Internship Diary #11 — Discipline is Harder When Things are Easier

A few weeks ago, I traveled home for Thanksgiving break. Like most college students, I was looking forward to using the time to rest and catch up on a few things that had fallen through the cracks at school while I was busy. A day before making the trek home, I messaged back and forth on Slack with Kevin, just discussing a few upcoming meetings, ways for me to get more experience, and how I could get a couple things done on the road. In truth, my mind was mainly focused on spending a week with no assignments due for any classes. 

Over the course of the break, though, I noticed something. For some reason, despite the fact that my schedule was wide open for the week, it was more difficult for me to execute little tasks for my internship. At school, I juggle a lot of responsibilities and a decently busy schedule. But I get everything done at roughly the same time every day, and usually at the same place. Classes end, lunch is over, I land at my desk in my room to hammer out internship work. Not so at home, away from the busyness. For me, and I suspect for a lot of people, discipline is harder when things are easier. 

I live in south Georgia, near-ish to Savannah, in a tiny little nothing town that no one has ever heard of. From Jackson, the drive home takes about nine hours. I love to drive — always have, ever since I got my learner’s permit. There’s somewhat of a running joke in the family about how I never give up the wheel to let anyone else drive, no matter how long the trip. That’s neither here nor there, except that I again insisted on driving home for break despite having several pressing bits of work to do. So, at a gas station next to a coffee shop somewhere near Murfreesboro, while my brother and sister were getting coffee, I pulled out my laptop in the parked car and posted several clips for the Content Machine. I’d been putting it off, wanting to retain control of the driver’s seat (and the aux). It took me no more than 10 minutes.

That’s how things tend to go for me. I imagine a problem — for instance, I want to drive but I also have a little work to do — and then stew on it until I have no motivation to do the thing I need to do. In truth, getting work or homework or chores or whatever done is usually not that difficult. But, for me, it requires creating discipline during times of ease, breaks, and comfort. It’s easy to have a strong work ethic while I’m busy. After all, I’ve already got a lot to do, what’s one more thing? When I’m on break or have a lull in responsibilities, though, all of my mole hill tasks turn into mountain-sized tasks. 

I’m not saying I’m going to start getting up at 5 a.m. on Saturdays or working through all my breaks. I believe strongly in letting down time be down time. The ebb and flow of days and weeks, though, will naturally include both the hectic and the easy. I just don’t want to get lazy when the easy days come.

A Lesson from a sidewalk

This week I had an appointment on my alma mater’s campus. It was nice to walk around a place that was so meaningful to my development as a person. While walking across campus I noticed a corner where students walked from sidewalk to sidewalk without taking the path that was originally desired by the planners. This brought to mind two lessons we should take into mind when planning something for customers, attendees, users, etc:


1.  Plan for customers. This design was an addition to the campus. The way it is designed is almost as if the designers failed to take into account the current structures in place. They also failed to anticipate that humans, not just college students, usually take the path of least resistance. Of course students wouldn’t walk the extra 18ft to merge with the current sidewalk! Take time to study what your customers might do, try to get into their shoes. In the tech world they build customer personas to try and learn this behavior.
2.  Plan to change. There is no way that you will be able to anticipate all the way your users will (mis)use your product. Humans are too unpredictable for that. But be prepared to make changes to better fit the user. This path has been trod for at least 5 years now. Instead of a new sidewalk being poured and fixing the problem an eye sore has developed in the heart of campus. Observe how customers use your product and make changes accordingly to make the experience great!



Facebook Local Awareness

Man holding iPhone

Man holding iPhone

Facebook is flexing it’s big data muscles again by introducing Facebook Local Awareness.

Facebook is now using your location to sell ads. Nothing new right? They could already place ads in front of people in your city but now they are taking it to the next level. By using the location system on your phone (that is my assumption, I am not sure of the technology behind the program) they are able to target ads within a distance as mile away from the brick and mortar location of a store/event.

With Facebook Local Awareness you can now target people driving past your store. From a marketing angle this is awesome. A few scenarios: being near a college campus and setting your food discounts to that area. Coffee shop in a business district? Send the ad to all the workers about a special on coffee.  Near the interstate? You can set your ad far enough out from your location to pick up the major gas stations.

There are several ways you can set the goals for the ad. I think the real trick here will be for “Offer”. This will allow retail and restaurants to help drive foot traffic. Other services such as a mechanic could use this to gain likes for the neighborhood they serve.

Local Awareness

As a consumer it might be a little scary.

Check out Facebook Awarenesss here.

I am going to try and do a case study with this new tool soon and will post the results on the blog.

Text Marketing to College Students

Influence on College Students

Another helpful chart this week from Depending on your business, college kids can be a great customer base to target. This is especially true with affordable restaurants, entertainment venues, and clothing stores. College students love to spend time with their friends and frequently that comes in the form of sharing a meal, shopping, or going to a concert. As with all the age groups, college students love word of mouth, after all it is the best way to find out about the new hip restaurant or store in town. The other two mediums in the top three are very affordable to utilize.

Online coupons can come from email marketing, a page on your website, a special on social media, or a deal with a local online deal program (here in Jackson, is popular). Mobile ads are really easily done with text message marketing. Text message marketing can be done cost effectively and because you can send out time sensitive deals on a slow night of business they can help drive traffic strategically. They can also be used to bring attention to specific deals and events you have going on. People frequently forget things you have announced earlier through more traditional means of marketing and a text can give them a very timely reminder.

Adelsberger Marketing can help you with getting an email or text messaging campaign set up for your business. Send me an email at: to set up your free consultation.