Saying Yes to the Unexpected

by · December 14, 20122 comments

By the time this goes to press, the latest career news for Jason Falls and me will be public.  Our move to CafePress is exciting. It means that we’ll be able to explore, in depth, the intersection of social technology and retail marketing in a large-scale ecommerce application.

This is exciting for so many reasons. Several years ago, I described SEO as “copywriting with a scoreboard.” Talented marketers shouldn’t ever be afraid of having their work measured against an objective standard, and there’s no more hard proof of ROI than having your work tied directly to online sales. A recent article from The Next Web says that the largest online retailers have been slower than the rest of the web to adopt social technologies, like social login. CafePress is making a big commitment to that adoption, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

But those lessons will come with time, and with work completed, measured and analyzed. Right now, the lesson that seems best to pass along isn’t about ecommerce, or social technology. It’s about attitude. (Don’t worry, I’m not going all Tony Robbins on you. After this, I’ll be back to talking about analytics, content strategy and other action-oriented marketing stuffs)

I want to give you a piece of advice to end out 2012 and carry into 2013: Say yes.

This month, we’re finishing out a year that was mostly consumed by a divisive election and a still-difficult economic climate. People have been and continue to be anxious, scared, and pessimistic. It’s tempting to get cynical and negative. To think now is the time to keep your head down, play safe, and avoid taking chances.

When you’ve got momentum working for you, success is a lot easier to find.  Sometimes, it finds you, when you aren’t even looking.

Don’t fall for it. Your odds of some new opportunity, idea or effort working out are just as good now as they’ve ever been. In fact, they might be better, because fear has paralyzed the anxious, probably opening up the field a bit. This year, my theme has been “Say yes,” and it’s paid dividends I can’t even calculate before the year has even ended.

I haven’t taken the theme as far as Jim Carey’s character in Yes Man, but even so, saying yes when unexpected opportunities presented themselves has meant I got accepted for publication on my first query. It meant I finished my first novella. It meant I got to renew a really productive professional friendship with Jason. It’s meant this year I’ve accumulated more fun memories than any year I can recall since… ever, pretty much.

I know you’re all insanely busy. You’ve got RCS to take care of. You’ve got budgets to figure out. You’ve got marketing plans to make, and editorial calendars to extend into the new year. The economy is still tougher than any of us would like.

However, a cynical attitude isn’t going to prepare you to deal with all that any better. If you’re like me, it’ll just drain the energy you need to face it all. Saying yes and taking some (measured) risks creates energy. Saying yes builds momentum, even when it doesn’t work out, because at least you’re moving forward.

When you’ve got momentum working for you, success is a lot easier to find.  Sometimes, it finds you, when you aren’t even looking.

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About Kat French

Kat French

Kat French is the Digital Operations Manager at CafePress. An exceptional writer both on the web and in other genres, Kat combines creativity with an agile, get-it-done attitude across a broad range of experience in community management, SEO/PPC, social media strategy and program management. She has worked with national brands like Maker's Mark, Daytona Beach Tourism, Optima Batteries and more.

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