About six months ago my family discovered something odd about our barbeque grill. It had been overtaken by a rodent of some sort. I think it was a pack rat. At any rate, I immediately thought about two things. First, he was awfully cute for getting the bad rap he does…and second, I was going to have a difficult time grilling burgers if we let him continue to nest there.
So, appropriately, my wife and I took out the nest he built at our first opportunity and sealed the edges of the grill with duct tape. This surely would keep him from coming back. Of course, if you know anything about pack rats, I believe this only exacerbated the situation. Perhaps he took it as a personal challenge. But he appeared the next day. And he would continue to appear every day after we tried closing off the barbeque again with a sort of relentless, reckless abandon…until one day…we gave up.
We now have a family of smaller pack rats in our grill. I’m not sure if they are offspring or if our family grill has now been identified as an easy mark in the pack rat world. The next step, I am certain, won’t be pretty - or inexpensive.
The fact of the matter is that many people also have their own pack rats...in a business sense. These business-oriented pack rats are things we simply can’t seem to shake in our commerce and marketing plans. They reveal themselves as poor choices (or even non-choices) that we’ve made and which we just can’t seem to undo or get away from. And they persist as dogged reminders about how we are in a losing battle with them.
Some examples include subscribing to a service, thinking it was a magic bullet solution (yellow pages online solutions come to mind), or buying into a lead generator only to find it generates plenty of cash for the service, but not much revenue for you. Or perhaps it’s an advertising commitment you’ve entered into, only to discover that you don’t know how to close the deal once you get people heading your way anyway.
How to know you have a pack rat in your business/marketing plans:
1. You were unsure of it to begin with but were persuaded all the same to make the purchase of the service.
2. The statistics about the program you bought into were a little “heady” for you, but the salesperson swore on their grandmother’s dog Maizy that things would work.
3. When you are asked now, “Does this work,” you typically respond with, “I’m not sure…why?”
The bottom line is that we can sometimes give into bad decisions because they seem harmless, manageable…and perhaps even fruitful in some way. But as they continue on and persist and slowly damage your business beyond what you originally even thought possible, you become unsure of what to do next. And, usually, that solution is more expensive than just handling things in the first place.
There are answers to your “pack rat” problem. But the first step is going to be doing something about it…and I don’t mean getting out the duct tape.