Thus spoke a client last week.
He recently gave up a successful job and career where he’d get sent to work with Fortune 100 companies, in order to build his own venture instead.
Working hard, trying his hardest:
To identify his ideal client, test messaging and value proposition and get traction…
And it’s hard work to build a business.
It’s not easy, and it never will be.
But it gets easier, bit by bit, over time.
That is, if you play the game right.
And that means a couple of rules of thumb:
1️⃣ Focus. Choose one thing.
One audience/segment, one value proposition, one core message, one strategy, one channel…
Choose one thing that reasonably and logically stands to turn into traction, revenue and profit, and work the sucker either until it works, or until you’ve proven it doesn’t work.
The worst thing you could do, is try something here, see no traction, try something else, see no traction, try something else… and thus, churn through your resources.
2️⃣ Make marketing top of mind
Sure it’s good to build things (programmes, products, software, what have you) but every decision as to what you’re building should pass the following test:
Does building this thing directly and demonstrably contribute to better marketing, visibility, positioning and audience-alignment?
If it doesn’t: don’t build it.
Let your audience and marketing strategy influence or even determine what you will or won’t build.
3️⃣ Simplicity rules
And that’s the big secret, the thing that can make ‘hard’ and ‘difficult’ into ‘easier all the time’.
Fact is, we love making things complicated – and the more intelligent and creative we are, the easier it is to fall into that trap.
If you’re intelligent, you connect dots, and see integrations & opportunities, and easily invent massive and complex structures and visions and plans.
It’s the curse of intelligence.
The blessing of wisdom, though?
Keep things simple.
Sure, if you need to raise money to develop your business, you can go out and look for a VC.
But then you’re selling a part of your company, instead of selling your product.
I.e. you lose focus on the one thing that actually makes a business grow: enrolling buyers.
Or you could try and raise money yourself, for instance with crowdfunding, or by creating your own cryptocurrency.
But in both cases, you add massive layers of complexity to what is already hard to do, making it even harder.
And, again, you take focus away from acquiring customers.
Focus. Marketing first. Everything simple.
If right now you’re dealing with complexity, or you struggle to choose or maintain your focus, or you simply want to simplify things:
Get 30 minutes on my calendar today, and we’ll talk through it – no cost, no small print – but I will ask you for a favour at the end.