One of my favorite comedians, Jon Richardson, says that there are 2 types of people: putters and leavers. And while I find that generally true, I’ll argue there are 2 types of entrepreneurs: planners and leavers.
Planners are the folks who are looking months and seasons ahead to set the trends (think Jeff Bezos of Amazon, founder of Zappos Tony Hsieh and fashion icon Anna Wintour). There are leaders in every industry, sure, but planners are also the people within those organizations who are setting up promotions, product roll outs and launches in advance of the public announcement.
And then there are the leavers, as in “leave it, I can do it later…” and those are the entrepreneurs I want to talk to today.
First, how do you know if you’re a leaver?
You’ve probably scoffed when a colleague or friend mentions plans for Spring Break when you’re still in your scarf and winter boots.
You tell yourself that you “thrive under pressure” and think that procrastination actually helps you because that one time a project changed direction before you started to work on it.
You may even think that planning too far ahead is silly because how can I predict trends, the news or even how I’m going to feel about an offer when the time comes?
Oh, and you might be a leaver if you put plans on your annual goals, maybe even map out some dates and then shrug as they whoosh by with nothing happening.
Leavers are not “bad” or unsuccessful entrepreneurs. But they are missing big opportunities.
Here’s one example: this post is going live October 11th and Black Friday is 44 days away – or, if you’re only counting weekdays exactly 30 days away.
(Want to easily calculate dates? My favorite calculator is here.)
If you’re thinking “I should do something for Black Friday or Cyber Monday… I’ll do that later” then you’re probably a leaver. And let me predict how the next 45 days will go:
You have a lot going on. The Halloween decorations aren’t even up yet (but most of us have already bought [and eaten] a bag of candy). Kids just started back to school, we need to get into a routine.
Oh, I was going to fix that opt-in email in, like, April so I should do that first.
The website is acting up, gotta get the developer on the phone. First availability is December?
Crap. Okay, let’s try to fix it.
It’s really broken now.
Maybe I should just finish that media pitch I’ve been meaning to send.
Costumes! OMG, what should I be for our annual Halloween party?
Is it bad to have a pumpkin spiced something every day for 3 months? Hmmmm…
The website is still wonky, oh well, I wanted to rebrand next year anyway. I should go look at photographers! Maybe do a photoshoot in Paris?!
Why do I always forget how to bake a pie crust it’s not that hard!
Happy Thanksgiving! Let’s turn on the parade!
3am, Black Friday: Crap. I guess if I skip shopping with my niece we could get something out by Monday. Let me text the team… no, they’re all traveling. I’ll do it myself.
Now if you’re thinking that I have been spying on your life, rest assured. I have simply worked with enough entrepreneurs over the years to know the signs and symptoms of a leaver.
It’s the perfect time to put your leaving ways behind you and try planning if you want to promote around the US Thanksgiving holiday.
(Our Canadian neighbors celebrated last weekend! Happy Thanksgiving friends!)
Here’s a sample schedule for you:
Week of October 16th – Buy your team some pumpkin spiced beverages and brainstorm what offer you can make. MAKE A DECISION and work out all the details (sale price, existing client discounts, dates of the promo).
Week of October 23rd – Assign tasks to members of your team, beginning with the new webpages you might need created or existing pages to update. Get everyone started on their tasks and answer questions. Ensure everyone knows their deadlines!
Week of Oct 30th – Write the copy for any emails, ads and webpages. Don’t forget those thank you pages or upsell offers! Patiently wait for the links and graphics you’ll need to insert but take a break to pass out candy and carve a pumpkin or gourd.
Week of Nov 6th – Design all the graphics you’ll need for emails, webpages, product shots, “starting Friday” or “ending Monday” reminders, ads and buyer thank you pages.
Week of Nov 13th – Double check inventory of physical products, assign one team member to customer service, finalize web pages and emails. Queue up any ads you’ve created.
Week of Nov 20th – Send teaser posts, queue email announcements, test the shopping cart, and take time off. Pumpkin spice everything optional.
Hint: Would you rather do a Christmas promotion? Use the same start date and get your entire promo ready before December!
No matter what you’re selling, promoting or launching, now is the time to plan.
Plus, I’ve already written the plan for you. You just need to execute it and not leave all this work for “later.”
Later is not a day of the week. If you’re executing this plan, leave me a comment and let me know your questions!