Branching Out And Trying New Things

When I was young I really disliked mushrooms for some reason.  My parents would have to make me special meals if they were having mushrooms because I really couldn’t stomach them – I would literally gag when they entered my mouth.  Oddly enough, my son has EXACTLY the same reaction to mushrooms.

Then something happened.  My dad made steak for dinner one night when I was about 14 or 15 years old and I decided to try some fried mushrooms.  He and my mother nearly had heart failure because as people who know me will attest, I’m not really what you’d call an adventurous eater – I tend to stick to what I know and like.  Anyway, he put some mushrooms on my plate alongside the steak and mash potatoes and covered in this nice jus that he used to make.  I tentatively put a bit of salt on the mushrooms and took a fork full into my mouth and chewed.

Sweet Christmas!

It was unreal… I’d been missing out on mushrooms my entire life and even at the tender age of 14, I felt like I’d ripped myself off by not trying them sooner.

I started having mushrooms with everything… Fried Eggs, bacon and a side of mushrooms – yes, please.  Mushroom in my spaghetti bolognaise – sounds good to me.  Mushroom soup – don’t mind if I do.

It seriously got to the point where my mom had to quietly ask me to let the mushroom thing go a little because she was getting sick of them.

Back some thirty years ago in Canada, our fruit and vegetable selections in winter were still pretty limited.  We had waxed apples and oranges from California, but most vegetables consisted of potatoes, celery, turnip and cabbage… Always with the cabbage – I seriously hate that stuff.

We did, however, have canned vegetables and one such treat was these little-canned button mushrooms.  Being a mushroom lover and all around funghi (see what I did there) my mother decided to grab a couple cans and cook them up with dinner.

I’m going to cut right to the chase, no beating around the bush, those little champignons were terrible.  They tasted putrid.  I spat it out on my plate and got full on yelled at because “you weren’t raised by wolves!”

These tin mushrooms were everything I had previously thought was bad about mushrooms and I was torn because I’d see how majestic those beautiful things could be when fresh and cooked properly.

I’d hit a crossroads in my love affair with mushrooms… But I decided right then and there to continue eating them fresh, never in a can.  It was liberating to make that decision, I still remember it all these years later.

I see this with people all the time in their business.  They decide that they don’t like a particular traffic source or offer type and truthfully, they’ve never tried it.  They make up their mind that whatever this thing is, it isn’t for them.

Broccoli is something I’ve tried countless times and always hate it.  There’s no shame in trying something new and then making an informed decision about whether you like it or not.  That’s how we learn.

Same with your business.  You need to branch out and try new things on occasion to see if they’re for you or not.  You can’t just guess or assume – that’s not a good way to make decisions.

I’m going to be sending you an email soon about something new that I’m going to try out – I’ve been asked numerous times over the years to start my own community or forum and every time it comes up I say, “Nope, sorry not for me.”  I like online forums and Facebook Groups, but the idea of running my own has always made me react like broccoli – I stick my tongue out and say, “Yuck.”

But recently something has changed.  Nearly a year ago I started a new Facebook Group with my friend Scott Duffy.  It was very targeted at a specific group of people we know and it has worked out better than I expected.  More importantly, it hasn’t given me the broccoli reaction.

So in the next few days, be on the lookout for a special email from me which will have a link to a new Facebook Group that I’m starting.  The groups is going to be an extension of Casual Marketer that is a bit more geared towards learning and interactivity.  Aside from everyone who gets my daily emails, I’m also going to be inviting a subset of my Udemy students as well so we’ll see how that goes.

Again, be on the lookout for that email in the next couple days and I’d appreciate it if you took the time to join that group when you get access.

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