In the course of being a boot-strapping entrepreneur, amidst all of the mistakes made daily, I observed that I generally made 2 mistakes.
1. Not seeing the opportunities in front of me.
2. Not maximizing the opportunities I had managed to see.
I’m writing this article because this might be for you. I could come up with all sorts of self-deprecating examples of when I failed miserably with me being completely at fault but I will give only the light-hearted examples. At least as light hearted as possible.
When I wrote my book and it was time to do some sort of marketing, I came upon this app that helps you go viral. I got all of my friends to sign up while it was still on trial version. We got to a reach of over 41,000 people. It was nice, felt great. Now had come the time to push the awareness of this book and guess what, I used the crowd-speaking app to basically whisper to a couple of people. It suddenly occurred to me to set the app to scream at the top of its voice by having it auto-tweet every hour on the hour for one week straight, then start over the next week juggling the hour until a month is complete. This idea as I’m sure you’ve guessed came to me exactly 1 day after the free trial had expired.
There was a time in UNN that I almost walked passed an opportunity. I think this was my first time of being aware of this problem. Being a Nigerian, we first tackle things like this with prayer, but seeing as I am not the typical Nigerian, I shrugged it off. I should have been like my fellow compatriots in this case. I digress. We were in final year Zoology and Environmental Biology and we had managed passed invertebrate and were now in vertebrates. We needed to dissect a lizard. Yes, you read that right. We had to see the inside organs of the lizard and take out the worms and count them for parasitology class. Some of my classmates had paid the assistants and others to help them catch lizards but I was probably in Chitis with Chidinma, MJ and Rina. On the day of reckoning, I was getting into class when I heard “No lizard, no entry”. I was like “Lizard, ke?” My lecturer continued “This practical will take 20% of your total score”. Chidinma, MJ, Rina and I, with a few other slackers went to find lizards. We got to our zoological garden and wandered around for a few minutes. I think all the lizards had gone into hiding. I whispered a prayer about finding a lizard and as soon as a took a step forward, there was a dead lizard in front of me. Now should ideally be the time for rejoicing, but no. I announced “See this lizard”. Mj was looking at me and said “Pick it up and go to class na”. I don’t know till this day why I needed her to prod me. It was like I didn’t believe it could be that easy or maybe I felt bad about finding a lizard before my friends and getting to go in while they struggled on. Is that a thing? I guess its survivor’s guilt.
My missed and minimized opportunity stories become more painful but I’ll spare you those stories and focus on this. It is not enough to have a good idea. That idea needs to be pushed to the end of it’s band width and give out before you walk away from it. Regarding marketing, I have seen that a schedule is necessary. Tracking each avenue for marketing is necessary to know where to concentrate efforts. Every time you decide to ”try” influencer marketing and you do I with just one influencer for one random week in one random month, or you decide to do facebook promotions without A/B testing to see what works best for an audience without repeating the same thing with another audience, you haven’t learned anything at all. If it isn’t measurable, it isn’t marketing and it wasn’t a goal to start with.
The equivalent of sporadic ideas with no follow through is like throwing handful of spaghetti on the wall, hoping something sticks. I have had to study extensively on marketing to understand the dynamics.
Finally, to be successful is to put an effort into doing things. It is to identify and maximize opportunities. To be truly successful, you need a personal schedule. You need to organize your thoughts. Small, consistent, repetitive actions are the key to impact. I have a gift to help you get organized. Click here to download you free Daily Activity log sheet.