Advice from a Business Book | Selling the Invisible

A sign with a quote from the book Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith.

Advice from a business book.

I have a book obsession. So I am a frequent visitor at Half Price Books trying to get my two cents back for every $15 book I bought. And, as I'm sure it's laid out in their marketing plan, they take just long enough getting you an estimate for your books for you to find three more books to buy. That's how I ended up with a stack of marketing and copy writing books last week.

Getting an English degree teaches you nothing about running a business. Nothing. I never once took a marketing class or business class. The only numbers classes I took were the ones I had to. Writing an English paper and writing copy for a brand are two totally different things. So now I spend my free time (ha ha) reading books about marketing and business and branding. Sometimes what I read seems like common sense. Sometimes it seems ridiculous. And sometimes it puts me to sleep. I like actionable things, not woo hoo talk about what I can do.

I know I can do it. I just need to know how.

Every so often I read something that sticks. That makes me read it again, underline it, and fold the corner of the page down so I can find it again. Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith is full of those page folding moments.

In the section about planning, Beckwith lists 18 fallacies that we need to let go of as business owners. Besides the usual, there isn't a perfect time and believing that we can actually know what is coming if we plan for it, there was one quote that really stood out for me.

Execute passionately. Marginal tactics executed passionately almost always will outperform brilliant tactics executed marginally.
— Hary Beckwith

This one hits on a nerve for me. It's telling us not to wait. Telling us to believe in our products/services. Telling us to go big or go home.

I know of at least two "big names" that are making a killing in their industry when I don't think they know more than most people. I've taken a very expensive course from one of these big names and left realizing that I knew everything they taught before I even started the course. They didn't teach me any great secrets and I never had any ah ha moments. This isn't to say I'm super smart and just know things. Nope. But I could've hosted that course. I couldn've made that $297 per person.

But really, I couldn't. Because I didn't believe that I knew enough. I didn't believe that I could market myself. I thought I needed to learn more and find the perfect way to market the course. So I didn't. This big name believed in what she had to say. She believed that she could market herself and help people learn something new. She believed enough that she paid for facebook ads and instagram ads.  She posted about it on her blog. She passionately executed her tactics. Could there have been better ways to advertise? Probably. But does it matter? No. Because she believed in her product and believed other people needed it and would benefit from it. This belief overflowed to her potential clients and made her thousands.

I need to stop getting stuck in the "which way is better" phase. I've spent too many hours agonizing over choosing Wordpress or Squarespace. Too many days trying to decide between Convertkit or MailChimp or Mad Mimi. Too many hours comparing Later and Hootsuit instead of posting photos and captions that will benefit my followers. Too much wasted time thinking instead of doing.

I need to forget about perfect. I need to make a decision.

Make a decision. And execute it with freaking passion.

I created a DIY Video course in a month. I decided to plan it, write it, and publish it in a month. I didn't want to wait for the 12 weeks to launch plan that is being advertised all around Facebook. I didn't want to wait until I had 1000 people on my email list. I just wanted to do it. Because I know it can help people. And I now it can help my business.

So I did it. I launched From Bland to Branded Video without any of the brilliant tactics I should have had. Crap, I didn't even launch with marginal tactics, to be honest. But guess what. Within 24 hours, with my 500 Instagram Followers and 11 Facebook followers (don't judge my numbers, man) I made enough on that course to pay for the site that is hosting the course for a year. WaBam! I launched with a really bad launch tactic. I survived and even made a little money.

So, again I say.

Make a decision. And execute it with freaking passion.

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Want to start creating your own videos to reach your ideal client? Check out my From Bland to Branded Video course. Eleven modules of worksheets, tips, videos, and homework assignments that will guide you through the stages of planning, filming, and editing your videos.