Recently, a colleague asked me, “What was the most rewarding mistake you ever made in business?”
It’s a great question, and I quickly had an answer for him because it was an incredibly painful mistake. However, it proved to be an invaluable lesson that has served me well in the years since. I’m sharing this, so perhaps you can learn it the easy way.
The lesson: Don’t ever stop marketing because you think you’ve reached the point where you don’t need to. And, secondarily, believe the old adage that warns, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.”
There’s a story, of course!
Years ago, my public relations company connected with a large publishing house that served many prestigious authors. The first few of its authors we accepted as clients had such successful campaigns, we quickly became the publicity firm of record for this publisher.
I thought we’d tapped the mother lode! The publisher kept a steady stream of clients flowing to us, and eventually, they became about 80 percent of our business.
We were so focused on delivering for these authors that we became much less focused on getting our company name out to prospective new clients. We slowly stopped marketing. Our newsletters ground to a halt. We didn’t waste time networking. We quit our efforts to get the same publicity for our company that we got for our clients. Why bother? We didn’t need new clients!
We had a whole basket full of beautiful perfect eggs and we were happily skipping along with it. And then… it broke.
The publisher ran into some serious problems with its investors and the business came crashing down. And guess who almost went with it?
Our eggs were cooked.