We recently self-published our very first cook book. It’s our most personal project ever, as the PURE COOK BOOK tells the story of our dad, Papa Kazmi. Backed by a strong community of fans, friends and family, we decided to take matters in our own hands. We were responsible for the entire process, from concepting to funding, from publishing to promoting.
When working on a large (scale) project like this, we define tasks rather than roles. But looking back, we realize that there were more than 20 roles to play:
- Project manager
- (Live TV) Chef
- Buying specialist
- Creative director
13. Crowdfunding specialist
14. Package designer
15. Legal advisor
16. Financial controller
18. Sales manager
19. Sales coach
20. PR manager
22. Customer service specialist
23. Community manager
‘This is just business as usual’, says the small entrepreneur. And it’s true. How many roles do you think you play when running a local restaurant, a clothing store, a law firm or any other SME you can think of? The key lesson here is: holding back is not an option. You cannot hide behind ‘This is not my piece of cake’ or ‘I can’t do this’. For instance: if we said: ‘No, we don’t know how to write a cook book’, we would regret not taking the chance to put our heart into it. And if we said: ‘No, we can’t cook on live television’, we would have missed a huge opportunity. And if we said: ‘No, we are not publishers’, there might not be a cook book at all.
Of course, you don’t have to do everything yourself. We would be the first to encourage partnering up, so you can focus on what you are best at. In this project, we got help in multiple disciplines. We had a team of recipe testers, proofreaders, creatives and more. But as a small entrepreneur, outsourcing everything is not an option, as you might find yourself bankrupt before you even had the chance to start. Sometimes, it’s about hustling your way to the top. And taking up responsibilities beyond your comfort zone.
You don’t have to be an expert in everything, though. Often, an 80/20 strategy will do. For instance, an insider helped us to understand the book industry within a couple of hours. We defined the key bookstores in the industry within a day. Our legal partner provided us with a template for an affiliate contract. We based our crowdfunding campaign on our previous success. And of course, we applied our own 80/20 guide to a high-converting website.
Once you stop saying ‘I can’t do this’, you will be surprised of what you are capable of.