What your people want

I thought I knew my people, but right when I was about to build, catastrophe struck. Now I'm thinking through better ways to connect BEFORE I create.

What your people want
Photo by Mike Dorner / Unsplash

Last week I decided to create a writing group for the community I co-lead. I’ve been a member for 3 years so I feel really aligned with them. The type of close heart connection we have makes creating with empathy feel easy. I knew exactly what I wanted to build. I just had to create it.

A note from my past self

Right, as I started to create, I read a note on the top of my ‘new project checklist’ it read “TALK WITH YO PEOPLE!”


Ok, ok…what’s the fastest way to connect and confirm what I ALREADY know. A survey! Perfect. 🙌🏾 I whipped up a few questions & sent them out.

I thought I knew my people

But as the results came in I started to realize just how wrong I was. After the survey closed there were exactly 0 people who wanted what I wanted. Let me say that again ZEEEROO people wanted the feature I was creating.

Whoa... now this could be a case where they didn't know what they wanted 'til they saw it. Or… maybe I just didn't communicate it well. But no matter what the reason, it was a sober reminder that there's a gap between what I want and what my people want.

One of my favorite authors, Seth, talks about this gap a lot.

Noooo...but that can't be it!!! (as you can see, I’m still in a little bit of shock and denial... lol)

Two lessons I learned

1) Never- eva…eva, eva, assume. (in my best Outcast voice)
2) Connect before you create

No matter how sure you are, don’t build before you connect. The days of creating in the cave are over. Start thinking co-creation instead of presentation.



Take some time to think about what this looks like for YOU.

  • How might you build WITH your people instead of FOR them?
  • In what areas of your business are you assuming instead of curiously connecting with what your people actually want?
  • How might you slow down & tune in before you start your next project?

ACT ⚡️

Don't just talk about it, be about it.

Here are some ideas to get you moving.

  • Have a casual conversation with a customer-like friend at a coffee-shop
  • Make a phone call (like right now, today)
  • Gather a small group of people & co-create a beta experience with them
  • If you have access to a community of your people, talk to them… What are they ALREADY investing in? How does what you’re creating fit into the story they ALREADY want to tell?


I don't have all the answers, but I'd love to engage with you on these questions.

  • Have you ever built something no one used?
  • What were some of your lessons learned?

Hit REPLY & share your thoughts

Or share this with a friend ❤️ It matters. ✨

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