Do you remember the blog I wrote a short while ago about the year of 2010 as being the one in which I would live fearlessly? I had several ideas I was mulling over, one was starting an on-line magazine about Lake Marion. It was going to be the site that every local and every tourist was going to want to check out! I had wanted to start this endeavor ever since I quit the newspaper business over three and a half years ago. I had never gotten around to getting started, always one excuse or another, but mostly it was fear of failure that kept me from taking that plunge. Well, since this was my year of living fearlessly, I decided to quit thinking about it and take a step forward. So, about a month ago, I finally bought my domain name –lakemariononline.com. (Actually, I bought three domain names – lakemariononline.com, lakemariononline.net, lakemariononline.org because my site was so gonna rock that someone would surely try to piggy back on my success by using a similar name.)
I had chosen a magazine web theme that looked great and wouldn’t be too hard for non-geek, non-techno-savvy me to use. I had quite a few notes on what I would be including in my first issues and pictures already worked up and ready to go. On my next long weekend, I was going to begin putting it all together. Then, just several days before that weekend, I found a glossy magazine on the shelf in the restroom at work. I began to peruse the pages and realized that the publisher, who already had a daily newspaper with a staff of reporters and photographers on the payroll, was now producing a magazine, too, full of the same content that I had planned to have in my on-line magazine. Why, after all these years of publishing a daily newspaper, did this company now want to start a magazine? Well, same reason that I was, I reckon, it was a damn good idea!
So, I began to re-think my idea. Maybe I shouldn’t compete with the big dog. But, then again, why couldn’t I compete? After all, I used to know people in the industry and it wouldn’t be that hard to reconnect with the shakers and the doers of the community. And, I really had wanted to do this for a long time. What to do?
And so, for the next week, I pondered what the impact this magazine would have on my publication. I was still thinking that maybe I could do my thing. Until, I saw a billboard on my way to lunch one day. It advertised a new, online only magazine – Lake Marion Living. A SECOND COMPETITOR! I rushed back to the office and got on the internet to check out this new thorn in my side. Yep, there it was. But, this was worse. Much worse. This magazine wasn’t just similar to what I had been planning, it was exactly what I was planning.
I felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me. Just like that. Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!
A second billboard touting lakemarionliving.com has gone up just up the street from my house. I drive by it everyday. And, everyday, I am reminded of this painful lesson: if you have a great idea, don’t sit on it for too long, as someone else will surely think of it too, someone that won’t be a scaredy cat like you, and jump on it first!
It is time for me to let go of this dream. I know that. I’m working on it. The hard part is ignoring that one tiny whispering voice in my soul that says, “You never know, maybe someday…”
In the meantime, I have been contracted to create a website for a friend who is in business for himself.
When one door closes another one opens, yada, yada.