Saturday, July 28, 2012

There is Always A Train at the Station

This morning, while rushing to the subway to catch an uptown train to Columbia, several thoughts were darting in my mind as I made my way into the station. Mostly my thoughts centered on today's lesson plan - target audience, market segmentation, overall marketing objectives, etc. (you gotta keep these high schoolers busy!)...As I got to the station I noticed my preferred "A train" was just leaving the station. Crap. Guess I will be waiting awhile.
But, wait... Here comes the E train! And as the idea of taking an alternate train circled my mind, I knew that route would take longer, and drop me off just before my desired location, making me change trains once more before getting on the train that would take me where I needed and wanted to go. So I waited it out, and just as I got to the 'sweet spot' on the platform that would allow me to exit the train in the exact spot I needed to in order to make a smooth transistion, the roar of a train behind me fills my head signalling the arrival of another 'A train'. Ten seconds later, I am seated with my AM New York newspaper and heading uptown just as I anticipated.

Getting to work on a Friday morning is much like marketing... and maybe much more like life.  Everything you do should depend on what your overall goal is. Is your goal simply to get on the train? Well, then any train will do. Is it to get uptown as fast as possible? Then an express train is best. But if your goal is to get to your chosen location? That involves a plan and a strategy, looking for opportunities and taking the ones that work best for you, for your situation... as not just ANY train will take you there. 

Because getting on a train to nowhere you want to go only ensures you will not want to be there once you arrive. That goes for marketing, as it does relationships, as it does life.

Knowing what you want is half the battle. Having the patience to allow it to arrive is the real test. Because there will always be a train entering the station. Just as there will be guys to date, and trips to plan, and jobs to apply for. But not all - and maybe not any in the pool - will take you where you want to go.

Maybe before any of us enter the station of our choice (be it the job market, the car pool, the dating pool, or maybe just the streets of New York) we take a few moments to strategize, to finalize our plan, to know what it is we want... So that when we see it, we know. Because there will always be a train entering the station; and more likely than not, its not the one we need at that exact moment. But if we wait just a minute or two, the right one eventually shows up, and then we can be on our way to our chosen destination just as we invisioned.