Cobblers’ children are never well shod, as my dear departed Grandma would often say.
What she meant, of course, was practice what you preach, put your money where your mouth is, etc, etc.
In researching this blog, I have discovered three pieces of information of interest, to me, at least:-
1) Everyone else quotes the saying as ‘cobblers’ children never wear shoes’
2) I prefer my grandmother’s version
3) It’s a very common affliction ie. I am not alone
For most of us, preaching is easier than practicing. For me, ‘cobblers’ children’ has been a phrase regularly uttered from my lips over the past seven years or so, roughly corresponding to the time since I have been working for myself. I use it to explain or rather excuse my poor website, non-existent marketing and lack of social media presence. For someone who makes their living writing websites, marketing material, articles and features as well as extolling the virtues of social media and the need for clients to dovetail their activity and tell everyone what they do and how they do it, this overused saying is wearing a bit thin.
Regular visitors to LinkedIn, however, would have hopefully noticed my efforts to become much more proactive on the professional networking site, mainly thanks to a presentation by Philip Calvert at one of my client’s recent events AM’s Digital Dealer Conference.
The phrase ‘cobblers’ children’ is often levied at us professionals who are too busy/immersed in delivering for our clients, so we fail to apply our knowledge and skills to our own homes or businesses. Hence we probably can all name a painter and decorator whose house needs a fresh coat of paint; an accountant whose books need to be put in order; or the blogger who writes extensively for clients but doesn’t blog themselves and the website writer whose website is woefully inadequate. Guilty as charged.
Michele Peterson in her blog, aimed at fellow copywriters, ‘7 Steps to cure ‘Cobbler’s Children Syndrome’’ commented: “We can’t let taking care of others’ needs keep us from taking care of our own.”
The cure? Inevitably, it’s quite simple: get organised, commit the time and just do it.
Peggy McColl, New York Times bestselling author, admits to giving good advice which she isn’t always quick to follow. I would, of course, like to draw the attention to her line: “Don’t be surprised if people who are in internet marketing (copy writers, web designers, etc.) don’t always have the latest and greatest on their websites.”
My own clients are very much aware that my invoices are headed ‘Quippe’ (the same as this blog) – the name chosen when I switched from being a sole trader to a limited company in 2010. However, email me and I am still operating as ‘DK Consulting’. Oh yes, the new website has been beckoning for three years.
Giving your own business or home, depending on your profession, the same level of attention you give your clients is, quite frankly, never going to happen. However, giving it marginally more attention than simply allowing it to flounder in the background is entirely plausible.
Whatever your profession, take a few minutes each day to give your own business the kind of treatment reserved for your clients. It will make all the difference and you are likely to see your business grow. Well, there’s only one way to find out….