There’s a fun drill we do in the martial arts that I first learned from master instructor Bud Malmstrom. Given that you have so many choices, so many options, so many techniques, it can be tough to excel at something, especially in a system like mine which has an absurd number of exercises, drills, patterns, and skills to learn.

Slackershot: right hand blade of doomBud’s drill goes something like this: for this drill, your attacker will do whatever they want. You as the defender are only permitted to use your footwork for evasion and your right hand in a shuto (hand blade/hand sword) form to protect yourself.

The goal, of course, is to develop mental flexibility and agility.

How many different ways can I use this one technique, this one form?
How unconventional can I be with a very limited toolset?
How, under limiting conditions, can I still win?

Think about this in marketing terms. How many different marketing books do you have on your book shelf? How many different tools – SEO, direct mail, cold calling, advertisements, pay per click, email, autoresponders, landing pages, billboards, transit ads, television, radio, podcasting, Twitter, and so on – do you have at your disposal? How competent are you in the use of any one of those tools?

Try this the next time you’re thinking about your marketing efforts. If you were limited to just one tool under very tight circumstances, how well could you use that tool? If you work for the kind of company that has multiple products and product lines, find the red headed stepchild in that line and practice your marketing tool skills on it. See how fast you can make that left handed smoke shifting widget’s sales grow through only the use of podcasting or only the use of email marketing. Test yourself out as a marketer and see which tools are sharpest in your toolbox!

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