I’ve never had a formal board or advisory board for my company. But I do have mentors, friends, my wife, and other associates, and from time to time I’ve received input from them that has been of great value to me. One such event happened yesterday. But to give some backstory…
2-3 years ago I designed a site for a business partner. They didn’t want it, so I decided I’d use it for something else down the road. It’s a nicely designed site, if I do say so myself, and I didn’t want it to go to waste. Within a year or so, an opportunity presented itself wherein I could use the site design for a side project I was starting. That side project went through some iterations, and as we approach the end of 2011, is on the verge of officially launching. But one hitch I ran into was that every time I went to finish plugging content into the website, I would get writers block, get confused, and feel like I needed to lay down and take a nap. This happened multiple times. At first, I thought I was just lazy, and that I needed to man up and push through it and just get the darn content written. But something wasn’t sitting right with me. This wasn’t normal for me to have such writer’s block.
Finally, I thought that perhaps I should just hire a copywriter to do it. Even though I know the subject matter better than any writer could, and even though I know how to write well enough, I figured at least a copywriter would have to produce results or be fired, which I couldn’t do for myself, although I suppose by hiring a copywriter I was firing myself as the writer, in effect. I have copywriters who do work for me, but something didn’t sit right with me in hiring them, so I turned to a friend of mine who is something more than a copywriter. He’s a professional writer, but he is also an entrepreneur, recovering web designer, and simply “gets” it where others don’t. I decided I would try to hire him to help me out.
Yesterday my friend and I met for lunch at Braza Express in Provo, Utah to discuss my problem. As chit-chat turned to business, it took all of about five minutes for my friend to expose the core issue and set me on the right path. It began with his observation “If you can’t write either you’re not passionate about this business, or you’re not passionate about this product, meaning the website itself.” Bam, that was it. I knew I was passionate about the business, but there was a problem with the website that went beyond it not having content on it–it was the wrong design for this company. I had subconsciously been hung up on the matter because I knew it was a well designed website, but it didn’t fit the business. This had happened because the business today isn’t what it was when it started out. The business had changed, but the website hadn’t changed to keep up with it.
It was immediately clear to me that the website had to be scrapped and something completely new had to be created to replace it. There was a sense of “Ugh, now I have to do all that work” but at the same time there was an immense sense of relief because finally, FINALLY, I knew what was wrong and how to fix it, and all it took was a few minutes from someone who “got it” to give me that new perspective and open my eyes to something I should have seen months ago but couldn’t because I was too involved. I only wish I had done this months ago. Perhaps setting up an advisory board that meets on a regular basis wouldn’t be such a bad idea, small as my company is.Liked it? Share it!