I write this blog post after attributing some recent success and recent let downs. People choose to be an entrepreneur for multiple reasons. Everyone can tell you their story and I’m sure some could talk for hours. I am going to make this a short post by proposing a series of questions at the end.
If you are like me, social media started to advance when I was in middle school and high school. Because of social media, we have been able to accumulate more followers over the years. Some followers might be the people we shared one class with. Some might be somebody we once worked with. We probably even have followers who like all of our stuff, which makes us feel good, but never even met the person. There have been followers of us for over 10 years. We know stuff about them from never speaking a single word. They know stuff about us by hardly ever talking. Maybe we interact by commenting on a post once a while. Or maybe we interact by liking a picture or a status. Seldom, we go for the private message but that can be a bit scary.
Now say, you decide to evolve as a person. You decide to pursue a dream of yours to become an entrepreneur. You know nothing about the journey ahead, but you start. Ever heard the quote “sometimes the hardest part is just the start!”? You have a great idea and decide to run with it as a potential business opportunity. You think more and spend more time. You take a 10 year goal and ask how you can finish this in the next year. The vision gets more precise the more hours you spend on it. You start to ask for feedback and receive a whole bunch of positivity.
While you are working a job where you never meet the owner, never see the boss, get in trouble for doing the right thing, appear as the bad guy far to often, receive fear threats by a manager and laugh at their remarks that aren’t funny, you dwell on the idea that you are getting out. You beocming an entrepreneur. Your reach and scope on society is going to get 10X bigger because you are taking a risk. As Grant Cardone would say “Think 10x bigger!” You have decided to enter the unknown and take on a project that only you can articulate the coming together. As you get closer, you start to share on social media about the progress. People you do not talk to ever like your stuff. It is becoming very real.
Day 1 of business is a day you will remember forever. Months later, the product is out. You are making some sales, but business is going slower than you anticipated. Some sales came from regular posts about your product. Most of your purchases were unexpected and from people you talked with outside of social media and in person by freak occurrence. You realize that selling the product is harder than creating the product.
For example, I wrote two books. The first book, A Hollow Fight ( a novel about a homeless teenager, turned savage, turned amateur boxer) was a milestone for me. Nobody in my social media sphere had written a book and I was the first. Nobody in my college writing class had written a book. How often are you connected to an author? I think that is so cool and would love to support that author/friend for their accomplishment. Your small purchase helps reward him or her for the countless hours spent honing their craft. Over time, one sees their posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, linked-in, etc….but they never click the link to support the person in their network, someone they have been following for years who has done something out of the ordinary. As an entrepreneur, you ask yourself…why? I made a few hundred book sales, and they did not come from the people I thought would buy.
But the busy work and positive testimonies makes you happier than the money. So now the entrepreneur is really excited as the word of mouth campaign begins. He or she has learned a lot about the journey and the process. They have grown in their field and have grown as a person. Everyone will define success differently. But now the entrepreneur, decides to tackle on another business and decides to endorse a product that he or she thinks that everyone will need. Not everybody needed my first product, but everyone will need this next product. You have gotten wiser and have learned a thing or two about marketing and demographics.
I decided to write another book. Being an amateur comedian, I thought instead of playing politics/ buddy-buddy with acquaintances to get more stage time and appear cool, I thought I would write a bad-dad joke book. The Bad-Dad Joke Book would be like my comedy portfolio and I could give comedy fans a 2 hour show instead of a 5 to 7 minutes live set. Who does not like to laugh? What is the last great comedy bad-dad joke book that you read? Everyone likes to laugh and nobody has read a bad-dad joke book. On top of this, I have been known as the semi-funny guy for over the years on social media through my comedy youtube show Food Pours. Now I truly had a product for the fans. They’ve seen my posts, samples, free content. and are liking my stuff for years. They have seen me truly evolve as a comic, yet they do not buy. What???? You offer free shipping and they still do not buy. You offer a BOGO deal and they do not buy.
*Although I’m a two time author, I focus on original ideas over grammar technicalities so I’m sorry if you come across any grammar errors.
Then I became a franchise owner of a nutrition product that I knew was simple, effective, and affordable through the power of 39 whole food concentrates. I though this was truly an industry solution for being a Nutrition Store In A Bottle. I knew I could be kind of like a doctor and help people balance their diet, increase their energy, lower brain fog, and lower anxiety. 9/10 people have a health issue. 8/10 people are looking to lose weight. This would be the ultimate drink for the athlete and for all the naturalist and vegans out there. It should have been a win. I was wrong. Here was an Average Joe Author selling nutrition. Over the year I learned a lot about sales, mental toughness, overcoming objections, tackling fear, being committed and dedicated, follow ups, etc. I would post, people would like, but people would not buy in my network of social media. It did not matter if I asked the questions to discover a need. It did not matter if I referenced exact phrases used in statuses. It did not matter if the price was right. They would still not buy most of the times. People will question the science of a nutrition label with proven results, but will not question a greasy hamburger?
I see success all around me through the power of social media, but I wonder if maybe I talk and associate with the wrong people?
So I ask you this question, if you are an entrepreneur and have offered a product line that is quality, solves a need, and costs below market price and people in your network do not buy, what is the point of keeping them around? If someone buys one product of yours, they are loyal. But as a product line develops and you have more products to offer, if they fail to support, do they get cut if they act ignorant?
Likes will not pay the bills. Likes will not get your kid new shoes. Likes will not help you live life on your own terms. Likes will not help you escape the “cog in the wheel” lifestyle.
If you have a friend who paints, buy a piece from them. If you have a friend who makes t-shirts, buy a t-shirt from them. If you have a friend who sells cell-phone cases, buy a case from him. If a kid is selling candy or snacks, buy a candy bar from them. Support the entrepreneurship mindset for building a presentation and asking for the sale. How often do you know someone who has thought of an original idea and wants to make a business out of it.
When somebody supports the job you work for, somebody you do not see gets the money. You are just an association. But when you have a product that your either created or directly represent and know it can help people from the bottom of your heart, and these long time followers still will not support, I think you delete them because what good are they anymore? Maybe they have valid reason, which you shall honor. But if they are a social media addict posting all the time and spending frivolous money, yet cannot purchase the product you put your blood, sweat, and tears into to better your life and to change the world, you have to question the relationship. Even when you bite down and decide to private message them with a small presentation and ask for the sale and they ignore your messages, do you delete them?
I think you should build rapport on a couple of messages before going in for the sale. Say they are responding, the conversation is going good over the last few days, then you ask for the sale and they go MIA. Are you kidding me?
My answer is yes. There will be people I see next year at my 10 year high school reunion that will have lasted 9 years on my social media account. When you see somebody achieve success that they decided to tackle on your own, you support them. If you cannot support them even if they have wonderful ambition and a wonderful product, unfriend them yourself.
Please share this post or reblog it or become one of my students online as I lecture on “The Things They Don’t Teach Us In School.”