Should I Quit? : 3 Things to Do Before Giving Up on Your Idea How do you know when to just give up on an idea? Sometimes in business we get stuck. And being stuck for a while can make you feel like a failure. It may seem as though you’ve had countless ideas, but no progress beyond that. When this happens, we say things to ourselves like, “I’m trying to build my tribe. I’m blogging. I’m reaching out on social media. I’m trying all kinds of things and it’s going nowhere!” It’s not a fun place to be. It makes you feel as though everything you’ve tried is coming up short. Trust me when I say this, we have all been there. The early stages of growing our business is hard! It can be really hard. And those of us who have been in business for a while often forget just how difficult it is in the beginning to build momentum. But, regardless of whatever stage we are in of growing our business, the most powerful force we can have on our side is… momentum. When you’ve got momentum on your side, everything becomes easier. In fact, you can do things completely “wrong” in some cases, and still come out on the winning side – all because you’ve got momentum propelling your forward. So the question becomes… What’s the easiest way to build your momentum? I’m going to tell you 🙂 You ready? Write this down… Help people with a specific problem. The fastest way to build momentum is to solve a specific problem. One of the things that I always advise, is for you to first identify the specific problem that you are solving for your market. Try to get really specific about the problem. How will somebody in your market describe that problem they are experiencing? People are always looking for a solution to their most pressing problem. And when you become “the” person who solves that problem, guess what happens? You start gaining momentum… quickly. Business starts coming to you vs. you trying to chase it down. So what solution do you have for someone else’s pain? And here’s a VERY important distinction… Be sure your solution aligns with the client’s problem More often than not, when it comes to identifying whether an idea is good or whether it’s bad, make sure that you’ve got alignment around the solution you’re providing with the problem that people are experiencing. I have worked with clients many times where they’ve had a product that just wasn’t resonating with their audience for whatever reason. It just was not getting the traction that they were looking for. That didn’t mean the product was bad. It meant that they were not marketing it in a way that resonated with the audience which they were intending to serve. So, their messaging was out of alignment. Use the language that people use to describe their problem There are a couple of ways I look to get my message in alignment. I like to use surveys. Then I look at the results and look at the words my market is using to describe their problems. So surveys are my first choice. If I can’t do a survey for some reason (like when you’re in the very early stages and you don’t yet have an audience to survey), I dive into the comments on related blogs or forums. And when I’m combing through these comments, I’m looking to find the language that people are using to describe their problem. For example, if I was in the “parenting niche”, one of the problems that I know young parents might be experiencing could be related to getting their toddler to sleep at night (ask me how I know this could be a problem for young parents! LOL). So I would do a simple Google search like this: And from there I’d pick a result and starting digging. In the example above, I could see a forum thread right away where someone was describing the issue she was having with her toddler. So I clicked on it and look what I found: There is SO much gold in that response. This woman not only describes the problem she is having (took the dummy away… now child is not sleeping and is crying out “I need you Mummy”). But she then describes the ripple effect of that problem (her day time sleep is messed up)… and she is taking over an hour to fall asleep. Of which… This woman said “I feel like I have failed her”. Ouch. But that pain is real right? I mean I can totally relate to that tension. And more over, as a parent with young kids I can TOTALLY relate to when she said “I am desperate to give it back to her but I know that is not right either”. TIMEOUT. This forum post is ABSOLUTE gold. Seriously. From a copywriting standpoint, we have everything we need. We have a description of the external problem (the thing they want solved). In this case, “get my toddler to sleep”. We have the “costs” associated with that problem. In this example it’s her child not getting rest, constant crying, routines been thrown off and the time it’s now taking to sort it all out. And we also have the “internal problem”… meaning, the mental and emotional costs associated with this issue (ex. “I feel like I failed her”). Plus there are SO many other nuggets or marketing angles we could run with – all based on this one response. And this is where the magic begins… When you start using this language to reflect back the problem to your market, they instantly feel understood. And furthermore, when you describe the solution you’re offering using the same language, you begin creating MASSIVE momentum. It almost sounds too simple right? (and it is). But most business owners NEVER do this kind of research. They “assume” they know. Big mistake. But if you take a little time on the front end to get intimately familiar with how your market describes their problems, you’re going to begin gaining momentum. Because when they see your materials, they’ll be instantly attracted to it. They’ll feel like “you know them” – which you do. And they’ll feel compelled to what you’re offering because it solves their specific problems. The right problem, with the right solution, described in the right way, equals a home-run, winning combination. Now, if, after doing that, you find that things still aren’t happening, then you may want to look elsewhere. That’s when you move on. Make sense? Listen, it’s hard to move on. Especially if you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into your idea. But if it’s not a problem that your market is looking to solve, you’ll ALWAYS be fighting an uphill battle. And at the end of the day, that’s not fun. That makes doing business hard. And there are already all kinds of challenging things about running your own business. So if you’ve got your messaging dialed in and your market is still not responding, then it’s time to move on. You’re going to save yourself a lot of heartache and headache. It doesn’t mean that you can’t actually help people in the way that you want. But maybe you can do it by focusing on another angle. I’m not saying that what you’re doing is wrong and I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. I said first you want to make sure that you are not out of alignment in the way that you’re describing your solution with the problems that people have. But, if there is alignment there, and you’re still not getting traction, then maybe you want to move on to something else. First and foremost, check to see if your message is out of alignment, because this happens a lot. Adjusting the alignment of your message can make all the difference in terms of the traction you get when you’re marketing your products and services. So… Before giving up on an idea, here are the things I suggest you do: Identify a specific problem to solve. Ensure there is alignment between the problem you’re solving and the solution you provide. Make sure your messaging is in alignment with the way your clients describe their problem – AKA, do your research and use THEIR language. If you’ve taken these three steps and you are still not getting the attention of your market, it’s time to move on to something else. Be sure to follow these steps first though, because so often all that is needed is to bring your solution and your messaging into alignment with what the market is seeking.