What I Learned About Content Marketing From Buying Snow Tires

Snowy Road - What My Snow Tires Taught Me About Content Marketing

I have lived in Colorado for thirteen years. And every year for the past twelve winters, I have hated driving in the snow. I’m originally from Pennsylvania, where the Department of Transportation dutifully brings out the snow plows when the white stuff starts falling. In PA, the roads are consistently and quickly cleared. I never learned to love driving in the snow in Pennsylvania, but I tolerated it. I trusted that the plows would be there for me and make the roads safer and that I could get from point to point without putting my neck on the line.

When I moved to Colorado, I was completely shocked when I experienced my first major Boulder snowfall (we often get 6-12 inches of snow at a time.) During that first snowstorm, nary a snow plow could found on the roads of Boulder and the surrounding areas. And because no one was out clearing or treating the roads, the driving conditions were horrendous – huge slushy snow piles, slick ice patches, cars sliding all over the place. It was terrifying. I was also completely confused.

I asked a friend why Colorado cities don’t plow, and she told me that the Colorado snow melts so fast that it doesn’t make financial sense to clear it – if you just wait a day, it’s gone anyway! So why bother to pay for plows?

“But people have to drive in it while the snow is on the roads!” I argued. “What about the people who have to get around on the day of a big storm, and can’t just wait until the snow melts to get where they need to go?”

My friend shrugged. “Drive an SUV,” she said. “Or get snow tires.”

I privately rebelled. Studded snow tires cost an average of $400 for a small car, even more for larger vehicles. I wasn’t paying that much for tires just to compensate for Boulder and the Colorado Department of Transportation shirking their responsibilities. I would tough it out in my little car with good all-weather tires, and hope for the best. Colorado snow be damned.

I suffered through twelve – count ‘em, TWELVE – Colorado winters, stubbornly refusing to invest in snow tires and cursing CDOT (and the weather gods) every time it snowed.

I started to suffer from terrible anxiety every time I had to drive in the snow. I would avoid it at all costs, and when I did have to drive during a storm, my hands would shake. I would curse and cry and freeze up and generally fall apart (note: not the best state of mind when trying to drive on icy roads.)

The Final Straw

In December 2011, I had made a plan to drive up to a mountain town to meet a friend. When I was halfway up the mountain, the forecasted snow flurries changed to several inches of icy snow, creating slick and dangerous road conditions. I got stuck four times, my car completely unable to get traction on the snow. I finally turned around, realizing I just had to give up on reaching my destination that night.

The next day, I complaining to a friend about my horrible night getting stuck in the snow, and she confronted me about my snow tire avoidance. She told me having snow tires wasn’t a luxury in Colorado – it was a necessity. “Listening to you complain about getting stuck in the snow when you don’t have good snow tires is like hearing you complain that you’re cold in a sub-zero day when you’re not wearing a coat. Enough is enough. Get yourself some snow tires.

With gritted teeth, I did so, the next day. I paid a ridiculous amount for top-of-the-line studded snow tires. I was mad, but finally willing to just bite the bullet and do it.

The next time it snowed, I started my engine with suspicion in my heart. “How can these tires possibly be worth it? They won’t make that much of a difference,” I said to myself. “I wasted my money.”

I wasn’t even five minutes away from my house when I realized that my snow tires had changed my life.

With my new tires, I didn’t slide or skid. I didn’t fishtail around corners. I didn’t need to worry that I couldn’t stop at the bottom of a hill or start again after stopping at a red light. I could just….drive. My anxiety disappeared completely, and my entire relationship with snow (and Colorado) transformed. I actually LIKED the snow and could recognize how beautiful and peaceful it was. It was incredible.

What I Learned from My Snow Tires

What’s the lesson in this? What do snow tires have to do with content marketing?

Whatever it is that you are resisting – starting a blog, beginning your Facebook business page, starting an email list, buying a new tool for your business – ask yourself WHY you are resisting. Are you scared? Stubborn? Unconvinced? Resisting just for the sake of resisting? All of the above?

There are content marketing strategies and tools that can completely transform your business. If you are dragging your feet about using them, investing in them, or putting them into practice, do whatever you need to do to get past your resistance.

Start that blog. Put up that Facebook Page. Buy that new software that will save you hours and hours of wasted time. Sign up with a business coach.

Get past your pattern of denying yourself something that can make a huge different in your business and your life.

Once you get started, you’ll likely love the result and ask yourself why you waited so long. I know I did.

So take it from me – survivor of many a Colorado winter. Not doing something – when you are resisting just for the sake of resisting – causes far more suffering than just biting the bullet and doing it. Because once you get started, it will be like sledding down a steep hill – exhilarating, enjoyable, and totally worth it.

Thoughts on this article? Stories about getting past resistance that you’d love to share? Leave your comments below!

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The Art of Nonconformity

One my favorite blogs these days is little gem called "The Art of Nonconformity" by Chris Guillebeau.  His blog is all about finding your own path, starting an online business so you can break out of a 9-5 cubicle life, and international travel.  What astounds me about this guy is that everything I've read so far on his site has been TOP quality.  Well-written, painstakingly edited, and carefully thought-out.  Even the graphic design on his blog is beautiful.  Clearly, Chris is very careful about everything he puts into his online presence, and it shows.

As soon as I found his site and discovered his amazing content, I signed up to get blog updates from Chris via email.   I really, truly look forward to getting emails from him about new blog posts, and I when I do get one, I literally drop everything I'm doing to read it.  His content is that good!  If you find the subject of his blog appealing, I urge you to download and read his "Guide to World Domination".  This e-book was rocket fuel for my business motivation!

So here's my challenge to you for this week:  When you find a blog that you LOVE and follow religiously, write down everything you love about that site, and include EVERYHING, right down to what you like about the design and layout of the site.  Pay special attention to the content of the blog posts, and write down specifically why you like them.

Then apply those ideas to your own blog.  Or add them to your wish list for your future site!  You can find models for all kinds of great things when you spend time reading blogs.  Sites like "The Art of Nonconformity" are popular for a reason – what these bloggers are saying is interesting and engaging to readers.  How can you engage and interest your readers with passion and flair?

What are YOUR favorite blogs, and why do you love them?

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