Every Setback Can Be An Opportunity For Reflection, Even The Flu!

“Stubbornness, on the other hand, may look like tenacious determination, but it can paint you into a corner and cut you off from the possibility of positive change.” Tenacious or Stubborn, by Sallie Culbreth

Hi folks, welcome!

A change is as good as a rest, even when my training, blogging, and life in general, are interrupted by my lying flat on my back with a fever for four days. It feels so good to be back.

Eastern bluebirdAs I drifted in and out of a fitful sleep, feeling really sick, enjoying all sorts of weird dreams, some nightmarish, but none erotic (see, I was really sick), I had some interesting thoughts. These thoughts all seemed to start with the bird at the window (see an earlier post via this link). This bluebird comes back every day to bang his head against our window, until the cat turns up. And I come back every day to bang my head against my blog and my so-far not very successful business, until I look at my conversion rates, which, like the cat for the bird, give me paws. My business, Old Dogs in Training LLC, has been successful in quality, in that a few people have really appreciated what I’m doing, but when it comes to a fiscal victory it’s another story entirely. I am not remotely surprised, by the way.

There seem to be two major issues:

FitOldDog's treatment for plantar fasciitis e-book.

Should I focus on this? I know’s it’s better than most things out there, especially for persistent cases. We’d have to compete with the big guys and their marketing budgets! Uhm!!!

OneI’m not focused – my ideas and products are directed to multiple, highly diverse, audiences, including the elderly (body awareness videos), triathletes (training ideas on this blog), aortic disease patients (Surgery Recovery Guide, e-book #1), curing sports injuries (Treatment For Persistent Plantar Fasciitis, e-book #2), and people in general when it comes to staying in shape as they age.

Two I have absolutely no training in marketing.

So, that has to change.

I wonder what I’ll do? I never know. As my friend Byron said the other day, “Kevin, you are impetuous!” I have to admit, I knew that, already. It’s one of my greatest gifts from nature. But I’m also painfully logical, so it’s pretty clear what I have to do, (1) focus, and (2) take marketing training.

I’ll focus on my running skills for a little while first, though, and crank my Training Diary back up again tomorrow!

Thanks for listening,

Kevin aka FitOldDog



  1. Beware! Who is doing the training. What is their track record.
    I remember a fairly successful cafe called Cuddles. It catered for families with young children and provided food plus colouring in sheets and crayons. The owner went on a course in marketing and was advised to change the name to The Old Blacksmiths Forge and focus on older clients. This she did and the business collapsed within a year!
    Just ask yourself “Well I have some products but what is the market?”

    • Yes! That’s the challenge of the neophyte, who to believe. Hastening slowly, making changes gradually, and keeping my eye on the statistics seems to be the way to go. Thanks for the comment. -kevin

  2. Glenn Jones says

    Hi Kevin,

    Some years back I paid good money to put my daughter through university doing a double degree in law and marketing. I also took the opportunity to peruse her text books from time to time and have regularly picked her brain since then, as she is now the marketing metrics manager for a national law firm.

    She has taught me a number of things over the years. The first is that we all think we know about advertising and marketing because we see it on tv. Truth is, that we only know what tv tells us. If marketing was what we see on tv, we would all have degrees and I wouldn’t have paid all that money years ago.

    She also taught me that marketing is not all about inspiration and slogans. It is about maximizing the returns on your effort and your investment. That means measurement (yes, metrics). For example, the Internet is a wonderful place to play. The world’s biggest sandpit. But there are so many others playing there that it can be very difficult to get noticed, and even more difficult to make a sale. You might get a better return on your effort and investment by focusing on local sales where you can build a personal following with people who know you as a flesh and blood person. Or you might need to do things differently on the internet. I don’t know, but you may be able to find out by measuring the success of your current efforts and surveying your followers to find out what they want from you in the future.

    The information and your analysis of it can be used to inform your business plan and your marketing plan to focus and maximise your returns on future efforts and investments.

    My daughter is a wonderful source of advice but that is enough for now as my single finger tapping on my iPad is laborious.. I also agree with the earlier comment. Just remember ‘New Coke’ if you want an example of bad marketing ideas. The underlying message is to hasten slowly (and carefully) and measure your efforts to determine their success before you make wholesale changes (such as rebranding yourself ‘fit young buck’ and going after the youth market).

    In the interim, I recommend having a look at some of the books on guerilla marketing. They are fun, easy to read, and have some interesting case studies on what has worked for others. Just don’t rush in to any particular idea.

    Get well soon.

    Best regards,


    PS – at the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, best to avoid people with bugs when you are training for big events, getting over major surgery – or, in your case, both! 🙂

    • Hi Glenn, thanks for your message, I appreciate that. I know I do have to learn some marketing, and I will have to continue to get it wrong until I get it right, whilst using my resources wisely. There seem to be a lot of people out there who want my money to teach me marketing, but I’ve let that go until now. I bet I work it out in the end, but it won’t be quick. Much appreciated. Boy, that flu beat me up. Cheers, a tired kevin

  3. Yep, you are on the right path, especially about ‘who is your client’? And again the idea about building your ‘brand’ locally, in your state, the SE! You gotta make me NEED your product. Meanwhile, stay away from sick people!

    • Hi Marsha! A lot of people had this thing around here, apparently. I can’t stay away from Deb, and she works in the ER. What’s to do? I’m trying vitamin D. I’m reading ‘The Reluctant Entrepreneur’ right now, and I think it contains some pretty good advice along these lines. At least I know I don’t know squat – that is always a good place to start. Nearly over the flu! Cheers, Kevin

  4. Visualise a small matrix of two rows and two columns. Label rows Circumspect and Impetuous. Label the rows Unlucky and lucky.
    Ideally you want to be in the box Impetuous and Lucky. That is overnight success and high income. The real world for most of us is in the other three boxes.
    Your approach thus far has been circumspect but luck has not yet arrived.
    The problem with circumspection is that if an opportunity pops up but is not in your planned schedule you might miss it or not recognise it. So whilst being generally circumspect you need to have the potential to act impetuously if something “feels right”.
    I agree with others here start local get a reputation and get known.
    Local is both geographical and community of interest. That is North Carolina and endurance athletes.

    • Good thoughts! I’m speaking at a local rotary club by invitation next week, and I plan to attend some local trade shows in the state soon. I guess I have to hang out with business people some more, and maybe be a little more personable – I understand that it’s a skill that can be learned?

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.