I remember once being told that in order to be successful in business one should view it like an aircraft. The deliverer of the message said, that as long as the aircraft was in a position to fly, I should take off and actually build it as it was in the air.
Young and naïve, I took this advice and found myself building countless aircrafts while crashing and burning over and over again.
I’d create something, slap some wings on it and take off. I’d then find myself scrambling for an engine and whatever parts I needed, hoping that this time my aircraft would stay elevated.
I finally began to realize that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
I also realized that the person who shared this advice with me had never been able to manage a business concept long-term. Every other month he was on to a new venture.
I always say that I’d never get advice from a fat man about how to lose weight or a broke man about how to earn bank. The same goes when it comes to getting business advice.
No one actually told me what I’m about to tell you, I just thought to myself, “What’s the opposite of what I’ve always done, and how can I switch things up?” It soon dawned on me…. I needed to take my time and build. Not only did I need to build, I needed to build out until completion.
The problem here for many entrepreneurs, is our desire to reach our goal quickly, and with minimal funds. Let’s face it, our biggest assets are time and money and sometime it feels like a quick turnaround is what we actually need. As bootstrapping entrepreneurs, the idea of just taking off and building as we go sounds great. It means we can start now and with very little money or effort.
Here’s the problem, this way of doing things is comparable to buying the cheapest phone or the cheapest kitchen gadget…you think you’re saving money at the time because you’re putting out less on the front end, but the truth is if you would save and wait until you get the item of higher value and quality you would end up saving a lot more and benefitting on the back end.
There’s also value in building in silence. We all know that person that’s always announcing that they are working on something huge, or that they have great news about a new business venture and over and over again they don’t produce. This is a result of a dreamer thinking out loud and announcing it to the World. We all have a million business ideas jumping around our brain, but they are just that…. ideas. That’s all they are until we’ve built them to completion, and I’m not talking about getting a logo, business cards and a wix site.
I can’t tell you how many clients come to me with these three things, having announced to their Facebook friends that they are in business and then find themselves angered that their family and friends are not making them millionaires. I often times have to break it to them that it’s not their family and friend’s responsibility to pick up where they fell off.
This realization causes many to just give up and they have hurt feelings, a logo (not important), business cards (a waste of money and time for the most part in this day and age) and a wix website (equivalent to the cheap kitchen gadget I mentioned…. and most of the time, not the best investment).
If you really, and I mean really, want a digital business that will last, I urge you to build the craft to completion and then take off. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that you need to be at the same level or have the same set-up as someone that’s been in business for years. There is still room for improvising and using the bare minimum, there’s just no room for shortcuts and taking off in an aircraft that’s half way built.
I’ve got more news that may stress you out initially: I’m not saying that if you go this route and build, you will be done, you will still have to keep building as you go. This is where the guy I originally spoke about was absolutely correct.
You will need to add additional bells and whistles in order to level up from time to time and keep up with competitors. You will also have maintenance that will need to happen and at times you will need to change out parts.
Again, there are no shortcuts in business building and maintenance, but I promise you that if you take the time to do it, and do it correctly, it is one of the biggest gifts that you can give yourself and often times the ones you love.
The next important key to long-term success is to be prepared to be your own biggest customer in the beginning. This equates to being able to fly like crazy while re-fueling the aircraft all on your own, for at least six months after your initial takeoff. There’s nothing worse than taking time to build a beautiful aircraft, announce your take off, look immaculate in the sky and then find yourself having to park it two months later, because you couldn’t afford fuel. After all, your family and friends STILL, will probably not come through with massive checks, even after you take months to build.
There are Billions of people in the World, many of them matching the niche you serve. With a digital business that can reach across the globe, there is no reason you need to be concerned with your inner circle showing you patronage.
If this is even a thought in your mind, this is your sign and your message to let the thought go. Please let your friends and family be your friends and family, and focus on getting revenue from people all over the World who genuinely find value in what it is that you are offering.
Now back to our aircraft analogy…..
The truth is, as pretty as your aircraft may be at takeoff….it will take a while for passengers to pay you to come aboard. They need to see you a few times and realize that you are here to stay. You’ve gotta fly on your own, and you need to be able to fly often. This phase is called establishing your credibility. This is your chance to make your mark. You’re telling the World that ABC Aircraft is here, it’s solid, it’s thriving and it’s here to stay.
After such time, you won’t need to do a great deal of solicitation. Your job is to make the Aircraft look appealing, to highlight its features and benefits, and to cause potential customers to reach out to you in order to inquire about taking a flight.
I personally despise having people in my inbox asking me for money when I’ve never heard of them, know nothing about them and can’t see that they’ve been flying for a while. I spend my money with aircrafts that are just there, in all their Glory, doing what they claim to do. I don’t need anyone to ask me if I need them? I need them to show me that I need them, and I have the sense within to go to them and inquire.
THIS is the making of a sound business, my friends.
I realize that the steps toward building a successful and long-term digital business can be overwhelming at times, and hard to wrap your brain around. I love to help people get clarity around this.
Some things that I do to help clients wrap their brain around building a digital business that will last are listed below:
- Figure out what kind of aircraft you want to build. This includes naming, branding, marketing and desired end result.
- Look at your current logo, business cards and wix site and tell you how to take this idea and truly turn it into a thriving business.
- Figure out where you need to go, what you need to read, what you need to watch and who you need to watch to aid you in further educating yourself.
- Get out of your own way and stop being so danggone scared to finally take the leap.
- Draft a plan to build and launch a concept by a realistic date.
- Plan six months to a year of sustainability, allowing you carry yourself until the dollars start rolling in.
To wrap this up, I encourage you to commit to building your business completely. Not fancy smancy or expensive, just complete. Be prepared to carry yourself, show the World what you are made of and you can sit back and be sure that you will eventually start being rewarded and compensated for all of your hard work.
For more content like this or to work with me on building a substantial digital platform, log onto www.prettybrownnomad.com