Years ago, in a music magazine (I forget which after all these years), Phil Philcox has this to say about the life of a musician.
Playing music is like eating raw fish or cutting your own hair: It ain’t for everybody.
The article Phil had written for was titled, “How To Buy A Drumset … Cheap!” While the focus of the article was how to buy a good used drum kit at a reasonable price that made the buyer happy and the seller relieved, the quote applied to more than just musicians looking to buy equipment.
The quote also applies to running your own micro or small business: It ain’t for everybody.
Far too many entrepreneurs put out their shingle when they start up their businesses, and then they wait for customers to start pouring in through the front doors and they wait for the phone to start ringing off the hook. When business begins to trickle in, the question is usually: How come nobody wants what I’m selling?
As Will Rogers once said,”Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.”
Now, according to Chuck Jones’s Coyote and Road Runner Rules, the first rule is that the road runner can’t harm the coyote except by going “beep beep.”
Keeping these two things in mind, what does this mean to entrepreneurs? It means that if you just sit on the right track, what’s going to hurt you most is another entrepreneur letting you know he’s flying past you on his (or her) way to success.
What Should You Do?
Create traffic assets on your website and blog. Driving customers and potential customers to your website and blog is only one part of the success equation. Once your customers and potential customers are there, you need something that will not only keep them on your website and blog, but also draw them back to your website and blog.
What Draws People’s Attention?
People are drawn to people, websites, blogs, and sources that are respected and reputable. If you’re just opening up shop, now is the time to prove yourself as the “go to” person on at least one specific topic that showcases your expertise. As you become the “go to” person on the subject you’ve chosen as your identifying talent, build your brand to push your asset further up the ladder.
How Does Branding Happen?
If you’re going to establish yourself as a “go to” person, you have to introduce yourself and your expertise to those who know you as well as to those who don’t know you. The best way to do this is to make yourself available to your local print and broadcast media as a reliable resources for any news stories they may be running.
Contact businesses with blogs that are complementary to your own business and/or blog, and offer to write a guest blog as a one-time offer or as part of an ongoing series (quarterly or monthly). Share blog articles from other entrepreneurs on your own website and blog (with written permission from the original author) that you feel will be of interest to your customer base.
Respect The Blogosphere
Not every person commenting on a blog is going to be positive or pleasant. In fact, a small percentage of commenters will be outright unpleasant and argumentative.
Acknowledge those who comment on your blog, even if it’s a simple thank you and nothing else. Do not engage those who are looking to negatively affect what you post on your website and blog.
Occasionally, you will want to withhold putting a comment through because it adds nothing to the article posted on your website and blog. Such comments usually contain personal attacks or racist comments.
Don’t delete those comments. Keep them aside, but don’t delete them. There are times when people who write personal attacks and racist comments will try to harass you or your business. Having a paper trail with which to prove the series of events is invaluable.
Running your own enterprise is a lot of work. It’s not for everyone, and that’s fine. Each of us has to do what’s in our own best interests. For some it’s being an employee; for others it’s being an entrepreneur.
Embrace your choices with positive and dogged determination, and you will succeed. And remember the words of Phil Philcox, Will Rogers, and Chuck Jones.