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Life gave me one of those moments of clarity lately, the proverbial whack on the side of the head.

I’ve been teaching myself the ropes of online advertising off and on for the past 3 years.  Truth is I’ve had limited success and could not figure out why for the longest time, but this week I had my breakthrough.

I had been following directions like…

Here is how you create a Facebook ad that will change your life:

  • Put a headline here.
  • Insert a picture there.
  • Choose your daily budget and wait for the money to roll in.

Most of the time I end up spending money with nothing to show for it.

Facebook ads are working for everyone else, right?  I usually spend 4-5 days trying to get traction before getting completely frustrated.

Formula vs. Craftsmanship

In the most basic sense there are 2 different types of learning.

The first are what I what I will call formulaic learning.

  1. How to change a starter in your car.
  2. How to thread a sewing machine.

If you screw up installing your new starter, you’ll know right away.  You can’t put it in backwards.  You can’t even wire it backwards.  The car will either work or it won’t.

Same goes for the sewing machine.  If you route the thread incorrectly, it will snap or knot into a mess in short order.

Then there is the other type of learning — the type that tends more toward true art than paint-by-numbers.  Like making a violin or making your own wine — this is a craft, not a formula.

[Tweet “The fast track to frustration is applying tips-and-techniques solutions to complex problems”]

Availability Bias

My breakthrough this week is realizing I fell for something called Availability Bias. Here’s how it works:

If we have a personal experience with something, or hear about it often, or read about it often, then we are more likely to give these things more weight when we are making a decision.

The same way that most people guess that there are more deaths by auto accident than by emphysema (the opposite is true).  Emphysema deaths aren’t in the news often, so they are not top of mind with most people.

When I start looking for a solution to my online marketing woes I go — online — where I find a hundred online programs that:

  • Promise instant access
  • Imply anyone-can-do-this success

Since this is all I see, I inadvertently think one of these programs must hold the solution.

We Need Each Other

What I don’t see offered online is the more time-honored path.  The path that is not paved with claims of instant anything.

I don’t see any offers for the path of apprenticeship within my community.

Turns out I could have saved myself a lot of time if I had just surrounded myself with people who are on the same journey I am.

I started sharing my roadblocks with several other people who are on the same path, a few are a little ahead of me.  The insight they offered was simply…amazing!

[Tweet “We don’t need another online course. What we need is a group of peers to stick with us.”]

And the good news is that we are going to do it again!

Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks about a very unique type of group that I’m forming

  • where we all have each other’s back
  • where those of us who are strong in one area can guide those of us who are not
  • where everyone comes out ahead

[Tweet “I am ready to stop doing it all on my own!”]

[reminder]In what areas of your business have you been banging your head?  Where could you use a Guide? Continue the conversation on facebook, twitter, or linkedin.[/reminder]