Playing Out of the Rough

I used to play golf often. I played competitively for a while. My height and strength (I am 6’6″ and 240 lbs) really enabled me to crush the ball. I also had a big backswing that led to some very erratic shots.

Throughout my early golf “career” I focused on mechanics. I wanted to hit the ball perfect every time. I was a long way from that, but I kept tinkering and tinkering. Eventually my golf game became worse. I started to really not enjoy it. I became afraid to hit the ball, put too much thought into every shot, especially the ones that already went bad.

Then I decided to enjoy just being out there. I still was hitting it in all sorts of weird places, but I became less obsessed about hitting the ball perfectly and concentrated on each shot. I started to learn to like to play from the rough.

The thing with marketing your business is that at best you are almost always playing from the rough. Sure you see the companies like Apple or even your local “big” competitors and it seems they always strike perfect, down the middle. I promise you, the big guys are often playing from the rough.

Playing out of the rough is the definition of business. Playing out of the rough means learning to deal with less than the ideal amount of time to get something done, not being able to convey the perfect message right now. Not getting the perfect product marketing out. A typo. A poor phrase.

Apple knowingly launches phones that don’t work perfectly but they are quick to fix. You just notice the big shots that work. You remember the iPAD but do you remember the Newton?

We really remember the victors. This is just like watching the PGA. You just see the pros that are on fire and hitting the ball well. Just like you, the pros are often playing from places they would not like. They just have hit a lot more shots. In reality you should not compare yourself to the big guys, you should just try to learn from them.

When you have the mindset that it is fine to play out of the rough, you are not afraid of the rough and you hit more shots. You hit better shots. You learn workarounds out of different types of rough. All of a sudden, your scores lower and you start to enjoy the game more.

So the next time a piece of marketing goes out and its less than perfect, learn from it and move on. Smile that you had the experience of being out there.