Shoemaker’s Syndrome

As I blinkingly emerged from a series of projects that had consumed me for several months, I looked around and my sense of self-satisfaction was quickly replaced by a grimace. My house was a disaster, I hadn’t exercised in weeks, and my blog had been abandoned.

As a mother of two young children, I can easily cut myself slack on the scattered toys and piles of laundry. (Seriously, who can keep up with that?) The exercise? Well, I could give you a list of excuses, but spring is here and I’ve gotten back on track. My blog? That’s where I’m beating myself up a bit. My own brand communications had clearly fallen victim to shoemaker’s syndrome.

The old idiom has many variations across cultures and trades. (The tailor’s wife is worst clad. / Physician, heal thyself!) The underlying observation is that skilled individuals are often so busy taking care of others, they forget to practice what they preach.

It’s not hypocrisy, rather, it’s putting ourselves at the bottom of the to-do list. (Or, more positively, putting paying clients and their needs above our own business development.) It’s very easy to run out of time and energy to do for ourselves what we commit to doing so well for our clients—even though we know how important it is!

The idiom goes back centuries, so clearly, it’s a common problem. All we can do is recognize when we’ve fallen into the trap and get back to what we know is best practice. (Yes, just like diet and exercise.)

It also helps to give myself the same reassurance I give my clients: It doesn’t have to be complicated.

  • Not all blog posts have to be 2,100 words. Everyone is busy, so simple, honest and refreshing insights are appreciated.
  • I already have a great list of topics that I’ve brainstormed and organized! (You can brainstorm a year’s worth of content in about an hour.)
  • Bigger ideas can be broken down into series of shorter posts. (Hey, that exercise sounds like a post topic!)
  • Inspiration is everywhere.

If you similarly find yourself suffering from shoemaker’s syndrome, yes, kick yourself a little, and then commit to getting back into good habits. It happens to the best of us.  😉


By | 2017-05-18T16:22:36+00:00 May 16, 2017|Implementation|

About the Author:

Hi. I’m Melissa Harris, a strategist and copywriter with over 10 years of experience building meaningful brands, engagement programs, and communications. My work has always been in service of community. I truly care about the mission of my clients, and work hard to become an extension of their team.