A Fringe Benefit of Less Freedom

Jonathan Malm - February 8, 2013

The Way I’m Wired

Jonathan Malm - February 8, 2013

Selling Potential Failure

Jonathan Malm - February 8, 2013

When I started Sunday| Magazine, I was trying a new advertising model. It was unproven, but I truly believed it would work. The problem was, I couldn’t really be sure it worked until I’d tried it for about a year.

I’m pleased to say, a year later, my advertising model did work. I checked out my first advertiser’s stats, and noticed they’ve had double the response they would have if I’d used a traditional advertising model. Super cool.

The problem with trying something like that, though, is that for the first year I had to sell an idea I wasn’t sure was going to work. I sincerely believed the idea would work. But how could I convince folks to give me thousands of dollars to support my theory?

It was frankly a bit of a struggle for me. I almost felt bad when someone wrote me a $1000 check based on my theory. I always wanted to stress a disclaimer, saying, “I’m not entirely sure this will work. If you want to back out right now you can.”

But I didn’t do that. And I shouldn’t have done that.

Any time you try something new you’re risking something. And if you’re hoping to bring people along with you on the risky endeavor, they’re risking something too. You can’t be certain it will work, and neither can they. But that doesn’t mean you don’t invite them. That doesn’t mean you don’t sell them your vision. I’m not saying you should lie and pretend there’s a 100% chance for success. But you also don’t need to convince them away, just because you fear your new endeavor will fail.

You need a healthy confidence when you’re trying something new. Do your research, be responsible, then convince others to join you.

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