Lessons from a RoadTrip – Part 2

(day 12 abc)

Yesterday was Part 1 which talked about lessons that I learned just by observing billboards along our way down the interstate.  I would recap, but seeing as you could just scroll down and click the left arrow…it seems like a recap would be reduntant.  At least it would seem like that to me.  Let’s just sum it up by saying that billboards are successful marketing tools, and they can teach us a few things about how to successful market our products.

Along my 16-hour road trip with two toddlers and an infant (half of the way with my husband, the other half with my parents), I had a few more lessons practically thrown at me.  These lessons came directly from my children.

  • Meet the Needs.  The infant (5 months), simply *cannot* sleep on her back.  She never has been able to.  ((Ssssshhhh, don’t tell anyone.  I am well aware that the risk of SIDS is higher for an infant sleeping on her stomach.  I do it anyways.)) Therefore, during the entirety of the 16 hours, she didn’t sleep but maybe a total of 3 hours.  For a 5 month old, this is a very big deal.  Her needs were not being met.  ((She did an awful lot of screaming))  Your product needs to meet a need.  For all you author’s…is your book meeting a need — informational, educational, entertaining, whatever?  For all you creator’s…is your product meeting a need — functional, decorative, whatever?  If it has no purpose, it’s not going to sell.
  • Entertainment.  Busy toddlers are never still.  ANY length of time in a vehicle, strapped down in a sitting position is like sheer torture.  The proper entertainment can really do wonders.  Application:  Is your advertisement/marketing/showcase entertaining.  Can you not only capture the attention of a potential customer but keep them there long enough to become interested in making a purchase and entertaining them yet longer until they obtain the product?
  • There are always aggravators.  My 1-yr-old is the mischievous troublemaker.  The first half of the trip, all three carseats were crammed into a small car.  The 1-yr-old in the middle would sneak her little hand over to her little sister and yank away her toy or fist that she was sucking on.  Immediately after doing that, she would sneak her other hand over to her older brother and poke his arm, or lift the armrest that his arm was leaning against.  She aggravated *everyone*  (I think she was just bored out of her mind).  There’s a saying: “Haters gonna hate”.  They don’t want you to succeed, they want to frustrate you.  My 2-yr-old has the wisdom to shake off the mischievous one, and my 5-mo-old…well…she was screaming anyways, it didn’t make a difference.
  • Attention.  I discovered pretty quickly that by giving the kids a little bit of attention, they’d be happy for a while (Except for the baby, she just wanted to sleep).  You have to give your business/book some one-on-one attention, quite often.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it takes a lot of hard work to run and maintain your own business, and I’m sure it takes just as much (if not more work) to write and publish your own book.  Give it some attention, and do your research!
  • Tools can make a difference.  In this example, it was the right toys.  Sometimes a kid would want a blanket that had dropped on the floor, sometimes they wanted their sippy cup.  They wanted a specific object and they would scream until I reached back and got it for them (car seats don’t leave much room for movement).  If you can’t/don’t edit, get an editor, if you don’t like the marketing/business end of selling your crafts, donate them to someone else to sell (for a percent of profits).  Get the right “tools” to do the right job.
Children are so full of lessons in so many different aspects of life.  I really couldn’t even begin to list the abundance that my three chicklets have taught me over the past (almost) 3 years.  If you have children of your own, I’d sure enjoy hearing about how they have helped your process/education in the book writing or craft selling professions.  Seriously, share the knowledge, I know that I sure could use the lessons and I’m sure my other readers could too 😀

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