Ah, Seneca! Widely remembered as the Founding Father of Greek stoicism. Often forgotten as the richest man in ancient Rome. Bringing these two together, he embodies the classic version of the thinker-billionaire that, say, Peter Thiel aspires to in our modern world.
How, I know what question has been haunting you for the last seconds, days, or perhaps years? “If Seneca were a PPC, what sort of AdWords PPC strategy would he follow?” Yes–stop the presses!–I know this is the question to end all questions on which the future of the world hangs!
Seneca wrote subtly about lots of topics, and his more emotional works like his letters on Friendship are sadly too forgotten. Letters or “Epistles” as my quirky edition calls them.
But Seneca’s most influential insights remind us of the brevity of life and thus our constantly impending death. Death can come at any moment, he tells us again and again. But–unlike the carpe diem-ists who use that as an excuse to have fun, fun, fun–he uses this as a reminder that we need to prioritize what is truly important at every moment and focus on that. And virtue, of course, is what is most important.
Seneca, therefore, would have approached his AdWords campaign in two ways:
First, he would have had the attitude that, at any minute, the entire campaign could explode. We could call this the paranoid strategy of running Google Ads accounts. He would have experienced Facebook canceling his accounts for no reason, dozens of times, his Google ads never being approved, his Ad groups only showing some ads but not other ads, his modified broad keywords showing ads when they shouldn’t, and every problem under the sun.
And he would wake up every morning, and go into his ad account or his client’s ad account, expecting a disaster.
In practical terms, he’d build in backup plans to prepare for the disasters. Having lots of users in every account in case his account is canceled? Yes, he’s that guy.
Not just preparing backup plans. Asking yourself every morning, “what is the biggest disaster likely today?” will make you check every configuration, option, data point, report, over and over, to try to find out where the risks are that can explode at any point. I don’t mean to imply I’m just as obsessive, no, no, no, why would anyone think I would be an obsessive monster?
In emotional terms, he’d just accept the battle as part of the day and life. The ultimate “happy warrior”.
“You do not know where death awaits you; so be ready for it everywhere,” Seneca said more elegantly than I ever could.
And while he meant it about human death, the same applies to account death. And we need to be prepared, in practical terms and emotional terms, for the account explosion at any moment. And no help from Google, of course.