If I had to start over... again.

Oct 07, 2020 12:46 pm

On June 28th, 2018, I was asked this question.

"If you had $1000 in your pocket and had to start over with a new business, knowing no one you know now, what would you do?"

My answer back in 2018 was (summarized), "in-person networking and in-person events. Then once I had a couple clients, I'd go hard on digital marketing."

But then the evil Witch, Rona, reared her warty-green pandemic head.

"Surprise you fools! That's not gonna work anymore!" Rona screeched.

She continued, "You will have to stay home most of the time, no groups of more than 10, and everyone has to wear masks. And just to make sure you're screwed, half the people you invite to anything will be unwilling to leave their self-quarantine."


Oh Rona, you are an evil, evil Witch.

"And social media will be dominated by election and political rhetoric, and no one will care about your business! They only want banana bread recipes and things to take their mind off online-home-schooling."

I raised my fist to the ceiling of my home-office and shook it at the heavens.


Now what?

She thought she had ruined all opportunity.

With ad costs rising, social media engagement still dropping, and desperate businesses everywhere trying whatever they could to get noticed, what was I going to do?

Then it dawned on me.

I packed up my digital weapons and headed off to fight Rona once and for all. A marketing showdown the world has never seen before.

No one could fight the Rona without the resources of a Target or Amazon. Even massive worldwide brands were dropping to the arena floor battered and licking their wounds.

But I had a secret Rona hadn't thought of.

"You Dare To Face Me In Battle?"

I stood in the middle of the sun-drenched gladiator arena, feet burning in the hot sands. Sand littered with the blood, broken shields, and spears of restaurants, bowling alleys, trade shows, and movie theaters.


She didn't waste a second, and threw a magical mixture of incoherent and inconsistent business guidelines, ever-changing policies, insurance and legal vaguity, and rising costs.

I slipped to the side, dodging under the magical onslaught with a move I like to call free remote-work tools.

Then I pulled my new website from it's scabbard and held it high in the air, pointing it directly at her.

Rona laughed.

"What are you going to do with that? You don't have time for SEO!"

She cackled even louder.

With that she unleashed a fireball of low consumer confidence and company budget retraction that could burn through even the most solid PnL.

A quick spin move to the left, and then it was time.

I dropped my canvas bag to the sandy floor and raised my lead-magnet shield.

"It's powered by copywriting, and when I mix that with my website and social outreach, it creates something even you can't resist..."

"NOOO!!!" Rona screamed. "It can't be! That's been dead for decades!"

But it was back.

The shimmering light from the lead-magnet shield combined with the massive-reaching power of the website. Fueled by outreach on sites like Pinterest, Mix, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, it exploded upward with a massive beam of white light, cutting a hole through the clouds like it was splitting the sky itself.

"Open Rates are up 40% and for local businesses as much as 400%. I will build my new business on email. I will not build on someone else's land. I will own my audience and I will engage them and build a life-long relationship with creativity and trust. No one can take them away from me now!"


As the charge echoed through the arena and gasps of the crowd died down and then all at once it became silent.

All eyes were on Rona.

She looked around, shaken and defeated.

"Fine." she conceded. "You win."

"Even I can't stop the power of relationships."

And with that, she slowly shuffled out of the arena and off to find others to harass with her evil business-killing ways.

And that, my friends, is what I would do if I had to start over.

I'd build a list and use that list to create my new business.


P.S. If you need help with email marketing, just reply to this email.