Compulsive Behavior

07 Sep 2006

I’m not a neurotic, but sometimes I do things just because they need to be done. I don’t always get the instant pleasure right away, it mostly comes afterwards. Sometimes it doesn’t come at all. I used to go for a run regularly. I didn’t always wanted to, but I knew that if I didn’t, I’d feel less good the days after. As my schedule became more busy, I quitted running and found myself to be more stressed (and more fat), feeling tired more often. So, recently I decided to become a member in a fitness club. Not because I really really wanted it, but because it was necessary. I go there twice a week. Sometimes for an hour, sometimes for two hours depending on my mood. Despite the fact that I tire myself and have doubts on the way over there, I feel great and full of energy when I get back home. I tell my friends and myself that this is what I want, although half of the time, when I’m heading to the fitness club, I don’t actually feel like moving.

At night, or on the train to and from work, I read feeds. I don’t always want to, but I know that if I want to keep up with “what’s new”, I have to. Last night I didn’t feel like reading much, but when I finally went to bed, I realised that I had been reading for over four hours. I felt tired, but also satisfied, because I know more than when I did before I started reading. Even though I didn’t want to read in the first place.

It’s funny people have this kind of behavior. Today I read an article on Kinetic Ideas, and Wendy blogged about the exact same feelings I’ve been having. It felt good to know that I wasn’t alone. She put things in the exact same way I think about them and connects it to marketing:

Last night, I went for a run.

Did I want to go for a run?

No, not really. I wasn’t in the mood. I wanted to sit on my couch and read a book. But I went anyway because exercise is a non-negotiable activity. I know if I want to stay fit and healthy, that I have to exercise.

In the same way, marketing is a non-negotiable activity for the well-being and longevity of your business. Will you want to do it? Not always.

But do it anyway. A long-term commitment to marketing is the best way to keep your company “fit.”

Very often you find yourself doing things you don’t really want to do, but you do them anyway. The metaphor of the drops and the bucket seems quite in its place here. It’s the total amount of small drops that eventually fill up the bucket. It’s the small amount of data that you collect every time you read something that forms your total knowledge archive in your head. It’s the things you blog, even if you don’t really feel like blogging, but you do it anyway because in the end, you just know it’s all worth it. It’s the things you do, that you can’t explain if someone asks you about it. Those things are the ‘just because’ answers to people who ask you why. They are non-negotiable. You know why you do it, and people who think like you understand. To others they seem useless, but those others do not always see ‘the picture’ the way you see it.


Posted by Miel Van Opstal in Marketing, Thoughts


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  1. gigi

    September 7, 2006 at 4:00 pm

    you are abosultely right! things need to be done not because they are enjoyable, but because they are kind of necessities of life.

  2. Wendy Maynard

    September 7, 2006 at 5:33 pm

    One author calls them “success behaviors.” The example the writer used was a salesperson who knows that if he/she starts each and every day with 10 cold calls, then they will make money.

    And, it’s amazing how much we can resist them even when we know they are good for our health, business, relationships, sales goals, and so on. Success in any area of life is not because certain people are lucky…it’s because some of us are just more persistent.

    Thanks for your post!

    Best, Wendy Maynard

  3. Nix

    September 8, 2006 at 1:33 am


    BUT I still don’t run,though I have started to read (more, books) again.