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A few marketing thoughts I’ve thought about thoughts.

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I love libraries. During summer months, I’ll often retreat to our local branch’s quiet corridors to crank out some writing, get some thinking done, or flip through magazines and ads looking for fresh ideas.

But even with all the books that line the shelves, one thing gets my brain going more than any other: a painting.

This painting.

I want you look at this image for a second and ask yourself two questions:

  1. What can you deduce about the subject from the image alone?
  2. What is he doing? Or, rather, what is he not doing?

Here’s what goes through my head.

First, it’s a seasoned cowboy. He’s not young which means he’s spent decades in the sun putting in more effort than I can imagine to tend to fields or animals or both. What I do for “work” couldn’t be further from his definition of the same word.

Second, even with this occupation and lifestyle, in this moment, he’s not doing any of this. He’s not out in the fields, he’s not in the barn, he’s sitting. Thinking. Which begs the question:

Is he working?

It would be easy to explain why he’s not, but if you’ve ever met an old cowboy you may realize as I have that these moments are part of their lifestyle. It’s when they make sense of life and chores and weather and stock.

It’s when they make sense of their work.

Thinking is Part of Work
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last couple of years, it’s that deep, intentional, uninterrupted thinking isn’t the opposite of work, it’s one of the most important parts of work.

Our brains weren’t designed for all this information, for the context switching. Like an overflowing sink, sometimes you gotta let the water drain before you add more in.

That’s thinking. That’s sitting on a fence. That’s something that’s hard to do, but absolutely essential to creativity, smart decisions, and, ultimately, marketing success.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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