When I published my first book as a fresh faced, unknown author, my initial print run was three thousand copies.
That was a lot.
Not only did I have to borrow money from my parents to underwrite production, but I also had to store most of my inventory in their basement.
But little did I know at the time, the average book in this country only sells maybe a few hundred copies per year. And that’s if the book is good. And if it’s supported by a major publisher and a public relations team and marketing plan and a decent online platform.
I had none of those things. Just an abundance of hope and enthusiasm for my work.
Not surprisingly, over the next ten years, eighty percent of those books were given away. For free. To everyone and anyone.
Because as a young, naïve, impatient, earnest entrepreneur, my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I had completely ignored my grandfather’s famous business advice:
You can’t eat like an elephant and shit like a bird.
Whatever product you’re trying to sell, see if it’s edible. Because you might end up eating a few thousand of them when you realize that most of the people on earth have never heard of you, and never will. And the ones who have probably won’t care.
It’s not being cynical, it’s being realistic.
Having a storage locker full of products collecting dust helps nobody.
Instead, start smaller than you think you need to. Ask yourself:
What’s the smallest possible footprint I can get away with for the time being?
What is the smallest group of people I can make an impact on?
Once you figure that out, take the money you would have spent freezing your assets and invest it more strategically.
Remember, scaling quickly isn’t the goal, being amazing is.
Because that earns you the right to grow slowly, and if you want, scale eventually. Or not.
But at least your parents won’t be stuck with a bunch of heavy boxes.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Where might you be overestimating yourself?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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