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Michelle Miles

Are you an Ice Queen?

Posted by Michelle Miles Expert Jan 31, 2017

A professional challenge inspired by Frozen

Are you an ice queen? No, I don’t mean behaving like a royal ****. I’m talking about fear.


As I was watching Frozen with my daughter, it struck me that we could all learn a thing or two from Elsa. What could you accomplish this year if you weren’t afraid? How would you push your own comfort zone?


This year, I challenge you to own your fear and pursue a goal with reckless abandon.


Not convinced? Neither was Elsa… at first. Let me break it down for you, and, to quote Karen Thompson Walker, help you "translate your fears into preparation and action."


Let it Go - aka Dream Big

Sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s hard to conquer fear if your heart isn’t in it. Imagine the best, most self-confident version of yourself. What would that inner warrior do? Is there something you’ve admired in others around you, that you just wish you had the guts and skill to do?


I’m guessing the thought of putting yourself out there makes you queasy. Get over it! Visualize yourself achieving that goal after months of effort and pushing your comfort zone. Silence your inner critic and forget the fear for a moment. How do you feel reaching this goal? What does this dream really mean to you? I’d wager this goal gives you more confidence, pride and feeling of accomplishment than anything your boss handed down. It’s okay to believe in yourself. Own it - it’s your dream!


Make a Plan

"I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear." -- Rosa Parks


Now that was a smart lady. She knew how to dream big and go for it. If the end goal seems like too big of a stretch, break it down into milestones that incrementally move you outside of your comfort zone over time. If you don’t make a plan, as Isaac Lidsky puts it, fear will lull you into inactivity. So have a little faith that you’ll gain confidence and momentum as you achieve each milestone.


Assemble your Dream Team

Cheerleaders who can be a sounding board and keep you accountable? Heck, yes. These are the folks that will help you with specific aspects you’re struggling with, and make sure you don’t chicken out. Define how you’ll work with them as you put your plan into action, so they know to follow up with you if you miss a check-in. Where would Elsa be without Anna? Alone in an ice castle.


Give yourself Permission to Make Mistakes

If you’re really pushing yourself, chances are it won’t be easy, and you’re bound to make mistakes. That’s OK - you can’t grow without it. A mistake is nothing compared with achieving your goal. In the words of Sheryl Sandberg, "Trying to do it all and expecting that it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy."


Instead, face the worst-case scenario upfront, mitigate it with your plan, then go for it! Just as Elsa learned to control her magic and love herself, you’ll recover from your mistakes, too. They’ll enable you to grow into the person you imagined.


Practice Confidence

It may sound silly, but pushing your comfort zone means faking confidence until you don’t have to fake it anymore. Like any new skill, it takes practice. I’ll let you in on a little secret… I do this all the time. Most people won’t realize it’s an act, and before you know it, it won’t be an act anymore. Not only is this okay, it is necessary. If you’re unconvinced, consider this quote from Sandberg, "Feeling confident, or pretending that you feel confident - is necessary to reach for opportunities. Opportunities are rarely offered, they’re seized."


Seize the opportunity. Go be that inner warrior, and see what you can achieve this year!

I invite you to share your dreams and goals in the comments below.

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It's been on my mind for a while.

If you are a business looking to implement a marketing automation solution, how do you ensure that the investment will be beneficial?


Of course, the automation software companies are going to tell you it's going to work and the case studies of success will roll out.

But we all know that introducing technology into a business is complex and has ramifications that can be felt throughout the culture of the organisation. There is often a fear of change and a history of 'technology projects going wrong'.


So how do you independently look for robust information to inform you what factors can help you succeed? I tried to do this and failed.


Everything out there is singular opinion or statistics without rigour. However, if we take a step back and look into the deep dark past of the 1990's there's a whole body of research waiting to inform us. Thousands of organisations went through a significant change with the rise of sales software. In retrospect, many of these projects were deemed to be failures in the cold light of ROI. Can we use this information to produce guidance that can inform organisations about potential pitfalls of marketing automation software implementation and how to prevent them?


As the industry matures and the hyper-growth of the software providers continues we are bound to see stories of failure arise and a backlash begin. There is a recent increase in the number of blogs around '5 reasons for marketing automation failure' and similar click bait headlines. However, they all focus on the external failures of campaign set-up or data problems. The focus is looking IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. What happens when soon people start to write about why they have abandoned marketing automation software? What happens when the software companies start to experience an increase in customer churn?


Why not look at this now? Can we help both the software companies and the organisations embarking on their journey succeed?

Can YOU help to build that robust information?


I am currently conducting a research study to do this very thing and would appreciate it if you could spare 10 minutes of your time to help me!

The study is accessed via the link below and forms the research for my MSc in Digital Marketing.

(beware - the first page has a lot of text.. required by the university... it gets better after that I promise!!


Thank you in advance to those of you that are able to take part. I REALLY REALLY appreciate this. I need a sample of 384 people to complete this research survey with the rigour that I want..... (and that's a lot of you!)



A small investment can equal a big return when your marketing team has the foundational training needed to implement automated campaigns through Marketo.


  1. Invest in your software stack: Investing in a tool that can perform accurate reporting and analytics can help your team build for your business goals and better inform business decisions.
  2. Tap into the knowledge of your database: A seamless integration with your CRM will serve as the backbone to your lead database. Learn the checkpoints to ensure your setup is complete and optimized.
  3. Build for the future: Marketo leads the forefront of technical capability. Set a strong foundation for your sales and marketing teams that will set your teams up for long term growth, scale and success.
  4. Training more cost effective than a Consultant: Marketo resources are endless. Once the foundation is well understood, the more advanced pieces will come easier.
  5. Your Marketo instance is only a skeleton: If you do not understand it, how can you build it? An understanding beyond the basics will help you team exceed goals.
  6. Don’t waste valuable time: Training will ramp up your team to work more efficiently and productively. Equipping them with the knowledge needed to jumpstart your automation platform program will save you time in the long run.

Marketing Automation is the way of the future. Be a leader and transform your digital marketing with the right training today.