Earlier this month, I had a medical “incident” – It appeared I was having a stroke. Luckily, my wife was home that morning, and immediately took me to the ER, where they assessed my situation. After a slew of test, they determined I was not having a stroke, rather, I was suffering from Bell’s Palsy, a condition where half of your face becomes paralyzed due to inflammation around a facial nerve.
Needless to say, when half your face is paralyzed, there are some issues you need to deal with. Talking is difficult, I cannot smile, I cannot close my right eye, and eating & chewing is exhausting. While trying to determine which foods would be easiest to eat, I obviously thought of cereal. I just happened to have a box of Cocoa Pebbles in the cabinet. Small pieces, soaking in milk… Sounds tasty and easy to eat.
With each spoon full, milk would dribble down the right side of my chin, falling onto my sweatshirt, or landing on the table. After four or five attempts, I had to admit defeat. I never really thought about it, but when you eat cereal, you need to chew with liquid in your mouth. Easy to do normally, impossible to do when half your face is paralyzed. It was a sad realization.
The realization I had with my love for cereal and my Bell’s Palsy condition can also serve as a larger lesson for small businesses and their marketing strategy. Often, a small business will attempt a marketing strategy which they WANT, ignoring the obvious signs that it simply is not a good fit. Certain items take up too much of the budget, too much is focused on one event, your schedule is spread too thin or too bunched together, etc.
Don’t allow want you want to cloud what you should do. Assess the situation from a neutral view, then make your decision. Sometimes, what you want and what you should do will align. Other times, you’ll need to admit, you can’t eat cereal when you have Bell’s Palsy.
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Random thoughts, comments & opinions.