Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, we have
officially entered the season of holiday hectic-ness,
count-down craziness or simply pure consumer
season always makes me reflect on my very own
profession: Marketing. After all, I hear so
many people inadvertently blame me, or my industry
colleagues, on the commercialization of this time of
marketers really to blame?
I don't think so. And here is why.
marketers usually provide consumers what they want,
meaning they don't just try to sell what they
have. Marketing is about creating and providing
products and services that fulfill some deep seated need
or want that consumers have. Many of these needs
and wants are emotional.
the holidays are a time of strong emotion. Strong
expectations for things to be perfect,
in-a-June-Cleaver-kind-of-way; like having a happy and
close family, being in a perfect and loving
relationship, and having a fulfilling job with a perfect
company and a wonderful boss...like a fantasy or
live within us all the time, but the holidays bring
these ideals more sharply into focus.
do leverage these insights when trying to show
you how their products and services will satisfy your
needs and wants that your ideals create. They put
it out there to connect and relate to you.
But they don't create these ideals, they simply
respond and leverage them because they have learned to
listen well to their
I find that these ideals for perfection, which increase
so dramatically during this time of year, keep us from
really finding joy. These ideals
unproductive behavior and unhappiness.
After all, it isn't the
marketing; take ownership for your part of this
collective need for the perfect holiday.
I have lived it and
contributed to it too.
I remember feeling the pressure
to take every client out for the holidays, or to send a
meaningful gift to those I work with, or to make
meaningful contact with long conversations with dear
friends all over the country, to send out hundreds of
cards before mid December, to wrap all gifts
beautifully, or to host a holiday get together on top of
getting out gifts to family out-of-state. The list
was just too long and too painful to get through
gracefully and joyfully.
Through the years, I have
learned to let go of many of these ideals which create
an unrealistic list of must-do's or
I have realized that many of these resulting
must-do's and must-have's are not grounded in truth.
For example: An expensive gift from a
spouse doesn't really mean you have a closer
relationship. A tree full of gifts for a
child doesn't mean they will be any happier
than they already are (they don't actually play with
half the gifts anyway). An extra, holiday
dinner or lunch with a client or a team won't make up
for a lack of appreciation felt throughout the year.
Hosting a party or sending cards doesn't really
bring long lost friends or acquaintances any
Now I accept that Holiday cards can become New
Year's cards, or none at all if time does not permit.
I now understand that touching base during other
times of year can matter more to friends and family in
far away places. I now know that having a few late
gifts that show thought and meaning matter more than
just having many timely "somethings". I now
realize that even if my house may be less decorated than
those down the road, it doesn't mean that my spirit is
any less bright.
these things in a cost/benefit perspective will allow
you to see and to focus on the things that matter most
to you based on truth and not the falseness created by
our ideals of perfection.
hope is for you to have more joy by letting go of some
of these ideals that you may have in certain areas of
your life which come to a head during this time of year.
Allow the journey of getting to the holidays be as
joyful as the destination.
please don't blame the marketers; instead change your
piece of this collective need for the ideal. I
promise that over time as more consumers find more joy
and are less driven by these false ideals, marketers
will take note and the messages will change.
your road to the holidays (or any other destination you
may have) be joyful!
The Texas Women Who Rock on December 6 for another great session
that will help you to learn how to ask for what you
want. Find out more about "Getting the Most from
interested in developing yourself as a better leader and
understanding what your next step should be?
Consider one-on-one business
coaching to help you get clear on what's next and how to
position yourself for success. Contact Laura for
and personalized coaching.
Lopez is an award-winning author of
Connected and Committed
Leader. She is also a
consultant, and a Birkman Method certified business
coach who has been featured on the Today Show ,Latina
Voices Smart Talk, Living Smart and Fox News
In addition, her accomplishments have been
highlighted in several business periodicals
including Personal Excellence, The Long Beach
Business Journal, The Houston Chronicle, Latina
Magazine, and Central Valley Business Times. Her
articles on management and leadership are regularly seen
in Leadership Excellence.
Laura can be contacted via her Web site at: