A Rose By Any Other Name… Is Still Marketing

Shelly and I are spending the Memorial Day weekend in a traditional pursuit that many of you can probably relate to. We are holding a yard sale.

We emptied out our camping shed with all the stuff we put there when we moved from Idaho 21 years ago. We’ve emptied out our son’s and our daughter’s bedrooms–with their permissions of course; they are both grown and moved away. Shelly has lots of household nick-nacks, and I have a few tools. And of course I have lots and lots of books to sell. Whether any of that sells is another story.

I’ve spent quite a bit of the morning staring at an empty driveway, waiting for customers. Because after all the preparation, all the announcements, emails, signs and other notifications, it’s up to the customers to decide to come.

Years ago, when I was a kid, I used to go fishing with my grandpa and my dad. And one of the harsh realities I learned is that you did everything you could to put all the odds in your favor–picked the right time of day, the right location, the right bait and the right pole and reel–but some days it just didn’t happen. Other days it all went in your favor. Them’s the breaks.

Same goes for recruiting trips to high schools that I make. I might have a stellar performance. I might even have students who are interested in our university program. But if their parents aren’t in agreement, or if their grades aren’t right, or they don’t have the money, well…moving right along.

That’s the harsh reality of marketing. You put your best foot forward and pray for a winning hand. But you know that you will be throwing snake eyes quite often, to mix a metaphor. You just have to keep trying.

It goes for writing, as it does for recruiting students, as it does for fishing.

And that’s what happens with yard sales as well. Unfortunately.