The Middle is a dangerous place
A certain topic has been occupying my mind this week. After listening to two podcasts (Seth Godin on the Tim Ferriss Show and Seth's own Akimbo podcast) and the fact that we turned one year in business recently, I've been in a reflective mood about how we approached branding for DULO and how we can improve it in the future.
The lesson that has stuck with me the most is that The Middle is a dangerous place. You cannot start by trying to please everyone. On the contrary, your goal when building something new is to try to address the smallest possible audience. Those who might get excited about the same thing you are passionate about. You mustn't be afraid to alienate some people, because yes, the message won't resonate with them, but those with whom it does, you'll have a real chance to make a change. You can't do that from the middle.
You have to choose what you want to say and say it without any excuses. Don't be afraid to polarize, to have a strong opinion. Not everyone will understand. Those who do, you'll start building a relationship with. Those who don't you should treat with respect and appreciation because they gave you a chance, but they simply aren't in the same place as you are right now.
Real change happens in the extremes. Working from the middle, trying to be liked by everyone will result in mediocre results. People don't pay attention to mediocre results.
When you are just starting out you have limited resources. Nobody knows you. Nobody trusts you. You have 0 authority. Your only chance to change this is if you hold a strong opinion and you boldly claim it.
Decide what you want to stand for. Find others who feel the same way. Form a tribe. Make a change.