“This is probably a stupid question, but… ”
Have you ever started an e-mail or a forum post off in this manner? Or, even worse, have you ever allowed the fact that this phrase was on your lips keep you from finding an answer that would help grow your business – something you were ignorant about but needed to know?
I know I have. In fact, just today I used this exact phrase on a forum I frequent, and after catching myself in the act, I wanted to stop and remind you how dangerous this question can be.
Marketing Ignorance is Not Stupidity!
Just because something doesn’t fall into your present sphere of knowledge or experience doesn’t mean you’re stupid. You know this already, but just in case there’s any question, Dictionary.com defines “stupid” as “lacking intelligence or common sense.”
“Ignorance,” on the other hand, is defined by the same source as “lack of knowledge or information.” Doesn’t the second definition do far more justice to the hurdle you face?
There’s nothing wrong with lacking knowledge or information about marketing; there is something inherently flawed, however, in refusing to obtain that knowledge out of fear of revealing ignorance.
If You Avoid Embarrassment, You Never Grow
Letting embarrassment cripple you severely stunts your growth. In order to grow, whether on a business or personal level, you have to be willing to stretch your limits, and that almost always means accepting a healthy dose of discomfort.
In fact, you’ll often find that frequently toeing your own boundaries eventually leads to more comfort with discomfort. It becomes a natural part of your learning process and hardly phases you at all.
And as you realize how much admitting a lack of knowledge opens doors for you -whether through helping you find someone who does know or somehow acquiring the information you need – you begin to embrace these “stupid questions.” You start seeking them out because you realize that every time you find one you also find another opportunity to branch out, to grow and to bring in new customers for your business.
Do You Have Any “Stupid Questions” Today?
Think about it for a second. In what areas are you ignorant about getting more traffic and finding more customers online? Which aspects of traffic generation do you avoid because they represent a dark place for you? And where is your online presence suffering because you’re afraid to look silly to someone else – often someone you don’t even know?
If you don’t have any of these questions on your mind at the moment but are interested in profit growth for your business, it’s time to sit down and create them. Seek them out because every single one you hatch creates another chance to evolve.
Once You’ve Identified a “Blind Spot,” Find the Answers
Now that you know where your blind spots are, how can you color them in?
Write out three different ways you might be able to obtain the answer you need: An expert you can e-mail. A forum you can post on. A service you can hire. A book – or three books – you can read.
There’s always someone out there who’s walked the path before you and can help you “see the light.”
Stop shying away from your own marketing ignorance out of fear of annoying people or sounding foolish. It only hinders your own growth. It only puts walls between you and your goals.
What are your stupid questions?