Allison Rapp

Is Obi-Wan Your Marketing Advisor?


One of the things I’ve been paying attention to lately is the wildlife here on our pond. We’ve been here for almost 12 years now, and I realized some time ago that many of the animals that live on our pond only see us if we are moving. This means that it’s really easy to sneak up on them, because all you have to do is wait until they’re not looking, and that’s when you move. I’ve found that it’s possible to get very close to some animals by moving only when they’re busy and not looking at you.

Squirrels are like that. I move while they munch on their nuts and then when they stop and look right at me I freeze. It’s eerie to be able to get so close to them and feel absolutely invisible.

It reminds me of the really uncomfortable feeling I used to have when I lacked both a full practice and the steam to promote myself. I felt ambivalent about putting out advertising — for one thing, It would take me forever to get it just right. For another, many times my advertising didn’t have much effect and then I felt myself to be an even bigger failure. After a while, I avoided putting myself out because I didn’t want to be mortified if it didn’t work.

However, the animals who share our land have taught me that when I don’t move, I’m invisible.

In order to be seen by the clients who are looking for me, I have to put myself out where they can find me. If I stay within my comfort zone, I’m happy on the surface, but deep down I’m not moving, I’m not growing, and many people who need my help are going without it — and that makes me feel even worse. Eventually I realized that I had to choose between the discomfort of stretching myself by going outside my comfort zone, and the pain of not making the kind of difference I knew I could make.

When I looked at it that way, the latter won by a mile. I mean, what am I here for, anyway?

Staying inside my comfort zone, not moving, being invisible — are all like having the Obi-Wan Kenobi as my marketing advisor. It’s like having him stand beside me all the time blithely waving his hand and saying to everyone within earshot “This is not the Feldenkrais practitioner you seek.” I love Obi-Wan, but he’s a lousy marketing advisor.

Unless we are willing to be seen, our clients will never find us! We will stay small and safe inside our comfort zones. Ultimately, we will reconcile ourselves with never getting beyond subsistence earnings with our Feldenkrais practice. Either that or we’ll go get jobs!

The solution is to learn how to be seen in a way that you feel like yourself. Then you can keep moving… and that’s really important because standing still is only good for sneaking up on animals!