You don’t learn to swim by jumping in the deep-end.
Well, you could, but I bet it would be pretty traumatic.
Rather, when we learn to swim, we start in the shallow end hanging on to the edge of the pool, master core skills (like how to hold our breath underwater), and we work our way up (or down, really) to the deep-end.
When we learn to ride a two-wheeler, we start with training wheels to get the hang of things, master few core skills (like how to balance), and we work our way up to road biking in New Mexico.
When we learn to cook, we start with the basics like scrambled eggs and grilled cheese, learn a few core skills (like how to make hollandaise sauce), and we work our way up to the pan roasted Indian-rubbed halibut with coconut, green apple, and cilantro chutney.
When we learn math, we start with counting to 10, learn a few core skills (like multiplication and division), and we work our way up to calculus (or in my case, figuring out the discount when sale is an additional 25% off at Anthropologie).
And when we learn to build an authentic brand and promote our businesses, we start with clarity around our core differentiators and our target customers, learn a few core skills (like how to develop an authentic voice and build a solid website and digital platform) and we work our way up to the life and impact we’ve been dreaming of.
I wish. Way too often I see entrepreneurs begin to build their businesses in the middle or at the end – often unknowingly jumping over the core basics of branding and marketing that create the context and confidence to stand out to compete and succeed in a noisy world.
Hint: at our agency, the progression looks a little something like this:
- You own your brand attributes, your impact and your authentic voice
- You understand your target customers
- You know your product and pricing line-up (and charge what you’re worth)
- Your website is primed and ready to sell
- You plan your marketing
So, if you feel like you’re drowning trying to get your business off the ground, chances are you’re trying to start in the deep end. Better to start at the start and work your way up.