Marketing-Dish-Tina Tina Robbins, a “core spirit” life coach from Denver, CO, emailed this week’s suggestion. Here’s what she had to say:

Spaghetti and meatballs is one of my go-to comfort foods. There’s something about the richness of the meatballs and the noodly pasta goodness that is warm and cozy. It’s a little fancier than just plain marinara or meat sauce, you have to put a little effort into meatballs, but it’s still quick, filling, and inexpensive so you get a big bang for your buck. And of course it tastes so good!

Tina helps women rediscover who they are after years of letting other people drive their lives. She helps you explore practical and soul strengthening ways to create a life firmly rooted in your own Core Spirit, a life based on your values, beliefs, and desires. Learn more at her website.

This week’s Marketing Dish is about Planning

If you’ve been around the business block long enough, you’ve probably heard the term, “pasta marketing.” Basically, pasta marketing is about throwing random ideas against the wall to see if they stick (vs. planning things out and testing them properly). And sure, if we don’t plan well, our marketing can end up looking like a bowl of spaghetti — twisted and tangled, with no visible beginning or end. But pasta noodles aren’t all bad. Are they? As Tina points out, they’re a great way to get a quick meal that’s both comforting and cost effective. But should you eat like this every night? Probably not. Same goes for your marketing campaigns. There’ll always be times when we do something a little last-minute or unplanned. After all, BSO (Bright Shiny Object) Syndrome is rampant among the entrepreneurial set. (I know whereof I speak.) And those fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants activities can even work out in your favor (when you’re lucky). But when they don’t? Ouch! You might find yourself off track and lost in a noodle-like maze of confusion. Here’s my best suggestion for making your own luck when it comes to last minute marketing projects…

Make Meatballs

Meatballs take a little more time to prepare than just pasta, alone. You’ve got to a) have some on-hand, b) make sure it’s thawed out properly and c) mix the meat together with the right ingredients so they don’t fall apart in the frying pan. What I’m saying here, is you’ve got to plan ahead. At least once each year, sit down and choose measurable goals. Decide on what’s important to you and then sketch out a strategy for how you’ll get there. Be sure your goals align with your big vision and stated mission. Then, when inspiration hits (and it will) and you get the urge to add something new to your current strategy, you’ll have a yardstick you can hold it up to and ask, “Does this help me get where I said I wanted to go?” If your idea doesn’t help you further your goals, put it on a list for future investigation and return to your previously scheduled programming. And, if you find that you just can’t put the idea away (it’s THAT good), maybe it’s time to reconsider your goals. Perhaps you’ve changed? It does happen. More than you might think. Just make sure you’re consciously choosing your path, instead of following every new thing that pops into your awareness. What about you? When was the last time you sat down and decided where you wanted to go with your business (and how you would get there)?

Each week, I write a post that connects your favorite foods with marketing…no matter how bizarre or outlandish. The dishes are all submitted by Word Chef fans from around the world. If you’ve got a favorite meal, send me an email and tell me what it is and why. I’ll dedicate that post to you! Every month, we’ll recap the Marketing Dishes and ask you to vote for your favorite. Whoever submits the winning dish that month will receive an Amazon gift card, compliments of The Chef. Make sure you’re on the PB&J mailing list so you’ll know when we’re ready to vote on this month’s dishes.