This is one of a series of Life Junctions posts. Each tells a story from my life that illustrates a wider human issue. This tale concerns the lessons learned from business projects. If you’re interested in writing or publishing stories from your own experiences or from family and friends, I can help you. Just get in touch.
Start with the aims in mind
When I started 3Deal in September 2013 I had three clear objectives:
- Learn how to create a functioning content marketing business
- Make something larger than myself that could make jobs for other people
- Create a portfolio of work that could be useful and of value online
18 months later in 2015, after a number of twists and turns, I took the sad decision to end what had become the 3Deal Studio and the App-to-Date Podcast and let my team go. It had been fun but we knew that, despite our best efforts, the traffic and revenue were simply not moving towards viable levels. We’d done our best but time, cashflow and perhaps a few key algorithms were against us. Then – almost immediately – a couple of strange things happened.
Sense of pride
First, I realised I’d actually fulfilled all three of my initial aims and I wasn’t overwhelmed by any sense of failure or guilt. In fact I was proud of what we’d achieved. Yes, I was sad to lose this operation and the team’s company, but we’d given it our best shot. We knew what we’d done right and wrong.
I hadn’t necessarily created a viable business but I had learned how to create one. We could see how to do it at the end. You can’t get that experience just from theory books. I’d employed two talented young guys and given them time to focus and develop their talents and confidence. They’d both completed their apprenticeships. Most significantly, we’d created a huge amount of content online that formed our professional portfolios, all branded and organised coherently: websites; videos; podcasts; blogs; books and so forth. You’d like to know what we can do? Well, just listen, read and watch, and we hope you find it useful. That contrasted with precisely zero on 1st September 2013 when there was nothing more than an idea in my head, so that hard work and creativity is something I am very proud of.
Jobs in London
Second, almost without trying and almost without a pause, all three of us were offered jobs with different companies in London: jobs we actually wanted too. That’s not to say we didn’t scout them out, but what clinched our approaches was having such an awesome collection of high-quality work accessible online.
I’ll end in the same way as they do at the end of some movies, where it’s satisfying to get some closure by knowing what happened to the protagonists after the closing credits:
- Cameron made a hand in Spring 2015 and was hired in May by Wevolver as their Makerspace Community Connector, based at Somerset House in London.
- Luke and his band Talk Us Down made a great record in Spring 2015 called Miami, and was hired in May to head JTL Training’s digital marketing team.
- Mark pivoted the business to work with other clients and this led to Drive Your Marketing.
Content marketing works
To use my favourite quote from Teddy Roosevelt, ‘It’s hard to fail but worse never to have tried to succeed.’ This wasn’t ‘The End’, but marked new beginnings for the 3Deal Studio team, and yet another Junction in our lives. Thanks for your support and interest.