For the first time last week, I tried to sell something that I created.
I pitched the owner of a local wine business on letting me update their website and move it to WordPress. Before even reaching out to the owner, I created a fully functional mock-up of the site using content from their existing website with some additional features and a new look.
I then sent him the mock-up with a proposition describing what I was offering, and how adding a few key features to the website could add tons of value to his business. We spoke on the phone a few days later and though I could tell he wasn’t too sold on the idea, he invited me to come into the shop the following week.
We spoke for over an hour. He explained the wine-making process, his business model, we swapped stories about places we had been in Germany and other parts of Europe, and we tasted some new batches of wine that were cooking.
After about 45 min, we finally got around to talking about the website and what I thought it could do for him. And I could pretty quickly tell he wasn’t too interested. But I went through my whole bit and answered some of his questions.
He just simply wasn’t interested in reaching any new customers or growing his business at any quicker rate than he is right now. He said he didn’t need the calendar because most of his customers are in there often enough to know what’s going on.
He wasn’t interested in the blog to help extend his customers’ word-of-mouth reach because he said part of the allure of his shop is listening to his stories and wine knowledge when you are in there making and tasting your own wine. He didn’t want to share those with people on social media.
He didn’t even care to update the prices on the existing website because he said that when people see the site and call him, he can simply tell them the correct prices over the phone. So he didn’t think he needed to take advantage of the back-end ease of use that comes with WordPress.
He is just an old-school guy who has ran his business successfully for the past 17 years. It wasn’t broke, and he didn’t feel like fixing it. And I respect that. We talked a bit more, he gave me a free bottle of wine to take home, and that was that.
Despite the apparent failure, I was very proud of myself. I had never done anything like that before. Building something, putting it (and myself) out there, and then being rejected. It felt good. Even the last part.
Now the next time I’m out on the hustle I can learn from, and build on my mistakes. I’ll do it better, and be less nervous. Like anything else, putting yourself out there takes practice and repetition. I’m just getting started.
And although this was a minor setback for the burgeoning Ryan Miller Enterprises, there are still multiple new things coming down the pipe. The proofreading/editing side of the business is still going strong, and a new assault on the front end WordPress development side is already in motion.