Bury it Alive

I had this idea for a local mashup of an offline/online web business a few years ago. It was a killer idea. I had seen startups in bigger cities offering a similar type of service with amazing success.

I dumped a ton of sweat, tears, and money into this business.

I spent days working on the code and modifying things until they were perfect. Everyday, I’d pay a coder to work with me and make all the desired little tweaks and changes that were required.

Every month I paid expensive hosting bills to keep the pending service a float.

I had business cards designed and printed.

I created window stickers and had them printed at the local print shop. When I arrived, weeks later to pick them up, the colors were all messed up and they looked like crap. So, I called a bigger and much more expensive company in Toronto and had them done right.

I worked with some very talented and pricey copywriters who helped me tweak the copy and helped me with sales information to promote the service.

I worked endlessly on developing a targeted list of potential contacts and businesses that could use the service.

I paid a boat load of money to print and prepare all the  letters and sales information I would mail to the businesses.

I hand delivered the letters to the post office and paid the postal fees.

I had dreams of grandeur that my phone would ring off the hook for the next two weeks.

I Shipped.

The phone never rang. Actually, it rang a couple of times, but people either didn’t get what I was offering or they simply weren’t interested.

I followed up with many and explained that I didn’t want their money. They could use the service for FREE. They still didn’t get it. Many claimed that their customers didn’t use the Internet…

None of the businesses knew how hard I had worked or how much money I’d spent preparing this service.

None of them knew how many late nights were spent slaving over this idea.

Nobody cared.

I was in a state of denial for a few months afterward.
I kept pushing the service and trying new things. I believed my idea would work and could help businesses grow.

Maybe my offer was no good. Maybe I used the wrong type of font in my sales letters. Maybe I needed an army of sales gurus.

But then one day, something clicked.

I realized that I had shipped.

It was a total flop. The letters were mailed. The site was finished. The work was done.

My next move was easy.

I went to my closet and tossed out 1000 business cards.

I threw away 5000 expensive double sided stickers.

I emptied over 500 glossy brochures into our recycling bin.

I allowed the website hosting bill to come and go without being paid.

I buried that sucker alive while it was still gasping for air. After that I went for a long walk outside and enjoyed the fresh air.

As Stephen Pressfield says in The War of Art, Rest in peace, mother&#^er.