We’re all crazy, right? Each in our own way. Before I’m committed to an institution – not of higher learning – a new year of fresh starts brings me to a different kind of commitment. One in which I can help a friend, and she can help me, like an accountability partner.

Let’s call her “Moonbeam,” as she may not want her identity revealed in this public forum. All good interactions start with a friendly chat. Moonbeam told me she has started a Shopify site, but doesn’t really know where to go with it. She’s having some trouble proceeding, not so much with technical aspects, but with a general feeling of being overwhelmed. Here are my notes from the initial phone call.

Moonbeam feels it would be good to be put on a schedule. This agrees with my intention to have an accountability partner to help me with my stuff. Not only can I impart some wisdom to get her site viable, but in return a schedule can keep me on track and finally show my work (post thoughts in blogs).

She has taken marketing classes; that’s a good basis for us to put the theory into practice. She’s interested in meshing her social and business accounts somehow. I’d say it’s great that she has a following and not starting from scratch, and we will address some “psychological” issues that new marketers face:

  • the “guilt” of mixing business and friendship (reluctance to pitch sales to friends; not wanting to offend friends nor turn away customers)
  • imposter syndrome (this is more for me than her!)
  • writing voice: she writes “we” frequently on her solo blog, and hopes that will be true soon
  • perhaps she feels that a “real” business is more than one person, or that one can’t speak casually in a professional setting
  • she wasn’t born a leader; she had to push herself to become one
  • worries that people won’t buy from weak people; her blog posts may feel too “staunch” if she writes “I” instead of “we”
  • worries about building up something that is not what it appears to be (and the effect of potentially disappointing readers who may be in either the friend camp or the customer camp)

I thought these are all very reasonable real issues that many people face – especially me. Some I’ve dealt with and can speak from my experience, others I’d like to explore with Moonbeam. There are many questions to ask her, which is an important part of the discovery process. As I’m reminded from the DW TTRPG: “Ask questions and use the answers.”

We agreed that if there are some technical things I can do, then we can work out an hourly fee for such mini-projects. We discussed the possibility of inviting another person into our “mastermind group” – we’re both open to the idea. She has sent me her online accounts to check out. WhatsApp is best for all written communication with her; moving away from emails will help me be brief in my writing. I’ll start sending her some questions and introductory material, and we will check in next week to move forward and try to set a regular schedule.