Origins #42 - Taking time off in December

I am writing this post at the end of December, right between the Christmas and New Year's holidays. My intention is to share a short update about the state of the business and articulate an important, but very easy to overlook point about taking time off.

Over the past month we have been busy with three main things:

  • Rebuilding the website and adding a ton of missing content
  • Preparing the first set of online paid ads
  • Rethinking the messaging about the brand

Rebuilding the website

Julian wrote extensively about that one in a previous post, so I will not spend much time going into details. In short, we were lacking a lot of important information at launch and we worked on a shortlist of improvements to make a more compelling version.

Preparing the first set of online paid ads

We have been working for the past few weeks with a freelancer to research and setup our first paid campaigns. We are going to start with campaigns on Google, Facebook and Instagram. This involves setting up all account permissions, and preparing the creatives and text that will go with the ads. As I am writing this, we just put the ads live. We will get more into detail on this one soon, when we gather more data and have something valuable to share.

Rethinking the messaging about the brand

There is still a lot to be desired from our branding and overall communication style around DULO. We are clear that this is a long-term game and it will take some time to get it right. The more we are working on it, the clearer and closer the messaging is, but we are not 100% there yet, if we'll ever be ;) Julian has the pleasure of knowing an experienced copywriter and earlier this month, they sat together to go over our brand messaging.

Now to the part I mentioned in the beginning: taking time off.

This is actually a topic I have written about a few years ago. I cannot stress enough the importance of taking a short break from projects you are working on. We have been hard on the gas ever since we started DULO, especially over the past half a year. Product development, content creation, launching - these are some of the bigger things that have occupied our attention. Needless to say, this results in some tiredness and there is always the danger of doing the same things over and over without the opportunity of a reflection.

We have been taking it easy the last two weeks of the year while still continuing with the day to day operations such as order fulfilment and messaging customers. It happened quite naturally, but it was also expected. Both Julian and I had trips planned around the holidays, so it was a good opportunity to slow down, evaluate, think and recharge.

From the very beginning we have been operating with a lot of calm and steadiness. Patience has not been easy to practice at all times, but overall, we have been going quite smoothly, without any major hiccups or stresses. This relaxed nature and approach is something we carried over the holidays. Instead of focussing on short-term sales and activations around Christmas, we decided to take time off to reflect and recharge.

The result is that we have started to get a lot more clarity about the work we have to do in the upcoming months. This unofficial break helped us in gaining perspective to see how we can improve what we have been doing and double down on what has been working for us. This more relaxed time also allows us to read and catch up on the latest insights around the marketing world and be ready to crush it in 2018.

Last, but not least, we have been able to recharge our batteries. We are still working two jobs - a 9-5 day job and DULO. This takes a lot of energy and if it is not managed correctly can result in a burnout. Something we definitely want to avoid.

Now, charged with new energy and fresh ideas we are ready to start 2018 on the offense and write the next chapter in the DULO journey.

Have a great 2018!