Is it time for me to quit?
By any logical measure of financial responsibility, I’m floundering and so I constantly ask myself “is it time for me to quit?”
I’ve sold very few bags and my business is far from taking off. My retail partners have gone under and I’m not a millionaire with endless resources capable of pumping life into a barely-surviving venture.
And yet , I persist.
(But is it time for me to quit?)
I believe in my vision and my company. I know there is a market out there for stylish baby gear for dads that isn’t:
I know there are men out there like me who’d like to look good while parenting.
But is it time for me to quit? We keep doing our test ads on Facebook, Instagram and Google. We aren’t spending hundreds of dollars per day, and yet that’s what seems to be necessary to get ourselves out there.
Everyone told me starting a business is hard. And I know that, I just kinda thought I’d already done the hard part. Someone (Tracy…my Barneys unicorn) told me “I remember when Marc Jacobs was living in his 6th floor walk-up for decades. He finally made it, but it was a struggle.
Hey, I don’t think I’m going to be Marc Jacobs. But I definitely heard that and thought: “Nah. That won’t be me. My idea is going to take off. Everyone tells me so.”
Plus, I have no interest in that at all. I just want to build something that has lasting, sustainable value.
When I speak with my friend who’s helping me massively by guiding, crafting and directing my ad campaigns, I feel like I’m throwing good money after bad, even if it is just $7 per day.
I thought Barneys would put me on the map. But it didn’t. I thought Departures Magazine, the (former) Royals, trade shows, Amanda Kloots, Martha Stewart. If nothing else, Goop would finally be the moment to throw me over the edge.
I didn’t sell as many as hoped and as dreamed. Some sold. More than I feared, fewer than you’d assume. So is it time for me to quit?
When I lament this with other entrepreneurs, they all have the same reaction. Them: “So?” Me: “Meh.” Them: “Yup.”
We’re all spinning our wheels kissing asses and catering to “influencers”. I know I’m doing a bang-up job with the website and my overall branding. Couldn’t be happier with my earned media. Come on – Martha Stewart? GOOP?
But I think it’s time to narrow. Try growing organically and humbly, not nationally and aggressively.
I don’t have the money for aggression. I suppose no one should.
Cultivating niches and growing a single sale at a time seems to be the right approach, right now.
In the meantime, if someone wants to come shake me out of my delusion and tell me all the ways this company can’t grow, please do so. I’ll be over here following my American dream. I’m frustrated, but not ready to give in.
I’m where I’m supposed to be. It’s not always where I want to be, but that’s where we learn the most, right?
So is it time for me to quit?
Stick with me. (And please tell like ten thousand people to follow me on Instagram and buy a bag, will ya?)
Previously Published on ecknox.com