Fighting FOMO

How does a small team fight that nagging feeling of more to be done? Ideas fly around my head and our Basecamp incessantly. There are so many things we know we can do better. So many ways we can execute better. And I’ve found the biggest challenge is putting them on the back burner. 

Earlier this year we chose to stay very focused in our marketing strategy for Postmark. After reading the book Traction by Gabriel Weinberg, individually, we came together for a few days to plan what's next. What would we focus on to hit our next level of traction? 

We made a decision to channel our efforts in marketing towards ways we could make a personal connection. We chose conferences and creative outreach, where we simply mail some useful stuff to companies we admire. We know we need to focus; we’re too small to spread out into a lot of small wins. The product has maxed out on those and we need to hit the next level. We were so relieved to just focus on 1(2) things and just nail them. 

A photo of the package we sent to people. Field Notes, stickers, a hand-written letter, and some first-class stamps.
We hand-selected a group of companies that we admired and felt like would be great to work with and mailed them a note and some small gifts.

But it’s been a few months, and the fatigue of saying no to things is starting to sink in. “But what about our Customer Love page?” “We need a better handle on our email marketing!” “What about blog posts?!”. We’ve been saying no for a few months, and now we’re starting to say yes again, and I’m not sure if that’s right or wrong.

A small team needs to focus, yes, but it also runs an enormous risk of focusing too long on the wrong thing or the boring thing. We’re in the midst of testing the outbound and the conferences. But it’s not taking up all of our time, so we feel an obligation to say yes to other stuff. Stuff we “know” works. And slowly that has started to balloon into even more small projects and small fixes. And then I wake up, and we haven’t been working on our original goal in a while. But maybe that’s ok? Maybe it’s natural for a team to veer off course and then come back to center.

I don’t have an answer right now, just a feeling of anxiety and exhaustion. How do we stay focused when focusing feels so much like we’re missing out?

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