How to Reach the Right People

By Frank McKinley

What I learned about marketing after trying to do too much.

Do you want to win over the world?
That’s the dream we buy into when we have something to say or sell.

It’s appealing to have an office 10 feet from your bed. The thought of having my car’s tires dry rot from not having to drive over 100 miles a day to work is a big motivator. Being able to schedule coffee and a nap is pretty sweet, too.

That day will come.

The question we all want answered is, “How on earth do I make my dream come true?”

Then we start looking for shortcuts. Magic pills. Answers in a box. A one-size-fits-all solution that we can turn the key on and instantly find millions of dollars in the bank.

If only!

Here’s what some “overnight” successes have to say:

“I was 40 years old before I became on overnight success, and I’d been publishing for 20 years.” — Mary Karr, bestselling author of The Liar’s Club
“My dad told me, ‘It takes fifteen years to become an overnight success’, and it took me seventeen and a half.” — Adrien Brody, the youngest actor ever to win the Best Actor Academy Award
“It took about 10 years’ time for

Shopify to be an overnight success.” — Tobias Lutke, Founder and CEO of Shopify I’m not saying your success path will take forever. But it will probably take longer than you think and the path doesn’t come with a map.

My Story, Briefly

A few months ago, I made the mistake of buying Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It.
One of the first messages in that book is that if you want to succeed you should spend about 7 hours a night on your passion and sleep the other three. Since you’ll have to keep your day job while you’re waiting, you have to crush it.

I was already tired from doing too much, so I quit reading the book.
I asked my mentor for a book on marketing. He suggested one that on the surface doesn’t look like a marketing book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.

It was just the message I needed. 180 degrees in the other direction. No more beating myself into a pulp trying to crush it.

I had some big projects on my plate I had to finish. So I immediately began to think about what really mattered and what didn’t.

Should I check Facebook, email, Twitter, and Medium 10,000 times a day?

Should I take my phone with me everywhere so I can get in one more news article, one more social media comment, or one more idea in my notepad?

Should I spend all day listening to books so I can learn something new?
No, no, and a resounding hell no.
What I learned has literally changed my life so much, I feel like I’m walking out of prison after a million years of self-sabotage.

This article was first published at