One Startup. No Secrets. Start at the beginning.
Momentum is a funny thing. When it's rolling, you don't notice it. But when it halts, it's hard to get it going again. We had hit cruise control with our business, moving along at a serviceable pace, but needing a big kick to get things rolling. I knew what I needed to do to get the next push, but I also knew that timing was everything.
One of the reasons Morgen approached me to be his partner in this is because I have a great community of friends, colleagues, and collaborators who lead interesting lives and are enthusiastic about new ideas. It was my responsibility to engage this group in our story, and after our initial launch Morgen would bring up my outreach efforts every few days. I would push it off, promising to produce something soon, but intrinsically it didn't feel like the right time.
I felt very proud of what we had accomplished so far, but I saw value in waiting until we were just a little bit further, our story was a little more complete, our systems were a little more polished. When we took the big leap of moving production out of my apartment and into our commercial kitchen space, I knew the time was right to strike. Our story was plenty engaging, but now we had a new weight of legitimacy.
I sent out an email to 400 friends and the response was deafening. Outpourings of love and support flew in, ideas for retail partners, contacts at publications, tweets, instagrams. I stayed up all night forwarding emails and text messages to Morgen, so glad to feel a community building up around us. And it's that community that gave us our second push of momentum, which is still carrying us through this second phase. Ideas can't come in a vacuum and so much of our success so far is directly attributed to the contributions of our incredible friends.
Looking back, I don't regret waiting and I think Morgen would agree. We both value transparency far above perfection, but the old cliche is true: you only have one chance to make a first impression. Make it count. Be honest about where you are in your process and have pride in what you've accomplished. But make sure your message and brand are in a place where people will be excited and inspired to engage. It's a delicate line between too soon and too late, but trust your instincts. When the time is right, you'll come out swinging.
I've included my email below for anyone who is agonizing over hitting send.
Did you have a great outreach to your community? Comment and let us know what you did.
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