenging the way the sales process works and incorporating smart technologies and systems to ensure sales automation is fully functional even in the smallest of businesses. The adoption of marketing automation, e-marketing, workflow management, project management and social media analytics is what we see as being the future of all successful marketing campaigns.
Notably, the future no longer belongs to sales and marketing, but to our technology counterparts. 85% of communication will be done without ever speaking to a human by 2020 according to Gartner Research and every day we see this as more and more a reality.
I don't hold any magic cards, and I can't seem to look into a crystal ball and see what the future may hold, but I do know that it isn't what we do in business that is going to be what makes our mark in the world. Entrepreneurs like me are constantly forgetting what the real meaning of life and what really is our purpose in life.
I am reading "A Guide To Developing Life's Most Important Skill Happiness" by Matthieu Ricard right now which is full of the wisdom derived from Buddhism with neuroscience and cognitive psychology mixed in. Why I find this interesting is like many people my age, I am at a crossroads and trying to figure out what is the meaning of my life and what am I really trying to achieve.
My first thoughts are always on how I can make the world a better place. What I can do to change outcomes for people less privileged than myself and sometimes I fool myself that giving money is all that I need to do - but that is exactly it - I am fooling myself. I was born with a brain and I have capabilities to create change and share knowledge. I read the other day about "puppy farms" and was completely outraged, but yet I am as much to blame as anyone else. I bought a dog that came from a puppy farm and while I don't mind voicing my opinion on how inhumane they are, I am not doing anything more than giving a donation to the RSPCA and talking about it. That's something I have to change.
But like anything in life, it's how I pick myself up off the ground and continue to walk forward, until I start gaining traction again that will really define who I am as a person and in business.
Life is tough but as I have said many times before, "there are many other's worse off" and to many, these are simply "first world problems".