Obsession is defined in the dictionary as “the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.” Ok. So, that’s like me thinking all day long about the one piece of chocolate I allow myself at bedtime, right? But, I don’t really think all day about it, though I must admit that I do look forward to it. Guess that’s not an obsession.
I will get on the treadmill in the morning, even when I don’t feel like it, and run my six-mile goal – no matter what – is that obsession? I strive to be fit, to age gracefully, to not have to worry about a cookie here or a french fry there. I will get on the treadmill, no matter what, even if I need to wake up earlier than usual. I want my food freedom, and I need to expend energy. So, yes, totally an obsession.
Grant Cardone, the super crazy, in-your-face sales trainer says in his book The 10X Rule, “Obsession is not a bad thing here; it is a requirement to get where you want to go. In fact, you want to be so fanatical about success that the world knows you will not compromise or go away.” I can see that.
Marketing influencers like Kim Garst, Jeff Bullas, Ann Handley, Mari Smith and Laura Lake are amazing. I love them all, and I really, truly appreciate that they are out there busting their butts to not only make a buck, but to help others do the same. They are all different, though, each offering their own method of play in the marketing sandbox. And, clearly all obsessed about making a difference in the marketing world. Doesn’t seem so bad.
I think obsession, like most important things in life, lies in the eye of the beholder. If you are obsessed and feel strange, weird or different, then maybe your obsession isn’t healthy. Likewise, if you are obsessed and it’s energizing, invigorating, bringing you calm and happiness, I’d say that’s the right kind of obsession to have.
In my business, I am obsessed with success. I know where my expertise is and I know where I need to delegate activities elsewhere. Video production, for example, is not my forte. Neither is SEO. I offer consulting services, and marketing activities and visions are my comfort zones, not overall business management. I have associates and other business owners I work with on those things, like they work with me when they have clients that need social media marketing or blogging. So we can all help anyone we come across in business that need more help in being successful.
Because, who doesn’t need help? We all need help, even if we have things “under control”.
But, what constitutes “under control”? What is control, anyway?
Control is being able to start something, change it in some way, or stop it. That’s it. It’s not a “force something into the position you think it should be in” thing, and it’s not taking anything away from anyone else. It’s not bad. Control means that you have power over something. You are deciding and then acting on that decision to make something happen – whether starting a business, making improvements and expanding your business, or deciding something isn’t working and, so stopping that activity.
The power is within you to acknowledge what you are obsessed about and what you are merely infatuated with, and whether that obsession is good or weird. And the control is within you to act on your obsession, without apology, or whether or not to care what others think about your motions. Do not stultify them! There is room for it all. Variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?
As we get older, it becomes easier and easier to not care so much what others think and to just follow the beat of our own drum. But, we all have moments of uncertainty, and all around us people are doing things differently, making us wonder if the differences mean we are doing it wrong and they are doing it right.
I think the differences mean you are doing it right! Because it’s harder to stand out in a crowd of Leggy Blondes if you are a Leggy Blonde too (though I don’t think I would complain about being a part of that crowd). However, if you are a Leggy Blonde in a sea of Holly Homemakers, you are in luck! You will stand out like a sore thumb – and likely be aggressively criticized by Holly for taking the attention away from her homemakerness.
Remember that the next time you feel different, or if you don’t understand where the criticism around you is coming from. You are different. Different, not necessarily better… yet. The quality of what you have to offer will shine through your obsession, and the control you have over your actions and your industry.
First, rejoice in your differences. Be patient through the criticism, until you are being talked about as a leader. Then you will know you have made it.
Have a great week.