What Comes First? Ready..Aim..Fire?

No doubt the phrase “ready..aim..fire” has been drummed into your head as the right way to do things:

  • Ready means prepare for action.
  • Aim means to choose your target.
  • Fire means to spring into action.
If each time you “fire”, it takes a lot of time or money, then investing time/money preparing and aiming makes good sense. For example, if you are thinking of building a custom home (which costs a lot of money and takes a while to construct), you’d be prudent to study what types of homes people are buying, design a home that fits the market you’re going after, and perhaps even test market the design before you even break ground.

But what if you are a one-person business, and you’re thinking of doing a email blast to your mailing list? The cost for an email blast is basically zero, so why spend a lot of time preparing it? This is one of the principles of guerrilla marketing - try something, see the effect, try something else, continue. It keeps you away from analysis paralysis.

In Timothy Gallwey’s Inner Game Of Tennis (and other “Inner Game…” books), he found a key way to quickly improve your tennis game is to have someone else tell you what the result of your action was. For example, if you’re practicing serving, hearing “the ball was 2 feet outside the baseline” creates a feedback loop. You hear the result, and your system naturally (and quickly) adjusts to achieve the desired result.

The key point is: After you “fire”, make sure you pay attention to your results. Learn what works better, and continue to hone your actions.


Jay Hamilton-Roth founded Many Good Ideas (http://www.ManyGoodIdeas.com) to help small businesses brainstorm, design, and implement effective marketing strategies. He combines creativity with common sense to demystify the process of getting great results. He has used his high-tech background from MIT to help him launch five businesses. He consults with companies in a wide range of industries and publishes a monthly marketing newsletter and daily marketing blog (http://ask.ManyGoodIdeas.com). He ...

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