networking into reality

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sweat Equity

Well it's started. The die is cast. Time to watch the ripples.

I spent the most of the day out in my market putting up and passing out flyers for my April 8th commercial start. I was much more nervous that I thought I would be. I've been a soldier, a missionary and numerous kinds of employee. I thought I'd been through just about every social situation possible. I found out how wrong I was. That's what made me nervous.

I think it came from the fact that I'm representing no one but myself. In every other scenario I at least had the reputation, good or bad, of whatever I was representing to work with. Now I'm just a nameless guy talking to people about how they call Mexico.

I actually turned off my network last night and left it off this morning so that I wouldn't have any distractions in getting out the door. It helped a lot. I can spend hours following the ebb and flow of business across the blogosphere.

I was actually scared the first few times I put up my flyers. This led to me thinking a lot about the mechanics of what I was doing. It's been a really long time since I put a great deal of thought into how to fold paper and cut tape.

Thankfully I've learned to face my fear. It actually becomes a source of motivation for me. I can't say I like it, but when I feel it, I can definitly get going, set it off, blow up, etc.

It took me about 20 flyers to calm down enough to enjoy what I was doing. Actually, putting sweat equity into my business. I'd gotten tired of talking about all the testing and re-testing I was doing. Back to the flyers. I was excited all the way through the first apartment complex.

At the end of the first complex, there's a little run down strip that is a great Mexican niche. A taqueria, a Mexican video store and some kind of remittance business geared toward Mexico. There are a lot of Spanish publications set out for free in front of these businesses. I decided to take advantage of this free advertising and put a flyer inside the ones marked "Gratis". I figure whoever opens it is looking for a lot of value so I hope they'll consider my products.

I finished the other 2 complexs I had targeted. During this time I realized that I definitly need to study some Marketing Best Practices. I also need to develop my own marketing strategies to deal with my current trickle of personal capital.

Finished distributing my flyers, I dropped by my brother's house. We talked about what I was doing. His wife is a 2nd generation Mexican. Her extended family is huge and has strong connections to Mexico. She listened and then told me that people in her family would be interested in my products since they call Mexico all the time.

This made me really nervous. With strangers for customers, I can prepare for our encouters. Our relationship is in the context of B2C. With extended relatives, I wonder what contexts will come about. If they become my customers, what will they expect? I've since moved from nervousness to curiousity about this subject.

Which makes me wonder if I can use it as marketing and/or growth opportunity. Can I do a great job servicing my extended family and grow from there? We'll see.

So today has been really exciting.


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