Last summer my kids and I stumbled on a band of baby turtles crossing a bridge. They were about the size of quarters, flat as crepes, and covered from head to toe in gritty sand. They had obviously hatched on one side of the road, in the sandy shoulder along the bridge’s edge, and were making their way as instincts dictated across to the other side, hoping to find the Amnicon River that flowed below. They scooted and labored, some of them getting fried in the hot sun, others getting run over. When they finally got to the other side of the road, however, they found not the river, but a drop off to a river that might as well have been a thousand feet below.
The amount of energy we spend on a problem or a job does not always translate into success, especially if you run your own business. Sometimes, no matter how hard we work, we get stuck and need a little help. The band of turtles stuck on the bridge had worked hard to get across the road, yet still they weren’t in the water. They could no doubt feel the water was near, could probably smell and hear and maybe even taste it in the air. But they couldn’t get to the swimming part without help. Marketing our small business feels this way to me. Modern technology has made leaps and bounds in the last ten years, and I had my head in the sand about a lot of things. Words like mobile optimization, SEO, and site maps sounded at first like Chinese to me. The day we helped the turtles, I had never visited a Facebook page, tweeted, or virtually pinned something up. It’s not enough to come up with a product, to purchase the materials, to design, build, and finish it on your own.You also have to get people to see it.
That afternoon, my kids and I set about scooping up those turtles into our hands. We walked them down the steep embankment to the river’s edge, and set them free in the water. Some of those turtles took off swimming right away, others took quite a few minutes, slowing reviving their senses before working their tiny fin-like legs and taking to the current. All of the fourteen hatchlings we brought to the water’s edge survived, happily swimming to freedom.
Later that week, with the help of Jennifer DeWitt at Rebranded Media, Dan and I launched our new website for AP Woodworking, entered the flow of social media, and began paddling up the stream of eCommerce. I felt a lot like one of those baby turtles, exhausted, covered in sand, and so very grateful for the helping hands. Sometimes, no matter how hard you are working, you still need help. We would like to thank the following individuals and organizations who have been our helping hands over the years. We simply wouldn’t be swimming without you.
Erica Mock, Textile artists & active member of the Superior Arts District Development Group SPACES (Superior Public Art Creating Community Environments) and new Director of Phantom Galleries, Superior, WI.
The Plaza Art Fair, Kansas City, MO