My son, Ben (7) just started playing flag football for the first time ever…

We signed him up a week late so he missed the first practice (oops!) so when they kicked off the first game on Saturday he was a little… uninformed.

On the way to the game he was elated. Capri-Sun in his lap, LEGO Batman soundtrack in his ears:


He kept saying, “I CAN’T WAIT TO PULL FLAGS!”

As a Dad, I was proud of his enthusiasm.

Fast forward a bit and he’s playing offensive line. The ball gets snapped but instead of blocking the defender he pulls the defender-kids flag.

“Maybe this is a fluke,” I mentioned to my wife.

Nope. Every play until the final whistle blows this little dude is pulling flags. He’s on offense? Pulls flags of anyone within reach. Defense? Pulls flags of anyone within reach.

At halftime I told him as he gulped down his Capri-Sun, “Hey, quick tip: only pull the flag if they have the ball…” He was skeptical (as demonstrated by his incessant flag pulling through the end of the game).

It hit me…

He didn’t know the fundamentals of the game. He just started. He even missed his first practice. He didn’t know a lineman from a receiver or offense from defense…

We’re working on it…

So, as we market and advertise our business we want to be Bruce Lee. Chuck Norris. Ninja. Jedi. But so often we haven’t mastered the fundamentals.

Sure, it sounds cool to have a triple blind split tested heat-mapped dynamic creative blah blah blah…

But if the fundamentals aren’t mastered, what’s the point?

Start here:

Offer. Do you have a good offer. Do people want what you’re giving them?

Market. Are you targeting the right people with your offer and explaining it in a way that makes sense?

If not, master those 2 things first. Get ninja later (maybe).

Brad Martineau from Sixth Division has a saying, “Start simple. Get fancy later. If necessary.”

You may never need to get fancy. But you certainly don’t have permission to get fancy if you haven’t mastered the fundamentals yet.

At this point, my new free book funnel is opting in at 95.79% (crazy, right?). But in full transparency, the sales page isn’t converting like I want it to. So, I’m working on making it better and better and will continue to test the basics (targeting, messaging, social proof) before I dare run any fancy ninja stuff.

The check for “ninja marketing tactics” is signed:


– Cody

P.S. This is an excerpt from today’s episode of the Cody Builds a Business Podcast which you can find here.