The Million Dollar Tattoo

Learning how to turn ideas into action

Archive for March, 2011

Why Entrepreneurship & Bodybuilding are the Same

This is definitely harder than I expected. And I’m loving every minute of it.

Setting a challenge for yourself – a goal that is exciting and difficult – is a beautiful thing. Does it hurt? Hell yes. Is it tough? Extremely. Do you want to quit sometimes? Absolutely. As both an amateur bodybuilder (no roids, just exercise) and an entrepreneur, the further I travel into each field the more I see the similarities between them – and they’re deeper than you might think.

It all starts with a goal.Build 5kg of muscle mass, make 100 sales, lift 100 kilograms, talk to 300 customers.

Once you’ve set the goals, you work out how to get there – is it a 4-day split? A pay-per-click campaign? FST-7? Word-of-mouth marketing?

Now – now, I’m in the middle of it. I’m lifting the weights. Right now I’ve got 240lbs on a steel bar and I’m desperately trying to push it above my chest. My body is straining, my heart is pumping and my muscles are screaming. This moment – this is the joy of bodybuilding, the real value in entrepreneurship. It’s not how much the bar weighs, it’s not whether you get snapped up by Google or cruise along with a lifestyle business.  In this moment you are testing your limits. What can you handle? How much pressure can you take? Are you going to give up, or push back with every fibre of your soul?

Like  they say, it’s not the destination – it’s the journey. And, in the process of building your dreams, of taking those steps towards the light in your mind’s eye, you are going to find out where your limits are.

Sometimes you will fail. The muscle fibres tear, the body breaks, the customer rejects you, the pitch flops. It hurts like hell You found a limit.

Then you grow.

And the next time you push even harder.

After a while, you find that weights you used to struggle to lift are your warm-ups. Revenue modelling, managing a team, customer liaison and development – like a hot knife through butter. You’ve grown stronger, bigger, more confident. What now?

Well – there’s always a heavier weight….



Running a Competition for Your Business

This is the first time that I’ve decided to run a competition for Best Clubs In, so in the past 6 hours I’ve learnt a couple of do’s and don’ts!. It’s about to go live, and it will be interesting to see the response, but here are a couple of pointers I’ve come across in the process:

1.) Write Terms and Conditions – boring as hell in general, but you can have a little fun with them, and they’re also really important. People will find loopholes, and you can damage your credibility and leave a bad taste in the mouths of your audience if you don’t do this right

2.) Know your goals / objectives – I don’t give away stuff for free. Neither should you. Why are you running the competition? What are your goals – do you want more traffic? Brand recognition? Retweets? Write down your goals and create the competition around them.

3.) Set a benchmark for success – 100 Retweets? 50? 2000? 50 extra likes on Facebook? 500 pageviews? Whatever your objectives are, you also need a benchmark for success. Set some solid metrics that create a line for success and failure.

4.) Work out the mechanics – It’s taken me a couple of hours just running through the possibilities of the comp, and trying to make sure the mechanics make sense. It needs to be easy to follow, yet you don’t want to make it so easy that it’s over in an hour. That’s a possibility with my competition, but part of the reason for running it is to also lay the groundwork for a sponsorship proposal, so it’s money well spent regardless.

I’ll update this with the results when a winner has been announced, hopefully I achieve my objectives and reach the success metrics….