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do you recognize this creation pattern?

So, a few months ago, I watched a clip of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. His guest was Cardi B. If you don’t know Cardi B, she’s an award winning, Grammy nominated, female rapper.

Now, I’m not a branding expert, but I’m pretty sure that Cardi B is a classic example of the “attract/repel” concept. You either love her brand or you don’t.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I heard that Bruno Mars is touring again… I was so excited because I had the chance to see him once, and turned it down. And then I heard… with special guest… Cardi B.


Then I started to hear the song they’ve mixed together, called Finesse.

The more I heard it, the more I liked it.

And you know what? Whenever I hear it, I sing along, tapping to the beat while I’m driving.

Last week, Finesse was #3 on the Billboard Top 100.

I did a little research and discovered that it debuted at #35 on January 9.

So, it took 3 months, a lot of consistent plays, and some degree of promotion by the artists and their teams, for it to climb to #3.

3 months.

Consistent plays on the radio.



Here’s a question for you:

How often do you create something and put it out there, only to be disappointed with the response (AKA the RESULT) – and then DECIDE that there must be something wrong with it, or ASSUME that nobody wants it – and so you abandon it and move on to create something new? 

It’s a pattern I see amongst us entrepreneurs – I’ve done it before too. And I’ve been trying to understand what to do about it.

The pattern in Startups

In their book, Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth, Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares describe it this way:

“The most common startup trajectory now goes something like the following: Founders have an idea for a company they’re excited about. Initial excitement turns into a struggle to build a product, but they do get something out the door. Launch! The founders expected customers to beat a path to their door, but unfortunately that isn’t happening.” 

Then there’s the scramble to market it. And when the results aren’t there, the startups typically go out of business.

For entrepreneurs, I believe it triggers this creation cycle:

idea – create – release – scramble to sell – undesirable results – set it aside/scrap it – new idea…

a real life entrepreneur’s example

My friend recently started a professional organizing business. I suggested she sponsor a garage sale for the neighbourhood in the spring. It’s a low-cost investment to advertise in the local paper, and she could give the participants tips leading up to it, and pick up some visibility through signage too.

I checked in with her last week, and she’s posted in the neighbourhood Facebook group. She has 3 people (plus herself) interested.

So.  Three observations here:

She’s made one post to a FB group and that’s it. I wonder how many people she expected to sign up from that one post. And did she plan to do anything more to generate interest?

If she wants more people to participate, she could post a flyer, knock on doors, or ask the people who said yes to mention it to their neighbours. In other words, she could scramble to draw more people in before it’s too late.

Now, if the garage sale day comes and she has 4 families, what will she conclude? She could easily say, “that wasn’t a success – only 4 families did it. I’ll have to find another way to create visibility.” Or she could say, “Not bad for my first year doing this. I wonder what would happen if I did it again next year, knowing what I know now that I’ve done it once?”

Does this all make sense?

I’d love to hear your reaction to this – leave a comment or send me an email and tell me if you can relate.  Here’s my email:  mary@marymstrachan.com (I will reply to you!)

Read Part II, where I share a whole other important element of the Finesse story.

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