My friend and I agreed that everyone these days is promoting something, and we’re swamped by these promotional posts, emails, phone calls, targeted site ads, and whatever other innovations people think up. We also agreed that consumers only shell out money for what we really want, so a lot of these promotional efforts are mostly a resource drain benefiting only the postal service, which counts on mail promotion for billions in revenue per year.*
Then I was listening to a spiritual talk in which some congregants were saying that God is the one who promotes. They meant it, however, in the sense that God is the one who advances a career. They were talking about King David and the fact that he didn’t seek the kingship, but God was the one who made him king. Nonetheless, I also had to take what they said to mean that God is the one who promotes the service or business.
Of course we feel we have to do something to get the word out and really that would seem to be the right thing to do. But at the same time, I’m not sure that’s how people connect with goods and services. Much occurs through networking—someone mentions a book, a product, a practitioner, and you give it a shot—and we can interpret that in the “meant to be” category if it works out.
If we have something to promote, how do we know what we should do? I think “be reasonable” might serve as an initial guide. Do what is humanly reasonable to get your name out there, to establish your brand, and to make finding you and your product or service “by accident” a simple proposition.
On the other hand, desperation and the expenditure of more money (and time and energy) than you can afford doesn’t seem to make all that much sense.
Let’s go back to the idea that only the people who really want what you have to offer are going to buy from you. You can’t force individuals to get on your bandwagon if they don’t honestly want to. To return to the “what’s meant to be” train of thought, why not allow whatever is meant to be to occur? Take the results of your efforts with some degree of stoicism and accept that the people who are meant to patronize you will do so and the others won’t, that pushing harder isn’t the best approach.
On Facebook some people post about themselves constantly. They’ve been told that potential customers, readers, clients want to know who they are. But what comes out often seems to be extreme narcissism, and if that’s who they are, then maybe they’ll find no payoff in presenting that quality under a spotlight.
Relax. Let the Source, God, the one who runs the universe, do the promotion. Let’s make ourselves available by putting out the word, then take a breather. Since we can’t force the universe to cooperate with us, let’s spend a little time learning to cooperate with the universe. And have some trust.
*(By the way if you want to opt out of some of some categories of promotional snail mail, go to DMAchoice.org. Supposedly that works.)
Not to be pushy, but maybe you want to read a short story of mine, “Civil Disobedience”: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/101224 No charge whatsoever.