This evening, my brother-in-law started building a fire so we could cook some s’mores after dinner. It’s one of the little things I look forward to most at a cottage.
By the time I got outside, the “fire” was in trouble. It was mostly smoke. My brother-in-law humbly asked for my assistance in getting it going.
It turns out, he skipped a step or two. He didn’t start with paper, twigs and bark as the kindling. Instead, he started it with small branches and logs.
He jumped ahead a few steps.
I could give you the analogy about how building a marketing strategy is like building a fire—that good marketing starts with strategy then builds sequentially from there.
And while that’s correct, it’s too obvious.
The real lesson here is more personal.
I’m in the process of building something new: a marketing mentorship.
I’m not yet sure who it’s for—I think it will be for junior marketers. But I might also make it for self-employed marketers who, like me, are fiercely independent and have an insatiable appetite for new ideas.
Regardless of who it ends up being for, or what it ends up looking like, the lesson here is this: all business ideas start with one customer.
Then a second one. Then a third. And eventually, many more, if it’s good.
I want to build a fire with enough heat to cook some s’mores and cast a bright light in the night. But I can’t start with a roaring fire. I need to build it incrementally.
As much as we all want to build an immediate fire, it’s important to remember that everything big starts small. We have to go in order.
One client. Then two. Then three.
Kindling before logs.
The next time you start something new, I hope this story comes to mind and gives you the patience to build it slowly and intentionally.
The best things are made this way, anyway.