“I’m just off out swimming with Maisie, love.”
I was lying to my wife and, what’s worse, I was bringing our daughter into it.
Even worse-erer, I tell my wife the same lie – that we’re going swimming – EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY!
We’re not going swimming.
Every Sunday, I get our swimming costumes, grab a couple of towels and throw them all in a bag before climbing in the car with my daughter to not go swimming.
As a former social worker (yes, really), I know how damaging lies are. I’ve seen them destroy relationships and bonds between parents and kids.
From a social work standpoint, asking them to lie is one of the worst things you can do to a child. It’s up there with such inhumane demands like asking them to:
- Tidy up their room,
- Turn off “that YouTube”, and
- Stop selling crystal meth to the other primary school kids.
(Your children’s hobbies may vary)
I know lying is bad, but I choose to do it anyway. Every week.
I’m a terrible father.
Anyway, we pulled into the car park, got out of the car and grabbed the swimming bag. Even though my wife wasn’t around to see us, we still kept up the pretence.
We entered the den of lies and looked at today’s listings.
The one we were interested in started at 10:15.
We paid our money, got our tickets and waited for the man in the branded polo shirt to give us the all-clear when we could go in.
“It’s free now. Second door on the right.” the 11-year-old employee said.
(Probably not his actual age)
We went in and…
…got changed into our swimming costumes and jumped into the pool.
You might feel a bit swindled at this point.
“You were going swimming after all, you lying sod!”, you might say.
I feel your pain. Another shameless internet marketer spewing lies into your wholesome inbox.
Only it’s not a lie. Even though my daughter and I were in a swimming pool, we weren’t swimming.
We were faffing around – working on our innovative splashing techniques, “WEEEEEEEEEEE”-ing our way down the water slide* and playing hide and seek in the lazy river.
(* Not to be confused with “weeing down the slide”)
We might have been in the right place for swimming and wearing the right costumes, but we weren’t “swimming” swimming.
We weren’t honing our breaststroke or working on our front crawl.
I love my daughter, but it’s safe to say that, unless she breaks into Michael Phelps’s house, she won’t be getting her hands on a gold medal for swimming any time soon.
Sunday swimming with her is a lot of fun but make no mistake…
…we’re just mucking around.
I think a lot of business owners treat marketing in the same way.
We’re in the right place, wearing the right stuff, but we’re not actually marketing.
We’re faffing around.
We’re mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.
We’re spending time with the same old people at networking events.
We’re not pushing ourselves and learning new skills, making new connections or creating new offers.
(I’m particularly deft at avoiding the last one)
We’re doing the equivalent of splashing around in the shallow end, while all our competitors are pushing themselves to their limit. They’re the ones wearing the swimming hat, the LZR Racer bodysuit and shaving their armpits.
They’re getting better.
They’re learning vital new skills, meeting new contacts and posting valuable content.
They’re where we are, but doing better things – the things we should be doing.
So… are you marketing? I mean, REALLY marketing?
Have yourself an amazing weekend,