Why Marketing is Like Turning Over Rocks

Sep 20, 2011Work Uncaged, Write!

When we were raising support for moving to France, we got some training to help us through the process. In retrospect, the Lord did a great deal of work on our behalf. We learned that folks with less money tend to give more, and folks with lots of money tend to give nothing at all. We learned to rest in God’s sovereignty and trust Him to bring the increase. All good lessons.

But one training aspect of support raising has stuck with me. We learned the analogy of the rock driveway. Perhaps you’ve heard it too? It goes something like this:

Imagine yourself at the bottom of a hill, near a mailbox and the entrance to a driveway that snakes up a hill, reaching a home resting on its top. The driveway isn’t paved. Instead it’s a deep layer of crushed rocks. If you measured it, it would reach several blocks long. Now, pretend five of the rocks from the driveway have a red X on their backside. Just five. No more. Your job (as you raise support) is simply to turn over each rock until you find all five.

This is either an encouraging analogy or entirely depressing.

I see it as both.

And as I stretch the analogy to marketing, it makes so much sense.

As a writer, I never knew how much marketing and promotion I would have to do. For those of you starting out (and not just in writing, but any entrepreneur), don’t underestimate how much time marketing takes. Finding out how much time that took surprised me, and continues to surprise me. But I have learned to absorb that responsibility, often trying several things to see what would stick. I’m turning over rocks, looking for that magical red X. Some things have worked. Many others haven’t. And in the midst of it all, I’m remembering our lessons from France.

  • God works behind the scenes when we feel tired (or even when we don’t).
  • In marketing, it’s not the famous people who help you the most; it’s the stuff of earth folks who resonate with your message who share it one on one that makes the most impact.
  • Ultimately God brings the exposure, the increase in sales (if He wills it).
  • Our job is to turn over rocks, to be faithful in small things.

So I’m turning over rocks right now. Not finding a lot of red Xes, but learning to persevere, trust in the sovereignty of God, and wait on His timing.

Q4u: How about you? How are you turning over your rocks today? What have you learned in the process?