Welcome to the 6 Steps to Implementing Big Ideas – Part 0
Since I was a kid, I fancied myself as a writer. I loved writing. And baseball of course.
So became a journalist working in the newspaper business for nearly 20 years as a reporter, photographer, editor and publisher..
…in the opposite order actually. After graduating from journalism school nearly 35 years ago with a wife and 2 kids, I couldn’t afford to take a entry level reporting job.
I bought a newspaper and became the publisher. That’s me on the right in 1978 leading my team.
I had no idea what I was doing, but it seemed like one of my great big ideas
And besides, it made me a big man in hometown at just 26 years old (I’d been in the Air Force for 4 years prior to school which was why I had the wife and two kids at that tender age…)
Well, in my 6 Steps to Implementing Big Ideas, that would have been called the Dream / Execute 2-step and sure way to fail fast and spectacularly.
If you remember, the six steps to implementing big ideas are:
I didn’t prototype or test my idea.
So I invested all my money up front on a whim. Even gamblers at the roulette table know better than to lay all your money down at once.
The newspaper was a huge success.
We increased the subscriptions by 130 percent in 9 months. And we won tons of state and national awards. I was on the map as a crusading journalist. And I began getting lots of career opportunities and attention. It seemed like this was one of those big ideas that might just pay off.
The newspaper was a disastrous failure.
Unfortunately, in that same period my expenses tripled (tripling your subscriptions cost a lot of money that advertisers must make up). My advertising revenue was limited by the per thousand price I could charge and still be competitive with the local daily with 10 times my circulation.
There are many hints to why this failed (and I lost all my money and then some) in that 9 months.
- Defining processes for growth never entered my mind. That’s what we call prototyping by the way. I just assumed all growth is good. My ego said we should be the paper of record in that town. And get as big as possible as fast as possible. The most profitable that paper was ever going to be was at the beginning circulation when I purchased it.
- I hadn’t tested the growth – One question is all I had to ask: What happens if we triple circulation? All I had to do was run a spreadsheet to discover that answer, but noooo….I was too busy executing to test.
- Advertisers didn’t care that we were winning journalistic awards. They wanted us to deliver more leads to their businesses for less money than the competition, not more. But I didn’t ask for their feedback...until it was too late. So, as the circulation went up and our advertising prices increased to cover expenses, our advertisers fled. In the newspaper business, advertising makes everything else possible. Newspaper subscription prices make only a small dent in the revenue flow.
- I ignored the competition because we were a “better” newspaper. The market was giving me great feedback and I ignored that to. And we when collapsed under debt, that ugly little daily was just cranking along.
The 6 Step process to implementing big ideas that we’re following here would have ensured my publishing success.
But I didn’t know about the process.
You will after you take this eCourse.
If you haven’t yet signed up for this free eCourse, do it now while it’s free. We’ll cover each of the six steps in much more detail.
Next, we’ll dig into the first of the 6 steps:
Dream – or the Big Idea.
Let’s hear what you think of this so far! Put your comments in the box below and tell me what your big ideas is.