- Make stuff or do stuff that is amazing
If you have something that is one of a kind and amazing, that’s one thing. If you sell something that a lot of other people sell, then you have to decide if it’s better to stand on the rooftops screaming about it, or actually doing something that is worth shouting about.
When the entire computer world was busy trying to figure out how all computers could be sold for $500, Steve Jobs was thinking about how to make a computer that was so amazing, that when you saw it, you had to touch it and once you touched it (connected with it), you had to talk about it. Steve Jobs didn’t care what it would cost; he knew we wouldn’t either.
Focus on making something, or doing something in some way that some people think is worth talking about. You have to mass customize your offering around each customer. The experience has to be remarkable, engaging and deeply personal.
- Worry about smaller numbers
Think small from the start, and never stop thinking in terms of small numbers. Don’t worry about the small size of the number of customers, followers, subscribers, or people who pay attention to you. Worry about adding one a day. That’s it.
Worry about finding one person or two people today whose problem you can solve in a way that is very generous. This might run counter to your intuition and drive as an entrepreneur, but trust me. Don’t go for a big market, especially if you are new. Don’t think big. Think small.
One really happy person you have connected to, engaged and changed, quickly becomes 2, then 4, then 8 and then 16.
- Get comfortable failing
Be patient. You have to be willing to try some things that might not work. If you want to matter to your clients, you have to know them and to know them is to trust them. You have to try to empathize with them.
Rarely, if ever, do we get it right the first time. It’s a series of slow change, little adjustments, and time.
Get together with your clients, your partners, look them in the eye, and ask, “What if we try this?” Keep trying until you find what resonates with people.
A few years ago, Tom and I floated the idea of hosting a retreat up here in Canada. It didn’t quite take off. Then we floated the idea of hosting the retreat at my cabin. Same story, it didn’t quite work out.
Nobody died. We have a new idea and we will be sharing it soon. This latest idea is just another in a long list of related ideas that have failed so far.
Who knows, maybe this time the idea will stick and this idea will resonate and become a really great thing. That would be great, but it wouldn’t change anything. What makes Tom and I who we are is that we’re going to come back and say, “Now how can we make it even better?”
Have a nice Monday. And if any of you are heading out for the U.S. Thanksgiving a little early and won’t be around for our Wednesday blog, we wish you the very best. There is much to be thankful for.