Why do so many great ideas go to waste?
In this issue, we’ll explore why we so often lose on things we really want to do – and what we can do about it.
Too often, I’ve had grand plans that never came to fruition. Recently, I took stock of many of these ideas. It turns out that almost all of them were squandered for the exact same reason.
Somewhere along the way, I had caught a snag.
There is a Snag just around every corner. This creature lives for one purpose: to kill momentum.
If we aren’t careful, we tend to catch it. Not because we are looking for it, but because we don’t see it coming.
The unique thing about a Snag is that it isn’t designed to block you from working on your project, or shipping your campaign.
Its only motivation is to SLOW YOU DOWN. In fact, we don’t ever catch the snag in these scenarios. It’s the Snag that catches us.
We’ve all experienced this. Especially when it comes to marketing.
There are so often so many moving parts that almost anything can gum up the works.
It might be that the approval process takes too long.
It might be that the martech software you have to work with is clunky or slow; or maybe it it even prone to error..
It might be that you need a resource or some knowledge that you just don’t have right now.
Whichever the reason… it’s not always easy to affect necessary change overnight.
However, we do have something in our toolkit.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
The Snag will not stop. It is coming for you whether you like it or not.
So what can you do? If the Snag is trying to slow you down, it might enjoy a taste of its own medicine.
Set traps to attempt to slow down the Snag.
Metaphors abound here. Let’s take a quick…
Over the American Thanksgiving Holiday Break, our family banded together to help my two kids (Harper & Weston) start a business.
But it nearly didn't get off the ground.
Here’s what happened. I went to Shopify to see how quickly we could get up and running.
We were starting with a single product. Reindeer Food.
I thought it would be super quick to get up and running. It kind of wasn't. At least the way I thought we’d do it.
We’d purchased a domain, and had planned to launch with a Shopify store on that domain.
But it turned out that it wasn’t that easy to just toss a product up and get going.
The themes were either:
Free, but clearly built for big catalogs of products to easily present in many ways for customers to filter, and search through.
a minimum of $150
This was a barrier to entry. There wasn't a quick way to get started, and just sell the product.
Now, I have done a fair amount of selling on the eBay platform in the past. I had just expected that eCommerce had been simplified and was at least approaching that level.
It wasn’t with most of the big eCommerce platforms.
You have a whole lot of hoops to jump through, and they are expensive (at least relative to this project’s Q4 goals) hoops.
I’d caught a real, honest-to-goodness Snag.
Switching to Low-Fi
This was a fun, and important project for the family; but it wasn't so important and rigid that we couldn’t experiment and innovate a bit.
In this case, I decided to give up using the custom domain (which is perfect, by the way).
We ended up finding a platform to use that ticked most of the boxes though.
It didn’t have all the features of Shopify. It is even kind of a pain in the ass to get the addresses to ship to out of the system to print labels. It isn’t that easy to use a custom domain with and keep important things like secure website addresses with SSL intact (this is why I didn’t turn on the custom domain).
What it does have is a simple user interface, easy to use editor, pretty much the same transaction fees as Shopify.
Most importantly though? It took less than 15 minutes to be open for business.
I personally made compromises to what the original vision was.
I’m very glad I did.
We were able to start selling immediately. They’ve hit three digits and made their first money online.
I hadn't let the Snag get its way.
In fact, the sales started even before I got the site up. Bethany had the Facebook audience/Venmo combo going way before I was ready and those direct sales are neck and neck with those coming from eCommerce.
There’s always an easier way to get started.
The next step for Ecommerce is to add a website with custom domain.
We took a project’s requirements and allowed them to relax.
That’s really being too polite. We took the requirements and blew them away so we could get the “low-fi” version of it out the door.
The lesson in this is the same as I’ve seen in marketing in my work that doesn’t involve the kiddos.
The lesson is to have a “low-fi” version of the idea planned so that you can get something out the door quickly and test it in the world. The things you learn will help shape the more complex version of the idea anyway.
How to Snag the Snag.
Try to figure out how to be only 15 minutes away from shipping the low-fi version of your idea. Either start there, or keep it as a contingency plan in your back pocket.
Could you launch without a perfect landing page?
Probably. Could you use a blog post to launch. A social post? It might even turn out better in the long run.
But are you ready to make that compromise?
This requires acknowledging with your team up front that something is going to happen; and plan the requirements ahead of time for what the minimum viable version of this idea needs to have.
When you inevitably see the Snag coming your way, you’re going to be in good shape. Because you’ve already set a trap for it.
Chris Handy 🎉 @chrishandyblogWould you like my kids' new business on Instagram? They have broken through $250 of revenue, which means 50 of those dollars go to @SafeHavenTC. https://t.co/EuTLWIGNV0
Never let the Snag win.
This week, premium subscribers are going to dig into some “low-fi” campaigns that can be implemented in 15 minutes or less.
🎶 Musical Note: Just dig into this discography headed up by Leon Michels and try to tell me you can’t toss it on in almost any situation. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
If you found value in this weeks issue, please let me know! Just reply to this email or leave a comment.