Sunday just gone I graded to my yellow belt in Karate. For those that don’t know the yellow belt is your first colored belt, so it’s kind of a big deal.
Why is it a big deal you ask? Well lets take a look at these statistics…
50% of people drop out of Karate before they grade for their yellow belt . And guess what? I was very nearly one of those 50%
There are a number of reasons that I almost dropped out, but here is the main one. I am telling you this because I believe it is also the key reason most business owners never get anywhere with their marketing either.
From a very young age I have always been able to easily turn my hand to any sport that I chose to participate in, and be proficient at it quickly. Whether it be age (I keep telling myself it isn’t) or some other force of nature, for some reason when I started out with Karate I just didn’t click.
I felt awkward and I wasn’t making any progress so I did the only right thing to do.
I gave up.
Yep for months I decided that I was too busy, didn’t need the challenge (insert other excuse here) so I stopped going or just sat on the sideline and watched my wife and kids quickly progress with it.
Anyway quitting got the better of me and I decided to give it another go. I went back with a completely different attitude, and really applied myself to learning the basics. It still didn’t come naturally but I let go of the frustration and the feeling of looking like a goose, and then it all started to come together.
Point of the story.
Business owners do the exact same thing with their marketing. They see the marketing equivalent of black belts (the likes of Frank Kern, And Jenkins, Ed Dale etc) cleaning up so they throw on a gi and their white belt thinking they are going to do the same straight up. They set up a few campaigns (with no training or skills) which feel awkward and produce poor results, and they start worrying about what people are going to think about them.
What they don’t take into consideration when they start out is that the black belts (Frank Kern, And Jenkins, Ed Dale etc) they see that make it all look so easy, have literally spent thousands of hours practicing and perfecting their trade.
They don’t realize that this didn’t just happen by magic. They didn’t just throw on a gi, click their fingers and hey presto I am a black belt. They also had to go through the awkward stage.
Now for you that is a good thing even if you have dropped out. Why?
Because odds are your competition will fall into that category that never grade to yellow belt. If you put in that bit of effort and continue, you are going to transition past that awkward stage and march on towards your black belt.
So here is the challenge for you today. Dust off your gi and white belt, and start making some progress towards your yellow belt, and remember…
All black belts had to go through the awkward stage, it is just part of the process.