We see jokes all the time about life or work – or both – feeling like a hamster running on a wheel. It’s the perfect analogy for constantly being busy but never seeming to reach our goals. I have to admit, I’ve always secretly liked those hamsters, after all, they’re kind of cute. And they seem to put such single-minded commitment into running the wheel; they can go fast – it’s quite impressive to watch those little feet boogie.
Recently, while reading an interesting book about genetic errors in the human body (yes, I’m a curious nerd), I discovered a marketing lesson. That might seem like quite a leap but it did pretty much jump off the page at me.
Author Nathan Lents said, “Evolution and natural selection are like running on a treadmill: we must keep adapting to avoid extinction but it can feel like we never really get anywhere.”
Now try this version: Marketing and sales are like running on a treadmill: we must keep adapting to avoid extinction but it can feel like we never really get anywhere. Whoa.
The key word is “must”. We cannot do marketing effectively every now and then, or turn it off and on; that’s not its nature. Its effectiveness comes from keeping that treadmill going because, if we stop, we’re no longer changing and adapting. And you and I both know that marketing can get stale fast.
So I say, let’s embrace that wheel. Let’s jump on in there and pump our legs. (If it helps, imagine there’s a furry little hamster beside you helping.) And the next time you bemoan that busy feeling, remember that you probably wouldn’t have a business without a treadmill and give the hamster a ^5.