Have you ever lost something really valuable the day you leave for a trip?
Have you ever cried on a plane next to strangers?
Well, I did both two weeks ago when I traveled to San Diego with my husband to celebrate his birthday.
The day before we left I checked in for the flight and noticed my maiden name was on the trip’s itinerary. My husband had made the reservation via Expedia and it auto-filled my name. He didn’t catch it.
I called United and they said due to the time of our flight, I had to update my name directly at the airport.
I thought, ‘Okay no problem,’ so I didn’t worry about it anymore.
Morning of Hell
We get to the airport and find out that the name change is going to cause more issues than we expected.
My husband ended up calling United to update my name and in doing so, he accidentally kicked me off of our flight that day. I don’t know how but it happened.
When we get to the gate, the representative mentions that my seat was assigned to someone else. This means we lost our seats together on the flight to San Diego.
She also tells me that there is a possibility my luggage (I was forced to check) may not make it on our flight.
We ended up on the flight but seating in separate seats. I was upset, exhausted, and frustrated.
Crying on Planes Sucks
For the first hour, I sat in my seat looking out the window, silently crying into my mask.
I was thinking about all the stress we had been put through even before getting to our destination.
My mask was damped, full of tears. I didn’t have a tissue to dry my eyes either. It was terrible.
I don’t think the couple sitting next to me noticed but who knows.
Finally Landing in San Diego
After about 4 hours of listening to marketing podcasts, reading my book, and thinking of content for my business, we finally get to San Diego.
We go to the baggage claim to retrieve our bags. I am still upset and hoping that my luggage got on the flight.
I wait with a blank stare at all the luggage going around the belt. Hoping that I see mine appear from the entryway.
After a couple seconds, to my surprise, I see my pink luggage. This is a glimpse of happiness I feel after such a horrendous morning.
I grab it and wait for my husband to get his luggage.
We walk to wait for our rental shuttle and as I open up my luggage and I notice that I am missing… my laptop!
Remember when I said I rushed earlier?
I failed to realize that during the lovely process of taking out my belongings in security, I forgot to get my laptop after it was screened.
Immediately I started to panic and think of a million questions, “What if a passenger stole it?” “What if a TSA agent stole it?”
Not only were there issues with our tickets, boarding and possibly losing my luggage, but now my laptop is lost or possibly stolen!
I called to make a claim for my laptop and waited. I couldn’t do anything else.
Luckily, the next morning I woke up to an email confirming that the airport had my laptop.
I prayed to God and the universe.
So, what does this have to do with marketing?
Well luckily, this fiasco was one of many reminders that apply to life but also how you handle your marketing efforts. These tips are pretty universal but really hit home in terms of planning, writing, and creating content for your business.
Lesson 1: Don’t Rush
I left my laptop at the security line. I have never done this before. I simply did this because I was rushing. Mistakes will happen. It’s not worth it. Take your time with your marketing content. Plan it out.
I am not saying you should be loosey-goosey with deadlines, but if you know you need a certain amount of time to write an article, campaign, or program, plan ahead.
Rushing will only cause more problems during the launch/release.
Lesson 2: Have a Reliable Backup System
Never keep everything on a physical device. Always keep your valuable credentials, files, and assets in a cloud-based storage program. For example, a Google Drive or Dropbox are ones that have worked great for me. I had most of my files already saved in my Google Drive, but some were on my desktop. Never save valuable stuff on your desktop.
It helps to make sure versions of your content, images and files are safely stored. I have my husband to thank for this reminder. He is in IT and always reminds me of this!
Lesson 3: Stay Positive
I had faith I would find my laptop when I realized I left it at the airport. I trusted the universe that I would get it back.
Have faith in yourself and your business. It’s easy to think ‘I suck at marketing’ or ‘no one will want to read this piece of content.’
You’re wrong. Someone will, you just need to have the right strategy in place and write correctly for your audience. If you need help with brainstorming ideas, work with a marketing consultant who can help you with your content and SEO.
Lesson 4: Pay Attention to Detail
My name was incorrect on my boarding pass. We are all guilty of typos, even me, and I am a writer. We are humans, we aren’t perfect.
However, always check your content for grammar, punctuation, and other critical details. This will go a long way in your audience and in your marketing. If you have a difficult time with this, hire an editor or a consultant who can help you.
Lesson 5: Take Breaks
The truth is if I had just stopped, took a couple breaths, I could have prevented this situation.
This incident was probably one of my worst traveling experiences.
Usually, I don’t have any issues while traveling. Nothing gets lost. But it just goes to show, if you rush, bad things can happen.
I hope this story brings some clarity for your business. As a solopreneur it can be difficult to do it all. Now more than ever, I slow down more. During content creation or writing sessions, I stop and take breaks. I know for me personally, it is hard to stop, but it helps. It took me days to write and edit this article.
Here are some photos of me and my husband in San Diego when we finally got to relax….
Final Notes from a Marketing Consultant
Remember you need rest, sleep, and fun in order for your business to succeed.
I used to work in the corporate world and every day was a rat race. When I finished one project another one would be waiting for me.
Your best ideas are probably not going to come right away. It may take time for that light bulb to hit – and it might happen when you’re NOT thinking about your business.
It could happen while you’re in the shower, while playing with your pet, or even while you are sleeping!
Bottom line: Don’t fall into bad habits and don’t rush.
I would love to help you brainstorm your content strategies and campaigns so you don’t need to rush your marketing efforts.
Let’s chat. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org