QT: Starting with purpose
Getting started is the most important thing, also focus on the purposeQT: How I went from not posting a new episode in a year to several per week
Hey folks! This is Dave Albert for a quick take.
Hello friends in this quick take I’m going to talk about starting.
Now there are so many people out there giving you advice to just start, this start is what stops most people of course there’s Gandhi’s “The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step”, there’s there’s only two mistakes when you can make a longer route to truth not know, going all the way and not starting. That has been applied to whatever that you’re trying to start your entrepreneurial journey, your side project, your blog/website, your business, your exercise routine. There’s a year from now you may wish you would started today, the secret of getting ahead as getting started. Of course, there’s just do it you know, there’s there’s 1000 of these type of inspirational, motivational quotes and people telling you to get started.
Well I’m going to do the same thing but a little bit differently, to get started but also remember what the most important goal is. So little history I created with my with a previous business partner, a website for people with dietary restrictions. So we were creating a e-commerce shop so the people with gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance whatever types of food intolerance is there, where to make it easier for them to get food. Right, so my business partner he, he was having issues with gluten. So in Ireland, there’s a large population of celiac, which are people who are intolerant to gluten. But it’s still not easy to find good foods for different food intolerance’s in one place. It’s getting easier since we started that project four or five years ago. But at that time, it was really hard to find nice quality products. So we decided we would create this e-commerce site.
And as an engineer, the first thing I did was basically try to reinvent Amazon in my office. Well, in the desk in my bedroom in my spare time. Forgetting that really, we needed to focus on one goal. And I’ll get back to to that in a second. So I don’t know how much time we wasted on that. Weeks, months, probably months, definitely, definitely months. So after months of working on that I was on the way to a shop to the shop one day and listening to a podcast. And I believe it was Noah Kagan, and apologies if I’m wrong on that. It was I think the number 13 employee on Facebook, probably I could look that before I started, but Oh, well.
And the during the podcast I was listening to, he was saying that Mark Zuckerberg had a a single focus, which was driving up user acquisition. He brought in to mark a plan to to increase revenue, I believe. And during that meeting, Mark brought up on screen, I believe the the user number and the user acquisition goal and said, does that support our only focus of user acquisition. If it doesn’t, we’re not doing that.
Now, I’m not saying that that’s what you need to do for your business. I’m not saying it’s not what you need to do. But in the beginning, when you’re starting knowing what the goal is, the most important goal, that’s what you need to get to as soon as possible. It’s not perfection, it’s not necessarily monetization. It’s not making everyone happy, happy. It’s getting started and learning how to be better at what it is you’re trying to achieve. So at that point, I realized, oh, what we really want to do is validate that people would buy from us. So then we, spun up a Shopify store in a short amount of time. So realistically, I could have saved months and months and months on this little side project.
Of course, I did learn something about micro-services and different types of software architecture that I’ve not had a chance to play with before. But that was not the goal of the project, the goal of the project was to see if we could get people to buy from us. And we were able to do that with Shopify in a lot less time. In fact, we could have gone even faster by got really, we could have validated the idea. And three weeks, if we had done it properly, we were too busy trying to be a big business before we had our first customer.
We were dealing with different logistics partners trying to sort that out for we had our first sale, we were trying to make sure we had the right stock before we had our first sale. Of course, you don’t want to alienate anyone. But realistically, if we would have just put up everything we could have thought of, found the images for and content for, we could have had the site up in a weekend, maybe a week, and then gone about seeing if we could find people who would buy from us. Sure, if we’d have alienated one or two customers. That’s not great. But we would have known, all right, we need to do a better job of making sure we have the right things and all sorts of stuff. Or we found out there’s not as many people in the areas that we were going to try to work with as thought there were or we didn’t have the right history reputation to convince people to buy from us.
So remember what your focus is, what’s the main goal? What’s the most important thing to like, for my podcast, I had five episodes a year ago. I had five episodes six months ago, I had five episodes three months ago. Recently, I’ve started turning out episodes, and it’s not that I’m just trying to put out content instead of finally figuring out what it was I was trying to do. That that’s what quick takes actually started from. Which was that I realized that I had something I wanted to say that I wanted people to hear that I thought could bring value to people.
But I couldn’t figure out how to structure it into a typical long form podcast, which is what I was planning. And that’s what the guest episodes are. And that’s what some of the longer discussions are, or longer monologues, I guess you would say, since they’re not discussions, nobody out there is asking me questions during the recording. So once I realized that it was about getting things out. And also the worst thing that could happen usually would be that nobody listens to an episode, or nobody listens to the podcast. And that’s okay. I mean, the, the goal here isn’t to try to make money necessarily. The goal is partly to share from my experiences, because I would have loved to have had this type of information years ago, when I was trying to get started.
Heck, I could use this to a lot of this information a few months before I run into these problems, which is the biggest point is that if I only try to share my experiences with people, I meet 1 to 1, that’s going to be very inefficient. And there’s no way that I’ll be able to remember all the things that I have come up. So you know, I have no idea how many episodes were lost over the last year, because I didn’t realize just do a quick take like this. So let me just because I’m not going to remember them. I mean, I might in the future have something that triggers it. But there’s no way I’m going to remember exactly what it was that I was thinking at the time that could have benefited me before I ran into the problem, or made the wrong decision, or whatever you want to say.
So that’s it. I mean, if you’ve got something that you’ve wanted to start, a business or a blog, or podcast, or a book or whatever it is. Really, yes, just start, but also think about what it is you really need to do in the beginning. If it’s a business, then can you make a sale? Okay, can you sell someone on the idea? You know, so if you’re trying to acquire users, can you sell someone on the idea of using your product or service and, and try to try to validate those type of things as soon as possible. If it’s that you want to be a writer, there’s another one that I have some personal experience with, I wanted to have written I didn’t want to write. So I thought I wanted to be a writer. But I didn’t enjoy the process of writing. Because writing then rewriting and rewriting and editing is not something that I am necessarily good at.
I like to get the ideas out there and in front of people so that I can help and that’s kind of what I finally found my medium or at least what I think I’ll leave it to you to decide if if it’s worthwhile or not. But what is the main point that you need to focus on or validate. Start by aiming at that. And one good quote that I heard about starting was that arriving at one goal is the starting point of another and that is so true every time through Medit that we get through some massive amount of work. It’s like, All right, we’re finally at the starting line. So that doesn’t stop at least until the end, and I am definitely not looking forward to that. And hopefully we can avoid that for a long, long time. I mean, decades.
So happy starting! Bye!
Until next time, remember, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.