Don’t Put Up Your Open Sign First

Taking little steps has never been a strength of mine. I’m a brainstorming, big picture, grand scheme type of gal. I prefer to immediately leap into action rather than plan or inch forward. When I approach a new project, I love developing the brand and marketing approach… actually developing content behind the scenes? Much less glamorous. Not enough of the ol’ razzle dazzle.

It’s like this: imagine you’re constructing a new building, maybe a hotel or restaurant. You show up day 1 with the neon sign that will go over the front door. It’s important for people to know your name, right? Marketing, branding, mission statement, etc. That’s all super important!! GOTTA REACH DEM CUSTOMERS!!! Here’s the only problem: you haven’t poured your foundation yet. You don’t have a place to do business, let alone something to promote.

That’s totally me, though. When I have an idea, I get excited and I immediately want to show it off and see what kind of attention it gets. The problem is that I’m just showing off an idea, not a product. In other words, it’s like making an announcement based on what you hope to make in the future, not on something you’ve actually done.

The risk with “opening” too early is that you set yourself up for guaranteed disappointment. You’ve told the world that you’re ready, right? But when your audience shows up and there’s nothing to enjoy, they’ll just leave. After all, who wants to hang out at a construction site? (Granted, a few people enjoy watching a work-in-progress but most people get bored before too long.) If you haven’t given your audience a place to enjoy themselves, then you haven’t given them anything (yet!)

There’s a time and place to celebrate a great idea, but our goal should be to celebrate the hard work that went into making the idea a reality. If you need the little boost of a passing mile marker (we all need that boost), make sure it’s focused on what you’ve actually done, not what you hope to do. It’s a matter of celebrating action over intent. So hold on to that open sign. You’re going to need it later!

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