We didn't name this series "Marketing: The Business of Life" because the phrase has a poetic ring. We called it that because of the entrepreneurial attitude that more and more of us have been taking.
Thanks to modern-day systematization of how business is done, looking at oneself as a "product" that needs to be "marketed" has been an increasingly popular attitude for years. Now, with the economy in a ditch, businesses reeling, and more and more people lacking steady work, the entrepreneurial spirit has of necessity been flowering like crazy.
Life isn't a business any more than it's a highway, a game, or a bowl of cherries. But so much of what we do requires thinking like a marketer. And in this over-commercialized and hyper-communicative society we're more aware of our image than ever.
People have always dressed and made themselves up to make a good impression on a date. But self-marketing is kicked up a big notch when one has to create a profile on a dating website.
Companies have always advertised and promoted their products. But now they have to be your "friend" too, designing, planting, and watering social networking gardens all over the web, blogging like babies who won't shut up, tweeting like birds in the trees.
For younger generations growing up never having known a world without the Internet, this all comes fairly naturally. But many of us maturer folks were raised to believe that tooting one's own horn is gauche and impolite. For us, re-training is in order. Values have changed.
It goes deeper than simply giving yourself, your work, your company, or your products a positive spin. It's taking a fundamentally market-oriented approach, making sure everything you do is presentation-quality.
A pain in the butt? Sure. But there have always been things we have to do even though we'd rather not. Flossing, quitting smoking, going to funerals. You're adding one more, that's all: marketing. If you're lucky it comes naturally; maybe you even enjoy it. If not, suck it up and go in there and floss.