What I Learned About Better Marketing from My Backpacking Trip

September 8, 2020 | Weekly Marketing Tip

I learned some unexpected lessons from my recent backpacking trip that will make me a better marketer and a better business owner (which I share in this video). It’s amazing what we can learn when we get out into nature and turn off our phones. What lessons have you learned from shutting off the devices and getting out of the office?

Full transcript below.

Full transcript

So over the course of this last summer, I shared how my wife and I were training for this backpacking trip in Colorado. It’s part of a larger group that we were working with a part of an outdoor leadership training program that we were part of. And it was an absolutely phenomenal trip. I’ll share a picture in just a minute, and I’m also going to share couple of things that I learned that can make me, make you a better marketer, a better leader, and a better business owner. So, hi, my name is Steve Phipps and this is your weekly marketing tip from Wayfind Marketing.

Now, here’s a picture of where we went backpacking. This is at Buena Vista, Colorado. We went for four days, three nights out on the mountain, we had another two nights at a base camp, and it was amazing. Just getting away, being in the middle of creation, and just seeing all this beautiful nature around us was just, it was breathtaking, it was so refreshing. And, one of the things is I’ve thought about it now that we’re back, we’re back in the grind of work, of family life, of just everyday routines, one of the things that was incredibly valuable was just having some downtime, time to just sit and be and think, not always having to be somewhere, not having my attention distracted by alerts on my phone, and so some of the things that I’m doing are I’m changing my schedule. And the reason I’m doing that is because, and, based on some other things that I’m reading and then learning right now, it’s just, our brains are constantly filtering out noise. And, you know, in the mountains, I didn’t have all this noise that I do when I’m in my office. I’ve got my phone, I’ll get alerts on my watch, my laptop, it just all this constant noise, and so our brain is constantly filtering out noise. Our brain can only concentrate or, really, on one thing optimally at a time. And so the more noise that I put around me, the more competition there is for my attention, the harder my brain has to work, it’s burning more calories, it’s consuming more energy just to filter out all the noise so I can concentrate on work that’s meaningful.

And so if you think about your marketing, you think about running your business, when you’re saturated with all these distractions, you’ve got less brain energy left over for the work that really matters. So, couple of quick changes that I’m making are, in the mornings, I’m not going to check email until about 10:00 or 10:30. I’ve already communicated this with my team, and so they know how to get a hold of me if it’s something that’s urgent, but otherwise, I’m not looking at email because immediately my brain shifts into a firefighting mode and it it’s harder to get back on to track with work that requires deeper thought, that requires creativity.

And so my encouragement to you is give yourself, give your brain time to think. Running a business is hard, marketing can be hard. It’s challenging, it requires brain energy, and so turn the phone off, turn the alerts off, don’t look, you know, quit looking at Facebook first thing in the morning, I’m guilty of that. So I’m making a constant choice and I’m sharing this one maybe to encourage you, but two, I mean, this is accountability for me. Feel free to ask me how it’s going. Because it’s easy to get sucked back in, our brain gets a little hit of dopamine whenever we get all those little alerts, and so it’s why it’s so addictive. Maybe we check our phones depending on which statistic you look at, we look at our phones 100, 250 times a day. I mean, I don’t have that many things that I need on my phone, but think about how many times that’s pulling me away from the work. How many times is that pulling you away?

So anyway, give yourself some downtime daily, weekly. To be able to think strategically, get outside for a walk, leave the phone at home, I know, wild idea, but get outside, go take a walk on the trail, get out in nature and just give your brain time to think, it’s going to make you a better business leader, It’s going to make you a better marketer.

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