How to launch a startup without fear of ridicule.
If you've been thinking about how to launch a startup business but haven't been able to truly get started this article is for you.
Because we are human, we have some emotional flaws that can easily arise when we are trying to step into our potential as entrepreneurs.
If we don't know how to safeguard against these flaws we will be vulnerable to our own thoughts and negative belief patterns.
Today, I want to make an argument for “quiet launching”.
The antidote to startup launch fear and inertia.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” — Joseph Campbell
Quiet launching means not telling people you are starting something new.
In the past when you thought about how to launch a startup, you STARTED by telling your friends and family, this is the opposite.
What once was the singular way to get your business off the ground is now personal enemy #1.
How many of us can't get started because we feel like we need to make this big announcement – and worse, stick to it. Leaving us with no room to change our minds, pivot or change course.
Making these claims to friends and family can become chains of paralysis.
Because if you fail, or even just simply change course, someone will point their finger and say, “See I told you that wasn't a good idea.”
What they don't realize as non-entrepreneurs, is that failure is a key part of the process. It provides feedback on what not to do.
So, I personally do not like sharing my entrepreneurial risks with friends and family.
I never told them I was becoming a freelancer. I never told them I was building an agency. I never told them I was going on YouTube. I just did it.
In fact, I have no idea if my friends and family know what I'm doing. I keep them separate.
Your friends and family are not your customers anyways.
If you are going to be successful it has to be in spite of them not because of them.
The past often required us to have a pre-existing network to succeed. Not anymore, not since the arrival of inbound marketing.
“I never told them I was becoming a freelancer. I never told them I was building an agency. I never told them I was going on YouTube. I just did it.”
How to launch a startup has a whole new paradigm.
The power of inbound marketing allows us to attract strangers with greater ease than ever before.
Inbound marketing, also known as content marketing, is a process in which we put valuable information on the internet which creates an effect of readers wanting to know more and contacting us.
Just imaging in the 70s, someone would go door-to-door to sell something having no idea whether the homeowner was interested or not. What a waste of time!
Thankfully, Inbound marketing has arisen due to a few technological innovations:
- The internet first and foremost
- People using the internet to search for answers and solutions to their problems
- The ease of creating content that will be found by said people
- The ability to intermix value content with sales messages and online transactions
In other words, door-to-door is dead.
You'll see more companies launch on the back of content marketing campaigns.
The good news is, everyone can take advantage of content marketing because another word for this is blogging. YouTube-ing. Content creation.
As long as creating media is going out on popular social platforms and distribution channels, you will have the potential to attract someone in completely organically.
Does this sound like something you would take advantage of?
Do you think you could use inbound marketing to attract customers to your new business without your friends and family knowing? Thereby removing that unnecessary pressure to succeed on the first try?
“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”— Rudyard Kipling
Why am I a proponent of quiet launching?
Entrepreneurs need to fail.
It's often better to fail quietly and move on quickly.
But sometimes if our loss is too public it can have a mental effect on us.
This potential effect is so strong, some people avoid starting altogether because they cannot stand this potential feeling
There is a strange pressure that gets added when you tell people.
It might prevent you from pivoting in a critical moment.
Maybe you told someone you were going to build a social media agency, but then after 3 months, you pivoted into digital marketing consulting.
Someone might be critical of your choice not knowing the context.
Maybe you want to be remote, and you are willing to try different processes along the way.
Before I was known as a full-stack digital marketer I could have also been known as
- web designer
but because I launched quietly, I just arrived on the scene as a strong professional with authority.
Approximately 11 out of 12 businesses fail. 11 out of 12 businesses aren't using quiet launching.
When people are ready to find you they find you.
The earliest folks who find you need very little impressing because they see true value where others can't.
The latter needs more proof anyways, which works out as overtime you acquire more content assets to show proof of skill.
So why would some people choose not to launch their startup or new business like this?
They aren't afraid of the opinions of others, good for them. But even more likely…
Their business needs early traction to survive.
This is an important caveat to quiet launching.
It's meant to bootstrap a business, not fund and “exit” one.
I am an entrepreneur who isn't thinking about selling my business. I love my business.
When you need to get traction and rapidly grow so you can acquire VC funding and become acquired, then yes this idea may not work for you.
But on the other hand, maybe you get started on the inbound marketing before the product is even in development. Build the audience before you have the MVP so that you will have way more feedback.
So even these people can take advantage of some form of quiet launching aka value-driven content marketing.
The point of this article is to get you going.
You aren't starting because you feel you need to make a bold statement to everyone around you.
That's simply not the case.
You should be dabbling, pivoting, trying things, tasting things.
And when you find what's right, you'll dig your heels in and start working harder than ever because you will have found your Ikigai career match.
You love it, You are good at it.
It helps others and you can get paid for it.
All roads of fulfillment will be there.
Sometimes the situation does calls for a big, loud launch.
Listen, if you can deal with a big noise launch, great, all the power to you and good luck – it may prove best afterall.
But I can say with confidence that isn't necessary for the modern lifestyle entrepreneur who's just trying to break free from the 9-5.
You don't have VC money.
You don't have much support.
You need to play the cards that were dealt to you.
Slowplay. Don't tell everyone you are going all-in before the flop is even dealt.
If you liked this suggestion of how to launch a startup quietly…
Consider putting it to use, and get started on building your next business or startup.
If you feel lost in what to do, you can give digital marketing a try.
This is one of the best skills to start building quietly and can be utilized in almost every business model.
And you can even get started building other people's brands before your own.
Go take my full-stack marketing funnels course and don't tell anyone. My courses teach you digital marketing processes that you can offer to clients who need freelancers.
It's a business in a box.
- Complete the course workshop.
- Get a pro bono client and complete the process for them too.
- Get a case study.
- Start a small website where you sell the marketing funnels service.
- Add the case study.
- Start content marketing
- Become a digital marketer quietly.
- Wake up in 12 months with a new look at life.
That's what I did, that's what made me successful.
~May the algorithms be ever in your favor~