This week I celebrated my 29th birthday. I also read a blog post by Ramit Sethi where he challenged his readers to “hustle” and “Identify THREE people that could help you get closer to your goals” and “Find a creative way to meet with at least one BEFORE WED NIGHT”. Being a reader with a little “getting old motivation”, I took this challenge.
I contacted a founder of WedGenius (which no longer exists) to see what advice he would have to somebody entering the online wedding industry and to learn from his past experiences. I asked to take him to lunch and he accepted for Thursday.
My meeting with him was awesome. Definitely worth the price of a lunch. He told me to look at major internet competitors and make sure that I’m not competing with them directly. He was able to mention a couple of [indirect] competitors that I didn’t see before. He also mentioned his marketing and roll-out techniques. He had great success with bridal shows and hand-written letters to vendors. He wished that he spent more time and money in SEO and getting a first page listing for common search terms like “madison wedding planning”. He seemed pretty critical of the industry saying that it was too saturated and too late to start in. I suppose that comes from his slightly skewed point of view. The best part is that he’s willing to answer any questions that I may have in the future.
The second person that I identified was actually a group, Capital Entrepreneurs. They are a local entrepreneurship group that meets regularly to help each other by sharing successes, failures, and resources. I contacted them expressing my interests in joining the group. They welcomed me without any reservations and I look forward to meeting up with them for the first time next month.
The final person I identified to help me with my goals was a multiple-choice peer. I was determined to meet the Wednesday night goal so I decided that I would talk to one of three people in the Madison Area Software Developers Meetup Group. I picked three people from the RSVP list to approach during the event and discuss what they have done with their software start-ups and what they think about my goals.
One of the predetermined people did not show up but the other two did and I talked extensively to Josh. He and the rest of the group gave me possible pivot points. They also gave me some insights on technical integrations like whether or not to use google maps. (Short answer is no).
As a bonus, I talked to Assaf (check out his site Clickdummy) and received some fantastic feedback on WedPlaces. He told me to focus my call-to-action to one single thing. For example, focus on gathering newsletter users until there is a working product then switch it to focus to only the search grid. He suggested asking a single question on the homepage to suck the customer in. For example, “How many people will be at your wedding?”. Finally, he suggested that I stop worrying about the revenue and start by tracking everything so I have competitive metrics to provide to wedding venues. This was the best advice of the week. He also got me the best birthday shirt ever. I’ll post some pictures of me in it soon.
So I did a lot of doing even if most of it was talking and meetings — apparently meeting can be productive.