Sometimes you read something that kicks your ass, it’s so true. It lays bare all your sneaky little ways to avoid doing what you say you want to do. There is no hiding from it now.
That’s how I felt when I came across Naomi Dunford’s post, “Make Them Love You. THEN Ask For Money.” I had been figuratively running around the blogosphere asking advice and making plans — while actually accomplishing very little — with the hope of quickly raising enough cash to cover my car repairs. But Naomi pointed out the logical outcome of such efforts: failure.
That’s not how it works, not when you haven’t laid the groundwork.
Then she patiently explained how to do exactly that.
Spend the first 28 days being totally, ridiculously awesome. Plan to make 100% of your money on the 29th day.
Spend 28 days being insanely active on Twitter or Facebook or your local small biz networking scene. Spend 28 days making killer contacts on LinkedIn or at the local flower shops or a few select forums. Spend 28 days loudly creating tactical, useful content on your blog or YouTube or, hell, Facebook notes.
Make friends as if your life depended on it. Be helpful. Give lots of shoutouts. Send link love. Generally be the nicest, coolest, smartest kid in school.
Then, on the last day, ask for the money. Launch your consulting sale or your custom deck design sale or your half price classes or whatever at the last possible moment.
So that’s what I’m going to do, and I invite you to join me in this 28-day challenge.
Think about it: Naomi isn’t talking about doing anything we don’t already know we should do. But it is overwhelming and a little intimidating to think of all that effort without a plan or others to keep us company and urge us on. That’s why I decided to tweet a challenge asking for buddies to join me at the hashtag #customerlove. Lo and behold, I got some responses!
So we’re on.
It’s a little awkward starting this on a Friday, so I’m going to suggest that we make our mental preparations over the weekend and then officially start on Monday. If you’re reading this later, just go with what feels right for you.
I’ll be writing a short blog post here every day with my progress and any ideas/inspiration I can squeeze out of this old brain. One thing I want to do is suggest a task for each day, similar to the #31DBBB challenge based on Darren Rowse’s legendary ebook, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. We’ll see how well that works.
In the back of my mind, I’ve been worrying that I don’t have the leadership qualities required to get — and keep — this challenge moving, but then I realized it doesn’t matter how many people get behind it as long as I stick with it myself. If others follow, great. If not, I’ll still reap the benefits.
Because whether or not there’s a pot of actual gold at the end of this 28-day rainbow, there will be another kind of gold that will be totally worth the effort: a real, honest-to-god business.
And isn’t that the point?
Let me know in the comments below if you will join the challenge. You can find us at the #customerlove hash tag on Twitter.
Photo by Dome Poon