The launch of something is always so exciting. You know that feeling of finally sharing something you’ve kept bottled up for months (sometimes years) that says “Here’s what I’ve been working on!!!”.
And then for 24 hours the congrats and high fives roll in, and then 24 hours later a few more people hear about it to keep the high going, but by day 3, itีs business as usual. The beginning of the grind. Iีm writing this to you on day 3. Welcome to the grind.
In case you aren’t up to date, The Unlikely Company has had a few cool things happen since the Kickstarter that Iีd like to update you on:
1) I’ve partnered up. The inspiration for The Unlikely Company was a conversation with my mom, where it became clear to me that I had the responsibility to help those (like myself) who were best served (and could best serve) by becoming entrepreneurs. She was my initial co-founder, but now I’ve got another.
Jacob Jones, who previously led Mountain and collaborated with me on the Kickstarter, is now a partner of The Unlikely Company. If you’ve watched my TEDxNashville talk, you know how much I believe in partnering up. Having Jacob onboard makes this more than just my crazy idea, it makes it the beginning of a movement.
2) As a Public Benefit Corporation, The Unlikely Company is committed to providing a public good. Our first initiative of official public good is a partnership with the Oasis Center in Nashville, TN, a nationally recognized organization on a mission to help young people move into a happy, healthy and productive adulthood. Together, we created (and are still creating) Oasis Venture, a program for young aspiring entrepreneurs.
As a parent of two high schoolers, I am very familiar with the passion and energy of young people, but I was blown away from the first day I met the students at their maturity, bold ideas and commitment to community. We just finished our second session, and we’ve already toured the Nashville EC (thanks to the staff for your help), and the students are developing their first pitches and business models right now. Itีs an amazing time. Thank you for supporting this.
3) The big news from this week is that we launched our website: unlikely.co, this newsletter (which will be delivered every Sunday) and our YouTube show, Create and Orchestrate (which will air twice a week, every week). Yes, yes, yes, we are working on the book. Writing a book is hard you know!
But seriously, we didn’t want to wait any longer to start providing real value, and we donีt want to compromise the quality of this book that we believe in so much. So we thought a great way to be a real part of your life right now is via a newsletter and YouTube show that we provide for free. We will still be talking about the opportunity, benefits and principles of entrepreneurship, just a bite size bits while we continue to work on the book.
Ok, so now I think you are all caught up. Enough about us, letีs talk about you.
You are on this list because you too are a part of this movement. Without you, this isnีt even a thing. In fact, this email is going to less than 500 people. Thatีs how small our email list is at the moment. I couldn’t be more proud or grateful to have you on this list, and I hope that you know that. Because of the small list size, these first emails will feel much more
You’ve already done so much to help what we are doing, so thank you. However, I do have a favor to ask. Well, maybe more than one.
The first favor is… if this is actually helping you (meaning you arenีt just subscribed and supporting because you know and like me), then please send me an email or a tweet letting me know what topics I can cover that will actually provide value to you. So far, the best writing I’ve done and the best shows we’ve recorded (soon to be released) come as a result of me addressing real questions from real people. Iีd love to hear from you.
The second favor is… if you know someone who would be interested in the things Iีm talking about (entrepreneurship, creative and competitive spirit, income inequality etc.), please forward this email to them and suggest that they join the mailing list. They will never have to pay a dime and I promise to pour my best into these shows and newsletters.
Ok. Thanks for letting me ask. Youีre the best.
Before I let you go, just a small note about the grindษ
Knowing and accepting that entrepreneurship is a grind brings peace and clarity. Let me explain.
When Jacob and I committed to each other that we were going to do a YouTube show, we knew we needed to do it regularly. And more than once a week. We also knew that it needed to be at a certain level of quality from day one or it would have no chance of standing out amongst the millions of other videos being watched every day (and thatีs just on YouTube).
So, we watched 100s of videos from entrepreneurs (and non-entrepreneurs) trying to find a lane that we could own, authentically. We debated for weeks about a format that would be engaging (enough), deliver value, but that we could both realistically produce with our already busy schedules since we both have families and multiple businesses that we manage.
Jacob would need to learn Adobe Premiere because even though he was more comfortable with iMovie, it just wouldn’t produce the quality we knew we needed. He built a set for the shows, learned how to shoot a two camera set by himself, and light the set so it looked professional. And I needed to tap into my extrovert self and deal with the reality that being the host of an online show would be an exercise in humility because itีs going to take practice before I really get good at this.
Long story short, the launch we did last Tuesday took six months. We worked on it every week, except when we had family vacations. All to get 135 views and 6 thumbs up on the first 48 hours. But itีs done. Itีs launched. And we are happy. Happy because itีs launched, but at peace because we know itีs just the beginning and we can sustain what we’ve started.
Had we only thought about the launch, we would be screwed. But because we knew that we had to design a show that we could produce consistently, at a level of quality and value that helped and didn’t hurt our brand, we are at peace. We’ve already shot 20 shows. Some of them may never see the light of day because the newer ones are just better. Thatีs fine, itีs all been part of the process.
I would have never handled a launch like this five years ago. I would have put everything I had into that one launch moment, and not thought through what it takes to sustain and improve the quality of the product over time.
I would have over-emphasized the launch and underestimated the grind.
To the grind,