What Outward Bound taught me about Digital Marketing

Heard of Outward Bound?

It’s kind of hard to explain, but let’s just say it’s an outdoor adventure course that’s designed to push it’s participants to the limit. Anyway, back in 2013, I was lucky to spend a week at Outward Bound with 12 complete strangers.

We ran, sailed, hiked and kayaked until we were exhausted.

We spent nights alone in the bush with just possums keeping us company.

And we talked about our purpose as humans, and what we really wanted out of life.

But aside from all the adventure and Dr Phil moments, there’s something that’s stuck in my mind ever since the course – something that one of our instructors said. Let’s call him Shem, because that’s his name.

Shem said “focus on direction, not perfection” – and what he meant was, focus on progress towards your goals, don’t wait for everything to be perfect.

And I think this direction-not-perfection wisdom translates well to digital marketing, because;

  • Your next blog article will never be perfect
  • Your email newsletter can always be improved
  • Your Facebook post probably needs more work

But you should publish it, send it and post it anyway.

Because if you’re seeking perfection from the outset, you’ll never get started – and that’s where most businesses get stuck with digital marketing.

You see, in a world where things are moving quickly– it’s better to publish acceptable work and adapt as you go. At least that way your readers, subscribers and followers actually hear from you.

And if you’re worried about what other people think, there’s a new marketing term which makes publishing your ‘not perfect’ work acceptable. It’s called Authenticity, and it’s about being real. Showing that you’re a human. Demonstrating that you’re not perfect.

When it comes to digital marketing, there’s never been a better time to focus on direction, not perfection.

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