Are You Eating Your Dog Food?

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”                                                   ~ Mark Twain ~

As humans we’re prone to making mistakes on a daily basis. I’ve been an entrepreneur for more than 20 years. And in that time, I’ve made thousands of mistakes! Today, in most professions, the only constant is change. The only way to consistently generate successful outcomes is to stay ahead of the curve. It means, Never Stop Learning! So, when I decided to write my book “If You Build It, Will They Come? The Golden Path to Lead Generation Success For Your Business,” I made a commitment not only to myself, but also my readers. That commitment was, to eat my own dog food.

Once I decided on the concept for the book and finalized the title, it became clear to me that I was now on the hook for putting all that advice into practice myself. Giving advice to others, in any area of life is a piece of cake. But putting that advice into action for yourself can be extremely difficult. Why is that? There are many reasons why we do this. First of all, it feels good to help others solve their problems.

Let’s take the Business Coaching industry as an example. According to IBIS World, Business Coaching in the US is an $11bn a year industry. 56,354 businesses classify themselves as such. I’ve worked with hundreds of professionals in this industry. The best ones will not only require accountability from you, but also demonstrate the same kinds of discipline in their personal and professional life. It’s great to use your super power to help other achieve their goals. But it’s just as important that you take stock of what you’re doing with all that great knowledge.

So, go on ask yourself, am I walking my talk?

To promote my book I could have assigned my staff at Prediq or one of hundreds of digital marketing freelancers I’ve gotten to know over the past 12 years. I interviewed PR firms and publicists, but ultimately came to the conclusion that I needed to run the campaign from end to end for the first 6 months. I’m fairly certain that, if I would have hired a team to manage my book marketing campaign the results would be good enough to make my book successful. Most days I spend half of my time planning my vision, then I delegate, and measure the outcomes.

In between there, I’m homeschooling our kids with my wife, and I’m on calls with staff and clients. I’ve worked hard to structure my days in a way that I feel like I’m doing purpose-driven work on a daily basis. Switching gears, means I had to make big changes to my plans. While I was excited for most of these changes, I was not thrilled about getting back on Social Media. Truth is, if you can’t meet your customers where they are, then you’ll lose them. There are few products and services that can make it without using social media to promote and engage with customers. I realize more than ever, that I need to practice what I preach. Just having a great book (I’m humble, but also biased), doesn’t guarantee they’ll come.

Beyond the fact that I want this to be a successful project, this was my 2022 BHAG (big hairy audacious goal). This is a concept I learned from “Built To Last,” a book by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. I read this book when I was in college. The book holds a special place in heart. In 2019, I had the honor of being accepted into a business scaling program at Stanford. Guess who was on the teaching team? None other than, Mr. Jerry Porras himself. According to Jerry, BHAG is a powerful way to stimulate progress. A BHAG is clear and compelling, needing little explanation; people get it right away. Think of the NASA moon mission of the 1960s. My BHAG for 2022 is getting this book in the hands of 100k people. Long term, it’s helping 1 million businesses. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m in it to win it. Part of my strategy is to help readers with accountability.

The book is meant to teach people how to successfully generate leads and grow their brand or business. I am a true believer that, it’s what you don’t know that gets you. This is slightly different than Mark Twain’s observation, whereas, he asserts that it is better not to know so much than to know so many things that aren’t so. This is the trouble with information online today. If you want to generate more business online you may think, I’ll read 10 books, listen to 10 podcasts, take 10 courses, and so on. But the trouble is, how accurate is this information. I’m not talking about the subjective parts of anyone’s methodology, I’m talking the data-backed, pure-high performance strategies that work!

Feeling a little rusty myself, I decided to immerse myself into the work that I started almost 20 years ago. In the past 2 years, I’ve gone back to obtain certifications in every Digital Marketing channel I discuss in the book. My most recent certification was from Amazon. I ended up spending 7 hours on a Saturday to do 7 modules and quizzes on Amazon Ads. Would I prefer to pass this off to my team? Hell yeah! But that would not help me empathize with my readers. I’m personally managing my book campaigns on Amazon, Google, Facebook, and many other search and social media platforms. I’m creating content on a daily basis, and measuring performance regularly. I hope this will inspire you to put your best efforts on your projects and initiatives in 2022.

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