When everyone says it can’t be done, go with your gut!

When everyone says it can’t be done, go with your gut!

In this article, I will give you a great example of when everyone says it can’t be done, you should go with your gut. Because I believe that 99% of us would be riskier beings if it wasn’t for the angel and devil on our shoulders telling us what to do. When I say angel and devil, I mean you and then your family, friends, and colleagues.

Scenario: You’ve come up with an amazing idea that you know in your heart and soul will be a huge success. Or at the very least you have that gut-wrenching feeling that you need to try it or you will regret it forever! Then… the naysayers step in. (insert deflated ego)

Naysayers can turn you right off a great idea, dream or goal. They like to be the ones to tell you everything that could go wrong if it didn’t work out. And after a while, self-doubt creeps in. It can play out in your head as such a sure thing. But it can easily switch to ‘oooh I’m not sure anymore’ or ‘maybe this is a stupid idea’. (FYI – there are no stupid ideas. If we thought like that, no one would ever invent anything or do anything worth talking about.)

This can feel like you’re Pacman in the game being chased by ghosts that you find hard to get away from and who say things you don’t want to hear! I don’t know about you but when those ghosts start chasing me in Pacman, I panic.

Here’s an example of an idea I had: To sell luxury lighting online for Ireland’s leading lighting retailer.

This was back in 2015 and I knew we were in dire need of a digital marketing overhaul! But I also wanted to create an eCommerce shop to sell their luxurious decorative lighting online. Because I had worked on so many eCommerce shops beforehand I was confident it would be a great success! Everyone else thought I was nuts.

The situation at the time was as follows: The website was disturbing, to say the least, it had no positive attributes. The UX and UI were bad, the usability was terrible and 75% of the site was hardcoded. This made it impossible to make important changes to improve it. In addition, we had a poor online presence overall with 0 budget and were not spending time on it. We had no digital strategy in place whatsoever.

We ran 0 digital advertising running, had one social media page and sent email campaigns once in a blue moon. Furthermore, we’d a poor database that needed to be segmented and managed appropriately. Google Analytics wasn’t set up properly and we had no SEO in place. Overall, we were not taking advantage of the limitless metrics that digital marketing has to offer. Therefore, we had no way of showing ROI from our traditional marketing efforts.

I developed a bulletproof digital marketing strategy that was cost efficient, time efficient and loaded with ROI. The new strategy was going to put us at the top online, amongst our competitors. I knew that sending it to my manager was not going to be enough to sell it. I understood it would be hard for her and the Senior Management team to understand why we needed a strong online presence so much. Digital marketing can be very confusing and daunting when you do not fully understand it. And the truth is, most people don’t understand it until they start seeing the results.

I decided to send it to my manager and the Managing Director of the company. I promised him we would make an extra €100,000 in two years from online orders and leads alone. He got back to me one week later, said he loved the idea and appreciated the work I had put into it. I was soon promoted to Marketing Manager. And then went to work with a full stack marketing agency for 5 months to help support bringing our vision to life.

But… heres where the naysayers come in!

I was very confident about reaching my goal because my gut told me it was going to work but more importantly, I knew I had the skills to develop the site we needed and implement a strong digital marketing strategy. But then all of a sudden I had people questioning me around the clock. They started saying I’m not sure if we should go ahead with the online shop.

“No one is going to buy decorative lighting online”.

“I can’t see it working”

“I would be very surprised if you got even one order online.”

“People like to come into the store to buy lighting”.

I totally disagreed naturally. I knew from analysing our different customer groups that people from all over Ireland would buy online. Our customers were spending their weekends traveling up to Dublin just to visit our showroom. Therefore, I knew they would buy luxurious decorative lighting online if they trusted us. TRUST was key to making this a success.

So when I designed and developed the online store I made sure you could see our online shop tagline everywhere! I placed it on every shop page, advert, and social media post.

“We make buying lighting online easy”


Sure enough, the orders started rolling in. Anything from small orders to large orders. Not bad considering we did not have to pay a full stack agency to build our website and eCommerce shop. The costs were low. The main cost was time. I launched the site within 3 months.

After the launch of the website, we saw an ROI of just under €100,000 after 6 months from saving on website development costs and through online sales and online enquiries that turned into sales. We over-performed and over delivered by one year. If you take out the time to develop the website, launch it, add 400 products to it, we did it in less than one year.

In addition, the website visits doubled and showroom footfall doubled. Most importantly and had their most profitable year in history since opening their doors in 1984! Baring in mind we were only starting to come out of the recession.

I was then asked to propose my digital marketing strategy to the sister brand’s Senior Management team and key stakeholders – one of the largest lighting distributors in Ireland. I moved into their marketing department shortly thereafter.

So you see, even something as wacky as selling crystal chandeliers online can work, but you have to get it to work. If you know deep down that something is going to be a success but it will take time to get there, go with it! Follow your gut. If for some reason it doesn’t work out who cares! Just don’t risk your life savings on it.

Take your time, plan, make sure everything is in place before investing in it and you can’t go far wrong. Only you truly know what is right for you. If you’re surrounded by naysayers find a group of people who support your ideas. People who believe in you so you can tell self-doubt to get lost when it rears its ugly head.

I hope this article reaches those who need it most. Any questions on the above topic, pop me an email ataddictedtoeverything1@gmail.com

For more helpful content on marketing and business development check out Addicted to Marketing on LinkedIn

Image Credit: BBC UK

Team ATE

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