Peanut and I bought a new LEGO set last night: The Pyramid of Giza.
Besides being a fun date night adventure, it turns out playing with LEGO has some real practical business applications too.
Take, for example, sumtin that happened last night during our build:
We got to a certain point in laying the foundation for the Pyramid of Giza where we realized we messed something up:
If you’ve built LEGO or built a business before, then you know the sooner you realize your mistakes, the less deadly said mistakes are.
If you continue building on a mistake—which, in this case, was quite literally a foundational error—then your build won’t be as strong, sturdy, or look as polished as it otherwise would’ve.
And so it is with business.
But here’s the problem:
Admitting you made a mistake bruises your ego. And sometimes, business owners drink their own kool-aid so much that they’d rather watch their idea die a slow and painful death than catch it early enough to pivot.
As a business owner, you can’t be too in love with your ideas. Even if you’ve had killer ideas in the past, which you had because without a killer idea, you wouldn’t have a business.
Let me give you a real world example of this:
Back in the prehistoric days of my career, long before I started my business, I worked at a design agency with a simple offer: Unlimited graphic design for a price that fits in your budget.
But the owner had this boneheaded idea:
He wanted to switch our USP. Instead of being a design agency that offers unlimited graphics for an affordable price, he wanted to instead position us as something he called the graphic design cloud.
The reasoning behind this move?
He fell in love with the idea of a “cloud.” He’d seen data companies, ESPs, CRMs, coding softwares, etc. live on “the cloud.” And since our graphic designers lived in another country, we always used “the cloud” to serve our clients.
Only one problem.
This confused everyone.
It confused the marketing team. The sales team. Even the production team.
It confused our customers. Our prospects. And anyone else who might’ve been interested in our original USP of unlimited graphic design for an affordable price.
Instead of “seeding” this new USP with current customers, prospects, and even the team… he convinced himself that it was brilliant, fell in love with his idea, and jumped “in” to the business (as opposed to working “on” the business—a subtle, but crucial distinction) to start demanding everything reflect this new idea:
Emails needed updated to reflect the cloud.
Our website went through a major redesign.
Our help docs got updated.
Our ads reflected this confusing cloud idea instead of the simple offer everyone understands.
Well, as you can imagine, with everyone confused about this cloud idea, sales tanked.
And it wasn’t until months of abysmal results later that we finally pivoted back to the original USP.
Many lessons in here.
And you know what?
Something as simple as playing with LEGO, where you encounter potentially cataclysmic-sized mistakes with something where business and salaries don’t depend on, helps you become a little more okay with failure.
And by being okay with failure, well, then when you’re confronted with a business failure, you can pivot sooner than you otherwise would’ve
And who knows, this could just be the thing that can save your business.
One of my super powers is identifying when something like this happens within your email strategy—and it’s usually something I can uncover as soon as I conduct an audit on your email software and strategy (something I offer for free to clients).
Wanna see if you’re making a lethal mistake like I described above?
Book a call, and let’s chat.