| by Danielle Vincent

The biggest disappointment in our early business

Everyone wants to hear stories where I've struggled through and not done well, so here you go.

First... let me prime you for optimism with this adorable selfie of the two dogs on my lap, totally getting along:

And now... here's the biggest disappointment of our early business:

Two years ago, we didn't win the Martha Stewart American Made competition.

I imagine you have one of two reactions to hearing that:

  1. "What the eff*? THAT was the biggest disappointment of your early business? NO ONE wins those things. Out of hundreds, if not thousands, of entrants, how could a small business like yours -- less than a year old -- win that? Talk about delusions of grandeur!"
  2. "What the eff? How did a business and social media juggernaut NOT win the competition? It seems like you'd be a shoe-in!"

Admittedly, I think I might have been one of only five or six people in the latter camp.

We entered because I thought we had a chance to win. Yes, less than a year after starting the business and less than 1,000 customers in, I thought we might actually be able to pull that off.

And we almost did.

We came in something like 9th or 10th in our category, out of more than 900 entrants. Holy snakes, right?!

This year, we are going to win the Martha Stewart American Made Competition. We are going to get $10,000 and we're going to be in Martha Stewart Magazine.

But I need your help figuring out how.

Here's how the contest works:

  1. ​Pretty much anyone who wants to enter can enter
  2. From September 21 - October 19, public voting is open
  3. Every person gets 6 votes and can vote daily (a potential of 174 votes per person over the duration of the contest)
  4. The business with the most popular votes wins the competition
There is no second place. There are no runners up.

Last year, the winner had something like 40k votes. I would like to aim to get 70k votes, which means we need an average of 400ish people to vote every day. We don't know what we're up against this time, so 70k might or might not be enough.

Brilliant and creative readers, I need your brains.

... that didn't exactly sound right.

I do not need your brains! This is not an illegal brain collecting operation! I swear!

I need your brilliant and creative thinking power.

How can we win this thing?

Let's think of the most creative, inventive, and wild ways of getting votes, because we're going to have to get creative, inventive, and wild to win.

We already have a mailing list set up to remind people to vote daily (see bottom of this post for a contest entry and mailing list sign up).

What else can we do to secure the necessary votes?


* Certain people have complained about my colorful language, so I am attempting to tone it down.

Here's our video from last time around (we're working on a new one):

And here's that contest I was telling you about:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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