You’re climbing an online business mountain. Some months make more money than others. Dealing with technology can be a pain in the butt at times. Rollercoaster.
Until you reach the top of the mountain.
Imagine you reach the top. Do you like what you see? Was the process worth it? Are you serving clients you care about, to solve for problems that were worth your time?
“Was it worth it?”
That’s the question we’re addressing.
Here’s a little backstory:
I began my technology career as a UX designer. Often, I’d find myself designing clients’ products that didn’t make much sense. I moved to being a Product Manager. I then found myself creating and running products that weren’t based on a strong business model. I moved to entrepreneurship with the hope of building something that’s worthwhile.
This led to the conclusion that projects don’t just have to be built efficiently. They should be based on principles that justify the existence of the project. These principles are the willingness & ability of the team & market to support the product.
You don’t want to climb a mountain that’s so high, only to realize that you don’t like what’s there. Maybe, the good stuff is on top of the neighbor mountain.
Northbound.io’s job is to prevent your regret. It helps you build a business that your audience will love and your team will be happy to keep running.
“North” and “Bound”
To move upward, you should A) know the worthy purpose and B) operate towards it. Sounds simple but these are painfully overlooked.
Worthy for Your Audience
Your worthy purpose gets paid for. You were able to describe value that your audience want enough. They’re willing and able to pay for it. That’s just the first side of the coin, though. There are millions of things you can do to get paid, so that’s definitely not the only criteria.
Worthy for You and Your Team
Let’s talk about willingness and ability. Say you’re working with an idea that gets paid for, it’s all about your willingness and ability to solve that problem and keep going even on rainy days.
Your willingness comes from your passions and care. Of all the things that can print dollar bills, there’s a few that you’re more willing to do. There are problems that are easier for you to relate to. There are issues that you feel are more suited for your desired future.
The ability is based on your capacities. Do you have the skills to fulfill the promise? Is there enough resource to keep doing the thing you care about?
Northbound.io focuses on crafting your North. So the blood, sweat, and tears will be worth it.
Running upwards means you’re actually operating towards the promise. After crafting the pitch that your team and your audience buys into, you should actually fulfill that worthy ideal.
Here are the three steps to operate towards your North:
- Set a North Star: This is your One Metric That Matters (based on the language of Lean Analytics book), which best represents progress at the moment
- Plan Projects: This is about identifying actions that will lead to the result, so you know what exactly to do
- Monitor Progress: After determining what exactly to do, to achieve the North, watch and ensure your fulfillment of the plan
Let’s expound a bit more.
Step 1: Set a North Star
All billion dollar businesses begin by shooting for their very first sale. Even if you are aiming for the big picture, you still have to go through workable milestones. Without them, you’re paralyzed.
The North Star is a manageable milestone that represents your big picture success. It’s not about your action. It’s the results or how the market responds to your work.
Whether it’s a revenue target or monthly active users goal, you need to know your next milestone in this journey to climb your tall mountain.
Step 2: Plan Projects
After determining what specific outcome to achieve, turn it into a plan. Come up with a checklist. Follow how-to plans or a list of tasks that will contribute to your campaign. Get inspired by project management methodologies like Agile.
Step 3: Monitor Progress
When your way towards north is mapped, you still have to monitor how you execute the new product marketing plan you committed. This is an exciting activity as well as a learning one. You can study the performance of your campaign to see how your system will drive you to success.
Where to Go From Here
It all sounds good, but can be overwhelming.
Regardless of what stage you’re in, I invite you to revisit your North. Revisit your understanding of the mountain you’re climbing.