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Remember learning how to feed yourself? Neither do I, but I’ll bet we both do just fine now. That’s how doing most new things works; we have to be bad at it until we get good at it.

Which reminds me of my recent visit with my son in Denver. We were waiting for food to be delivered one evening when he started playing a racing game on his computer. After a couple races he handed me the controller. I was horrible. I literally crashed and burned. A lot. Then he spoke a simple, but profound, truth, “Dad, don’t sweat it, you just have to be willing to be bad at it before you can be good at it.”

So. True. But we forget, don’t we? Especially when we’re good at most of what we do every day because we’ve done it for so long. We forget it’s normal to not be very good at something the first few times we try it. That makes it uncomfortable.

None of us like to struggle. Yet, that’s usually the price of admission when you try new things. You WILL get better at it and the being bad part is always far shorter and less painful than we imagine it will be. So, don’t sweat it!

A second thing happened to me that’s worth adding. The person sitting next to me on the flight home asked what I do. I have a pat answer that ends with “…and a big part of what I do is attracting more of the right people to clients’ websites and converting more of them into leads or sales.” Which prompted “Oh, what about Instagram? Everybody tells me Instagram is blowing up!”

Be where your customers are is a good yardstick to judge the value of jumping into any new marketing medium. As opposed to everybody telling you you should be doing it. Are your customers on Instagram? Fine, be there. No? Fine, don’t be. Ditto for the other platforms.

So, don’t let “that feeling” keep you from trying something new. It’s okay (it’s normal) to be bad at it until you’re good at it.

And, remember, before you try something new, ask if your customers are there.