by Marco Terry
Chris has graciously allowed me to write an article for his blog. I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a story about a strategic bet, a sort of “bet the company strategy” that went very wrong. And what I did about it. And why, perhaps, this strategic catastrophe was a blessing. Really.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
My name is Marco, and I am an entrepreneur. Two years ago, I decided to move to Miami with my wife. At the same time, I started working full time at pursuing my dream of being a business owner. Commercial Capital LLC was born. Not that this was my first venture. It wasn’t. It was just the venture that held the most promise of all the ventures I’ve previously done (3 and counting).
My first priority was to get clients. And lots of em’, as I told my wife. I created a no-fail strategy to do so. I can’t give all the details (trade secret!), but it was a comprehensive approach to target the market place. I knew companies in my space that used 1/3 of what my strategy entailed and were successful. My strategy was reasonably broad and quite deep. So I could not fail. So, off I went, betting my company and my future on this little strategy.
Here is an interesting fact, though. Although everyone agreed that the strategy was brilliant. I felt a pang in the back of my mind about it. It did not feel right. But I could not explain why. Either way, I went about it and achieved the what I thought were major objectives. In very little time I gained industry notoriety. I was asked to participate at speaking engagements (which had so many people they were “standing room only” and long lines). Basically, I was getting the word out. And I even got, if ever, “oh so slightly famous” on certain circles.
For some reason, results failed to materialize. After 8 months, I noticed that the results were dismal, my expenditures were great, and more importantly I was running out of time. But I had no other options. As I said, my strategy had been fairly comprehensive (and reasonably executed, I thought). What else could I do? If that failed, I had no plan B. There wasn’t a plan B because I had been fairly comprehensive in my approach. I seriously considered throwing the towel and calling it a day. The truth is, that although my marketing strategy was “sound” (really!), I had no fun doing it. Apparently, there was a difference between something being well executed, and it being well executed with passion.
But one day I noticed one small thing. Just tiny, but critical. A marketing tactic that I did, mostly for fun, was actually bringing in clients. As I devoted more time to it, my client base grew. And grew rapidly. So did my business success. And so did my level of fun. Literally, I transformed my business and changed a major focus, using this little tactic. And the company has been on the grow ever since. What is important – very important I think – is that I was happy with my marketing.
Not only that, I probably spend less time marketing than with my previous strategy. But the results are better. I also have more fun.
This has been an important lesson for me as an entrepreneur. I learned that failure is good. Failure can lead you to the idea that turns things around. But more importantly, I learned that the darkest hour in the day, is the hour before sunrise.
Marco Terry owns Commercial Capital LLC. He specializes in commercial finance and provides factoring, po financing and invoice factoring to companies. He can be reached at (866) 730 1922 or at www.ccapital.net
by Marco Terry