How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Sales
Take Little Leaps
If selling means manipulating the conversation so you buy something you don’t want or need, then actually, I HATE selling.
But I’m learning that selling isn’t about manipulation. It’s not about closing or conversion or squeeze pages either.
Shipped Is Better Than Perfect
We all admire the Big Leaps. Quitting your job to sail around the world. Going 100% Vegan all at once. Getting off the couch and running a marathon.
But I'm a fan of the little leaps. Small steps. The next small stretch.
Keep on shipping. Ship before you’re comfortable. And for sure, ship before it’s perfect. Ship this one so you can make another.
You're Richer Than You Think
It takes real effort to see that you are stuck. Effort and time. To break out of the cycle of stuckness, I need to continually remind myself of three things. Write-them-on-paper-and-stick-it-by-the-keyboard things:
Five Signs That You Might Be Losing It
When we’re bootstrapping a business or starting something new, money is often a constraint. More money will help us do more, faster. With out it, we feel stuck.
We have more assets than money, however. Often, we just need to be creative.
Subscription Services: What Would Grandma Do?
You may feel like working on four projects simultaneously, while also making supper and doing laundry, is possible. But it’s not.
Fire, Ready, Aim
If I look a little pale, it's because I'm dealing with subscription fatigue. If you are trying to simplify your life to the essentials, subscriptions can help, up to a point. But too many subscriptions become a burden that you don't want to bear.
Bakernomics: You have choices
New team members, potential spouses and business partners need to take the time to listen, to give context, to understand each other. The time spend is an investment that will pay back again and again, as the team works in the same direction.
Bakernomics: What Will Your Dream Cost?
Over the past several posts I've laid out a way of thinking of bakery economics, so that you can think critically about what is blocking you from building a business that works for you over the long term. A way to make the change that you desperately want but can't seem to afford.
This is not an easy road, but then again, neither was opening a bakery. You've already done some extremely hard work. You can do this too.
Bakernomics: Tell me what you want. What you really, really want.
So far you've gathered some basic numbers and paused to imagine a business where you are able to take a day off without the entire bakery crashing around you.
I'm willing to bet this still seems huge and impossible, right? This step is going to make the challenge more tangible. And if it's tangible, it's imaginable. And if you can imagine it, you can do it.
An Introduction to Bakernomics
In the Bakernomics introduction we gathered a bunch of numbers. That's awesome. Now let's so some dreaming.
Rather than leap straight into implementation, take some time to let this future state sink in a bit. Let it really settle in your mind, the same way the idea of opening a bakery drove you crazy until you finally did it.
Living With The Algorithm
One of the common discussions I've had with bakery owners, especially small bakery owners, is how to make their businesses sustainable. And by sustainable, they usually mean 'able to stay open even if I take a day off.' There must be some general principles that all bakeries follow that can transfer from place to place. That's what I want to work through with you. I'll build out a framework here and you can build on it, make it better, point out my flawed assumptions and so on in the comments.
There are no mistakes. Only puzzles to solve.
I used to love the Algorithm. Now I fear the Algorithm. Can we still connect with each other online without giving all our dreams, desires, and preferred toothpaste to the Algorithm?
The Daybook: Get those ideas out of your head and into the world
There's an endless variety of ways we live in fear of making mistakes. The circumstances and magnitude changes but the fear is always there at some level or the other.
You can't let fear of mistakes stop you from bringing the good stuff to Your People.
Put on a white lab coat and grab a clipboard if it helps, but start solving puzzles and get back to shipping.
The Business Owner's Lament
So often we waste all kinds of time worrying about which idea to start, without ever defining what the ideas really are. Should I work with appliance repair people or filmmakers? Should I do graphic design or copywriting?
How about answering Yes to all of the above, but one at a time? Keeping a daybook will help you keep your ideas fresh and in order.
There’s a repeating pattern with small, local, independent bakeries. Around year 4 or 5 a common refrain is they're stuck in limbo where they aren't totally failing but they aren't feeling safe either.
When this feeling strikes, it's worth forcing yourself to take some quiet time and take a calm, objective look at the foundations of your business. Some questions to consider:
Embracing My Multipotentiality (But Wanting A Better Name.)
What is the smallest offering you can make that will thrill that small group of very specific people? How do they want to be reached? How do they want to connect with your work?
Add A Because To Build Better Goals
We're the people who are always fascinated by the world around us. The ones who watch TV with a tablet beside us to search Wikipedia for more details on what we are watching.
We're also the folks who look as deeply inward as outward, trying to understand why we feel that way or what exactly excites us about knitting or the snowshoe hare or photosynthesis.
In The Style Of...
For those of us who want to build something that matters, there's a big piece missing in most goal statements. I call that the Because clause. It's the place where you get to articulate why the project is important at an emotional, big P Purpose level.
There’s no problem learning a new skill by copying the masters. I learned watercolour painting by trying to copy the techniques of famous painters, for example.
But once you start creating your own work, it’s time to find your own voice and tell your own stories.