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QI-005: Don’t Be Afraid to Change Course When Your Great Idea Isn’t Going as Expected | My Own Experience with Repositioning the QI Podcast as Inspiration

Today’s show discusses why I am repositioning the Quiet Innovation podcast and what you can learn from it.

  1. My analysis of my own business model and the flaws I discovered.
  2. Use it as a lesson for other people with great ideas.
  3. Tell you what to expect going forward.

Why am I making the change:

  • Flawed business model – too much time for too little return.
  • My audience was not getting the full benefit of my my expertise, experience, and perspective.
  • I was losing the fire, the passion.
  • I realized my own "great idea hiding in plain sight" was my own background and how I could use that to help others.

Choosing to focus on helping others instead of just telling their stories got me fired-up again!

Catalyst for Repositioning QI

  • Attendance at Minnesota entrepreneur kickoff event last week — found myself offering advice (in a good way)
  • Met and felt an affinity with a group of inventors from inventors’ network.

That’s when I realized my own great idea hiding in plain sight was me — My education, experience, and perspective I could share with you!

Why not just start over? 

I talk about I didn’t pull the first four QI podcast episodes and start over.  I explain the rationale for building on your own momentum.  I also explain how I am willing to use my own mistakes as a model for you so you can learn from them.

I reviewed my education, experience, and perspective gained from nearly 30 years as a professional investor, my in-the-trenches experience as a seasoned entrepreneur, and my 20 years in the fire service.  I used this review to emphasize all the things I will now bring forward to help you with your own great ideas. 

Professional investor for nearly 30 years.

  • Chartered Financial Analyst
  • Masters in international management.
  • Worked for top shelf employers including American Express.
  • Analyzed hundreds of companies and toward lots of factories also met and interviewed with thousands of executives.

Seasoned Entrepreneur

  • Talked of my experiences starting SEC insight in 2000.
  • Started first watch in 2000.
  • Built a company to have 50 people working for me around the world.
  • Raised capital for one of my ideas: including millions in an investment from a public company in 2010.
  • Got a patent.

Being a good analyst doesn’t necessarily mean good entrepreneur. 

  • Lots of mistakes
  • Limited capital
  • Big changes after MIT Birthing of Giants program.

I’ve done what you’re doing … or need to do.

  • Product design, sales and marketing, outsourcing, consultants, Web developer, lots of vendors, hiring/firing, product launches, product shutdowns, pricing decisions, hard-core frequent-flier, nasty lawsuit with a sleaze ball vendor, on TV, in NY times, Wall Street Journal, picked office space and signed releases, set up telecom and computer infrastructure, dealt with the insurance of all kinds.

I even closed the company.  I comment on why I had to close my company in February 2012 and discuss how I did it and what I learned from it. 

20 Years Experience as a Firefighter:

10 years on the East Coast with Goshen fire department and Good Fellowship Ambulance, both in Chester County Pennsylvania.

  • Command officer and what that meant
  • EMT Instructor
  • Learned firefighting, building construction, hazmat, arson investigation, pumping and driving of the trucks.
  • Saved good Fellowship from the brink:  New ambulance every year, now a new building
  • Still an EMT today.

Between Wall Street, being an entrepreneur, and my time in the fire service, I’ve seen and done a lot.  I plan to give you the benefit of all that experience.

Flaws I Experienced in the Old Quiet Innovation Business Model:

First I talked about my original vision-

  • Lots of people to interview.
  • Lots of social media leverage.
  • People would want their story told— they do… Sort of; so long as they could control the message.
  • I would provide great content, people would click on the affiliate links, I would make money.

My reality

  • Way too much prep work.  Drone story 2 weeks.  This episode, one day of gathering & organizing my thoughts.
  • Audience target unclear: those that did come did not appear to stay.
  • Groveling for interviews — As a seasoned analyst it was too hard to not have the ability to push or challenge my guests.  Too many were going to use lots of “fluff and spin” to control the message and I didn’t like that.

It was all making me crazy!

With an audience that was unclear my choice of affiliate advertisers became problematic.

One of my biggest mistakes with the old QI format; failing to have clearly identified my audiences, who is my customer?

Compare this to CanningSeason.com

  1. Clear target market
  2. Clear affiliates
  3. Timeless content
  4. Desire for community
  5. Untapped niche-narrow but untapped
  6. A years’ worth of blog post topics
  7. Great early experience with affiliates

What to expect from the QI podcast and website going forward

  • Clear target: people with great ideas, startups, entrepreneurs
  • Creation of community for advice, resources, tips, and inspiration.
  • High-value content based off my expertise, experience, and perspective having done what you are trying to do.
  • The angle: professional investor, innovator, entrepreneur.
  • More than a years’ worth of content.

New format to the podcast shows:

  • No longer talking just about the innovation.
  • Now we want to hear the stories, the people, the experiences, and the tips behind the innovation or ideas we talk about here.

Better connection to resources and experts beyond what I bring –

  • raising capital
  • accounting and tax
  • hiring and firing
  • sales and marketing
  • life balance.

Examples of some of the helpful affiliate relationships for my audience in the new format.  Stuff I use, trust, and know that people with great ideas need.

  • 99 designs – for logos and graphics
  • oDesk – freelance contractors of all kinds
  • QuickBooks – Be serious about keeping the accounting in order.
  • Blue Host – the best place I know to host a website.
  • TurboTax – Don't ever mess with Uncle Sugar!
  • Amazon

Working on:  Office supplies, printing services, industrial suppliers, postage, legal support, insurance.

How people can contact me:    

So what do you think?  I’d love your feedback and support to help make QI one of your trusted resources for tips, advice, and inspiration for turning your great ideas into reality. 

QI.com to learn more.  All social media links are here.

Have a question, suggestion, or need advice on your own great idea?  Call and leave a message at 763-260-4250.