And before you start thinking that this post is about how sex sells, or that I’m part of some weird cult or something, I need to assure you that I’m a relatively normal mom, wife, and Christian who has a knack for finding herself in embarrassing situations. (I’ve already told you about another marketing lesson I learned from an embarrassing moment in front of my fiance and mother-in-law to be at Thanksgiving.)
Well the story I’m about to tell you is one that will probably have you laughing, and if you don’t laugh…then I’m sorry you live such a “normal” life that you can’t find humor in a real life story that puts bare boobs and church in the same sentence. (Let’s leave the Song of Solomon out of this.)
An embarrassing story and marketing lesson:
Once upon a time, our church reserved the local water park for a fun family outing. I didn’t want to go. Many of you know my battle with my weight, and my self conscious brain was fighting the idea of being in a swimming suit in front of all our friends. But the kids were excited about it and I felt like a loser mom, not going because of my selfish feelings.
So we invited another family to come with us who had kids the same age and met at the park. My daughters were 3 and 7 at the time.
I had plans of playing in the wave pool where most of me would be hidden under water, but their kids were gutsy and daring and wanted to do the water slides. Of course my kids wanted to go too.
I watched at the bottom of the slide, many happy parents and kids, safely splashing into the water fully afloat on the double rafts. There was a high demand for the tubes that had two rings connected like a figure 8 so there were two lines, one a crowd of people at the bottom of the slide waiting to stake their claim on a double raft, and the other a line heading up a million steps leading to the top of the slide.
When we finally got our hands on two of these rafts, my husband and I worked our way to the top with the kids impatiently waiting our turn to go. He decided that I should go first with our youngest and he’d come behind me down the slide with our oldest. I sat in the back of the tube with my legs wrapped around my daughter who sat in the tube connected in front of me.
No one mentioned the slide was dark inside. My daughter who slept with a fish tank light on in her room because she was afraid of the dark, freaked out and started screaming and crying. In an attempt to reach forward to grab her and pull her onto my lap, I tipped the raft and we both slid out of it.
I had a hold of her under her arm with my foot and I was panicked as we swished and sloshed around the curves in total darkness. (Listening to her screams of fear.) I struggled the entire length of the slide trying to get a grip on her, and not let her slip away from me.
She wouldn’t be able to stand up at the bottom of the slide, especially with the current of water coming down the slide and my total focus was to get a hold of her so I could keep her head above water when we landed.
At the very last second, just as the slide started to glow brighter blue from the daylight, I got my hands around her ribs. I pushed her into the air as we landed in the pool of water at the end of the slide and worked to get my footing and stand up as quickly as I could, holding her above my head.
I was completely oblivious to the fact that the top of my one piece swimming suit had come undone. It was hanging around my waist and my boobs were both fully exposed to the crowd of parents and kids, most of whom we were friends with, waiting at the bottom of the slide for our double raft.
(I forgot to mention that my husband and I served in he kids ministry, so we were well known among the families of the church.)
While moms, dads, teenagers, and kids laughed (I assumed because we came down the slide raft-less) one mom reached into the pool to take my daughter for me while she whispered to me to fix my top. I was mortified. I couldn’t believe what had happened and I thought I would never survive. Someone handed me a towel as I walked out of the pool holding my top up and I thought, “We HAVE to switch churches.”
But what really happened was that I broke a barrier in my mind that I didn’t know was there. I was able to laugh at the situation and then use it to help me in many things I’ve done since then, like marketing my business online.
Marketing Lesson: Breaking Through Limiting Beliefs
Okay, so I’m not perfect…who is?
I realized that we all have the same parts (well half of us anyway). We all fear embarrassment. We all have the same fears feeling vulnerable, or not being accepted.
How many times do we end up holding ourselves back from doing things because we’re self conscious? How is it that we underestimate our gifts most of the time?
Would any other mom do anything differently than I did? No. I bet all you mommies (and daddies) reading this would fight with all your might to keep your kids safe, even at the risk of looking stupid or being embarrassed.
If we want to succeed in our businesses that means we’re going to have to take some risks and expose ourseves to opportunities for growth. While I don’t necessarily recommend you show your boobs to your church, I do recommend you put your focus on others and not yourself and take some risks!
If you find yourself nervous or feel like you are holding yourself back, chances are you’re thinking about yourself.
Find someone else you can help instead. Putting your focus on them will do you a lot of good when it comes to working through your limiting beliefs. You’ll be able to come back to your business having expanded your confidence a little bit and be able to stretch your comfort zone a little bit more.
So remember that it’s about the baby steps that help us to reach our goals and you can be hit with a marketing lesson from many daily life situations. Pay attention to what is happening to you in your life. Think about how you can take something you learned as a parent, wife, grocery shopping, or just about anything and use it in your marketing!
(If you are wondering what happened at the health club to remind me of this story. Nothing exciting. I just noticed while doing the back stroke that I was dangerously close to playing peek-a-boob because my straps were not tied tight enough, which was enough to bring this story to the forefront of my mind.)
Please comment below and please share this post on social media. We’d all love to know what situations have you experienced in life that can stand as a marketing lesson to help you grow your business, grow your comfort zone, and grow your character!