Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:May 28th, 2008 05:20 EST
Which Part is the Hard Part?

Which Part is the Hard Part?

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but marketers and sellers usually tell stories that leave out most of the important pieces that you need to be successful. What a shock.

As a strategist, I know that first you have to define where you want to go, and then you have to lay out the steps that will take you there. I call the goal "the other side of the river." The other side of the river is your destination, but there will be a series of stepping stones that you have to march across in order to get to wherever it is that you've defined that you want to go.

Let's say that you break the problem down into 10 steps. And you have to do all of them to succeed. But it's not sexy (and there is no sales appeal) to dwell on the very difficult middle steps.

Watch marketers define the first few steps. Then they'll skip a series of steps and tell you that you've arrived at the other side of the river - the exact destination where you want to go.

One of my favorite entertainers, Steve Martin, had a routine in the 1970s where he said:
"If you want to be a millionaire, the first thing you do, is get a million dollars. Then…"

That's what marketers do. They tell the story in a way that seems to be extremely compelling. They describe the first couple of actions that you have to take and then magically you arrive and have accomplished exactly what it is that you want to do. Life doesn't work this way.

There's always something complicated that they inevitably forget to tell you.

For example, let's say you want to publish a blog. The easy part is step one: creating the material and putting it on the blog. But ultimately, that doesn't accomplish anything. The goal is to get many people to read the blog. Most marketers will forget to tell you that you have to build a list of people who should see your blog. You have to promote the blog. You have to make sure that people are reading your blog. The same logic applies to a website, a law practice and every other endeavor in the business world.

That's the hard part.

The hard part is building a list. The hard part is getting thousands and thousands of people to know who you are and to know what you're about. In the blogging world, you have to create material that works for the fan base that you are targeting. Once you find those people, you'll become their favorite story teller. The blog will allow you to make friends with people in a way that you can't do using any other medium. But again, the hard part, the part that most marketers leave out is that you have to build the list.

Every business has a "hard part." Make sure that you ask the sellers and marketers what it is. The important part is not to be afraid of the hard part because that is where all of the money is. There is no money in the easy part. Just remember that if it was easy, everybody would do it. If everybody was doing it, there'd be no money in it.

By the way, you'll probably need some professional help to solve the hard part. Connect with people who have done the hard part before so that they can help you. I guarantee that few of your competitors are getting help with the hard part. Set yourself apart. Call our office for help with the hard part.

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you're building your career, make sure that you don't fall into the trap of not noticing what the hard part is. Regardless of your business, there's always a hard part. There's always something that separates the "men from the boys" or the "wheat from the chaff." If you can figure out the hard part and do it, you'll be successful and you get significantly further along than your peers and your competitors.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit  or