Someone influential once said something like “if you keep waiting for the perfect moment, it’ll never come”. That might’ve been some uncanny philosopher, or it could’ve been my wife inspiring me to get the dishes done (if you ask her, it’s probably both).
Waiting – it can be so relaxing for some. Entrepreneurs usually seem busier than most, though, filling our down-time with busywork; polishing all the little details our business needs except for no, you don’t even have a business to polish until you launch and sustain it.
Scotch & stress at 4am Tuesday? Better business plan: action.
The more grey hairs spring out of my chin, the more I think the whole “fake it ’til you make it” thing goes beyond a stupid motivational platitude. It’s become a bloody paradigm; both a wise and dangerous one.
Best to clarify that one quickly:
I highly doubt Coca-Cola’s faking anything at this point (and my reviews & testimonials as a global copywriter in Panama will tell you I’m not, either). Their brand’s so strong they can literally print nonsense – nonsense fucking onomatopoeia – on their products.
Do you even care what their bottle blurbs say? Not likely. It’s the same old stuff inside and probably always will be. Inb4 New Coke.
Despite this, somewhere, somebody’s slugging Scotch at 4am, tearing their hair out over what’s going to keep that Coke-fueled momentum going next year. Sure, it probably doesn’t even matter. But do you want to be the one on record as being the first step in the downfall of a nigh-invincible global corporation?
Again, I doubt it. But you gotta take that first step, or you never will.
Fear perfection, not the future. Move.
There must be a ton of pressure on that team. They need to forward innovative ideas while facing the possibility that even a slightly-inferior concept will cost millions – maybe with a B – of dollars in lost revenue.
A lot of entrepreneurs fall into the same trap, only it’s more poignant for us: the failed C-level marketing dude can always go get another job when their brilliant ideas… aren’t.
But you and I? That’s a life-changing event. Our lives and livelihoods are inextricably intertwined with hopefully-brilliant ideas.
That’s a lot of pressure.
It’s a metric shit-ton of pressure, in fact. I’ve no doubt you know it well, because perfection’s a common ideal – and wholly false. It can destroy you before you ever start.
Happily, like most, your business probably follows something close to an established model. Hey – it’s OK, man. You sell good widgets and I sell the words that make your customers buy them; simple as that. Not exactly revolutionary.
What can be is your approach: your angle and how you communicate it. And it better be – how many companies sell widgets? My Scroogle just returned tens of millions of ‘em; perhaps you were in there somewhere?
We’ll never know, unless you attract attention with a fresh angle to distinguish you from the other millions.
Here’s the relief:
Many of us bide our time in fear. We don’t publish; we don’t engage; we don’t even launch for fuck’s sake – because we are afraid. Of what? Of failure, of judgement, of not meeting our own expectations…whatever. We wait for the perfect moment: tomorrow, when we have that great idea or the perfect tack or The Next Big Thing. Then, we’ll rock it.
Tomorrow never comes, folks. And so we return, full circle.
First, a disclaimer: don’t fake anything. We, your customers, will know. You need neither make-believe nor perfection to succeed.
Coke can do whatever they want at this point (except fake the Coke). Million-dollar brand imperfections don’t matter and paycheques clear every month. But that doesn’t take any pressure off their marketing teams, nor the people who rely on them. That fear? Love it or lump it, it’s going nowhere. Not even when you drink your milk and grow into a heavy hitter.
Launch, startup, growth… whatever. You are as afraid as you’ll ever be. It can only get better. So:
Get your shit in gear.
Today is the day, my friends. Today. It doesn’t matter that Copy Most Curious might still have a few exposed wires dangling from its webby-jigglers. I’m launching the new site now, because the perfect moment never comes and I’ve been tweaking content, design, and a whole bunch of stuff I never even knew I needed for weeks. I think it’s pretty awesome. Hope you do, too.
You don’t always have to drop a game-changing<buzzword> disruptive revolution on an unsuspecting marketplace.
All you have to do is take a smarter angle than your competitors, and express it with crystal clarity to the people who care most.
That’s what copywriters do.
Of course, nobody earns the life they want selling crappy widgets. And although I’m cool with a few squeaky floorboards on my website, every
word letter of copywriting I produce gets polished to the limits of the visible spectrum (your widgets should, too).
And very soon – as soon as the perfect moment hits, ha – I’ll have a kickass, once-only launch offer for you. Don’t miss it; I don’t always take on new clients. Subscribe to future IDEAS on the left… and feel free decry my irreverent profanity in the comments section.
While you’re doing that, the most brilliant philosopher I’ve ever known tells me I’ve got some dishes whose perfect moment has just arrived.
Categorised in: Entrepreneur
This post was written by The Copywriter