I've been an entrepreneur for many years, it's chaotic, hectic, painful, stressful, fun and rewarding - if I'm lucky I might even make some money at it. That's where I'm personally at today, and again it's ok.
After one of those extremely hectic days recently, me and one of my partners decided to grab a drink in the local watering hole where we ran into a local business figurehead who will remain nameless.
It was an interesting exchange since I had met this individual no less than 5 times in past 6 months and was quite quickly forgotten. That's OK as well I'm busier on a daily basis than even I can imagine and spend a significant amount of time awake until 2am or 3am on what I like to call my night shift.
Back to the story. After re-introducing himself the light blub then came on and I was greeted with "Oh yeah, you're the marketing guy".
You could call it insecurity (I don't) but I quickly replied that I'm not specifically a marketing guy, although I do believe marketing in new companies and start-ups as a critical element that is quite often overlooked.
Marketing is business, it's how you sell your product and how your clients and prospects feel about you. It's also a way to get the world to know who you are, what you are doing and to create a mindshare with the world-at-large.
It's business, and it's critical to the success or failure of any new venture.
Back to the story: apparently (according to our good friend) I was insecure about my abilities. Which I both found amusing and ridiculous at the same time.
So why tell the story?
I do a hell of a lot more in any given day than marketing. I'm working to make all of my ventures succeed just like any other entrepreneur. I'm doing it without investment, all of my companies are (currently) cash flow positive and growing.
I'm happy with that. Marketing is key to the success of all of the ventures, particularly at the early stages. Marketing is also a whole lot more than some perceived bolt-on that happens after you've figured out financing, an office, a product, a message and a team.
From day one think about your marketing, how the world will see you, what they say and what they will believe about you and your company.
Even more fundamentally it's about who are you selling product to, will they purchase it, what are you saying to sell that product and how do we make these companies viable, profitable and long lasting.
Develop your business plan and execute with those elements front of mind. It will make a world of difference much more quickly than you may realize.
Yup. I'm the Marketing Guy. Hell, I'm the Twitter guy as well. I also get coffee, clean the office, don't take a pay cheque when needed and stay up all night whenever needed. I love it. I'm an entrepreneur and I wouldn't have it any other way (although my wife and family may sometimes disagree!).