The problem is, because I am not that skilled of a bowler it was actually hurting me. I was working so hard at throwing the ball as hard and fast as I could, and so fixated on that single strike point that it would either (sometimes) work, or totally crash. Literally.
Second game I was feeling a bit sheepish, so I tried to go with a different tactic. What was really hurting me was the lack of consistency. And what do I tell my clients all day every day? Consistency over time is the key to success. Maybe it would work with bowling.
So the next game I did just that. I didn't try to get a strike. My goal was to get at least some pins down every single frame. Even if it was only a pin or two. The second thing that I started doing was to stop thinking about those darn pins, or a specific hit point, but to focus on what my body was doing. All the very kind tips I was getting about bringing my arm all the way up when I threw, etc. I started to work to apply. Focus on technique rather than results.
And guess what, it worked! On the second game I got 95! While it might not seem amazing to anyone who bowls, for me it was one of my best scores of all time. And I accomplished my goal of getting some pins down in every frame. I did not make even one strike, but my overall score was so much better.
So what does this have to do with marketing?
All this has a whole lot to do with marketing actually. Or any other worthwhile pursuit for that matter.
Consistency Over Time is THE Secret
It is better to work out 20 minutes a day (or even 5) every single day than to spend 3 hours in the gym once a month. It is better to write 100 words a day every single day than to write 5,000 words once a year. It is better to be active on social media every day for a few minutes than a couple hours once a week. Figure out whatever it is that you can do consistently and do that. That consistency is what will ultimately give you competency as well.
A really excellent book on this topic is "Mini Habits" by Stephen Guise, definitely a recommended read.
Doing the Right Things Long Enough Always Works
Results matter. Tracking what works matters. But here is the thing - there are certain things that always work. Every. Single. Time. Counterintuitively, if I focus on drinking 8 glasses of water a day and eating at least a couple cups of veggies every day, I lose more weight than if I am thinking about numbers on the scale. If I pay attention to giving my kids more hugs it gets me farther in building relationship with them than fixating on if I am being a good enough parent. When I apply consistently principles that I know work and focus on the action itself, the results come naturally.
In almost everything you are trying to do there are established best practices. If you are already killing it, great, experiment, try new things, see what boundaries you can push. But if you want to achieve success in an area start with what is known. What action produces the desired result? (In this case, following through with my hand when I threw the bowling ball.) Drive your energy into completing and perfecting that action over and over, and believe the results will be there. We often are spending time thinking when we should be doing.
Listen to Advice
I was dropping the ball too soon. It was resulting in tons of gutter balls. It was hard to learn something new and get my arm to keep going. I was afraid of throwing it too far in the air or looking stupid. But I already looked stupid throwing gutter balls, so...
Finding people who are better than you are, have already achieved a level of success (even if it is just a little more than you), and are supportive and encouraging is the life blood of accomplishment. Love those people. Listen to those people. Appreciate those people.
Listen to Yourself
While I got some good advice, ultimately, the answer to my bowling problem did not come from outside. No one said "stop trying to get strikes." No one said "stop thinking about the pins." I took the good advice I was getting, and then observed the action I was taking, and found a way through.
Determine to not get stuck. Decide that there is a way through every single problem that you face whether in marketing or life, and that your only job is to figure out what it is.
When you think you have a way through, try it!