by Maisie Smith on January 29, 2015
When my son was seven, I told him a big fat lie. “Children aren’t allowed inside of a Chuck E Cheese once they turn eight,” I proclaimed. Wrap my naked body in a scratchy wool afghan and make me sit forever inside of a Chuck E Cheese on a Saturday afternoon… that would be my own personal hell. After attending scads of grade school parties and post-soccer game celebrations at the place “where awesome parents go,” there was no way I could possibly set another foot inside the chaos.
The noise, the confusion, the holy mess of it all wore me down to a nub of nerves. And turned me into a mother-loving bender of the truth.
The thing about Chuck E Cheese is that once kids are set loose, they become magicians. They are suddenly everywhere and nowhere at the same time. One minute they’re zipping around the room like atoms in a supercollider, and the next they’ve disappeared into a sky tube maze of insanity.
I often think that running a business is pretty much like a child running rampant through a Chuck E Cheese. There is so much to see, so much to do. In the effort to be everywhere and do all the things, you end up nowhere (inevitably hiding in a ball pit smelling of dirty diapers.)
While we were talking the other day, you told me you were drowning. I can feel your frustrations as Bold Betty continues to grow. There’s so much to do, not enough time to do it, too many people wanting stuff and not enough energy to make each person feel special. It’s the one thing I see over and over again with my clients. In order to grow, they believe they have to be everything to everyone. They become marginally good at a few things rather than freaking awesome at the one thing they do the best.
I’ve got three words for you, my friend:
Niche it down.
Get focused. Be specific. Go back to your origin story. Your vision was purposeful then: to bring quirky people together through beer. And now? Ta-freaking-da. You’ve gathered under your massive wings a growing community of people who have always felt like they didn’t belong. You are the one lunch table in the cafeteria to slide out a chair and say, “Hey, you can sit with us.” This is you… THIS is your thing.
You make awesome beer for awesome people. It’s your superpower, Josie.
So, be the best at making good beer. That’s it. Period.
Create beer. Sell beer. Make people happy.
Rock your niche on social media and focus on the two platforms where your crowd hangs out. You KNOW your people. Your beloved pack of weirdos is on Instagram and Twitter. Sometimes Facebook and YouTube. Rarely Pinterest. LinkedIn… uh… never. Put time and energy where your people are and be the best damn spreader-of good-tidings-and-great-beer-on-social-media that there ever was. Create. Take awesome photos. Think up bitchin’ hashtags. Share. And then let your people (who are really your brand ambassadors) do the rest.
Being somewhere is better than being everywhere. You’ve got this, Josie.
The “Dear Josie” letters are a new feature of my blog and are posted the last week of every month. In each letter, I write to Josie Meacham, my ideal client and owner of the fictitious Bold Betty Brewing in Portland, Oregon. When I first launched Audacious Muse, hers was the first persona I created. Josie is the epitome of whom I want to serve… bold, irreverent, determined to make a difference. Each month, I give business storytelling advice to Josie in the form of a letter.