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I think there will be thousand places where you get tips to succeed. I would rather tell some 10 sure ways of failing in an online business.
1. Getting linearly inspired: Inspiration like real world works in a non-liear manner. Mr. Kashcarry has made a fortune by such and such business. I don’t see much difference between and me Mr. Kash. So, let’s do it
2. Build and they will come : Let us make such a perfect thing that there will be crowd lined up. Quite possible. But you may not have enough time and cash to reach that ‘perfect’ point. The propellants of business – cash and time will run out.
3. Paralysis through Analysis In 99% cases, you will find that on the standard parameters, the founder of a company and first tier executives have one crucial and unbridgeable difference. The difference between Othello and Hamlet. Hamlet’s whole tragedy came because of too much analysis whereas Othello’s strength (and eventual tragedy) was rashness. The founder of a company did not analyse – he would have never started it. It was go-get attitude.
4. Short story is a big story cut proportionately One of the reasons why most MBA-s either remain glorified clerks or errand-boy or ‘helps for prime movers’ (lets call them alphas) is partly because of their education and training. Very small businesses simply have not time, resource and inclination to make case studies through fat, risk-averse and entitled tenured professors. But large corporations can and actively do this. The result is that the MBA hordes learn and fatally learn everything about large corporations. A microscopic few could even think ahead and through of all the formalities, structures, alleys to ask the root of the journey of this corporation. So when they start something, they commit the mistake of thinking a short story as something coming out if you take a chapter of a novel and cut-copy-paste suitably by ms-word.
5. Not dirtying hands A dangerous doctrine currently quite common and generally circulated among beta and gamma managers. This doctrine can be summarized as – Talk some, Talk little, Talk little more. They use a Greek word to indicate all this. This word strategos comes from Greeks who not only produced philosophy but also fought one of the fiercest battles of history. Our MBA hordes and their schools teach strategy minus Marathon and Salamis.
6. Lifestyle Many consider building and running online business as a lifestyle statement. (I started a blog and overnight I could afford to live in a beach and enjoy paradise) I meet them all the time. They are quite nebulous and well-intentioned and being beta they are quickly influenced and brainwashed. Look at one of the alphas in his domain – Mr. Bill Gates. He never tries to impress you but that is why he impresses most.
7. Building Court and Harem In the decisive battle between Alexander and the King of Persia in the Greek drive towards deeper East and India, the Greek Army was facing overwhelming odds against the Persian Army. But Greeks won and won decisively. The victory’s implications are too early to have a proper understanding. We learn that Persian generals had their court and harems in the battlefield ! Many online business have nice offices, pretty secretaries and interns, a corner office – all ready for the future. Of course, most comes from loan from banks or equity from financially obese but business-lean ‘investors’. Read the short advice from Seth Godin as how to live while you start and build an online business – Go to a place where there is cheapest rent and live on baked beans day in and day out and work. I have rephrased this advice in my Wordsmith Book of Business – Live like a cobra during hibernation. Just the glucose to keep electricity needed to make your heart beat. Forget everything. Except the venom that is distilled – drop by drop.
8. Not shipping The world rotates like a ship and you are making your merchandise but you are not ready to ship. Ships come and go but you are just not ready. Some little time, little more work and then we shall ship. The time never comes. Finally shipping routes change, ships do not come or do not anchor and in some cases, the route gets dropped and an air-plane now goes by the same route.
9. Colliding with the Miracle I started my business in 2005 and miraculously the venture became successful by 2007. In 2008, I started gaining weight, started looking for fancy consultants, even gave some adverts in some recruitment sites for interns, help and secretary. In 2008 Sept came credit crisis and few major accounts in financial sector evaporated overnight. I survived just because I had a project called http://www.pentasect.com which needed back-breaking work and we just floated. Still floating. Survival is excellence.
10. Not thinking like a young fertile woman of previous age : Business in its fundamental essence like birth, death, disease and old age is gender-blind. Consider a hundred years back a young and fertile woman knew that Nature has given her a short window – at most peak 6-7 years when she can prove irresistible if she takes proper steps. What are the steps ? Remaining skinny, agile, physically attractive and always honing those skills to get the best man. This charm capital’s allure is million times more than normal capital as history since Helen of Troy has proved decisively. But some don’t think way. They either overdraw or think that this capital will remain forever. A man’s true natural power in terms of access and reach increases with age whereas the more lethal, more effective power of a woman decrease with age. Head to head, a man of 23 and a beautiful woman of 23 has no match while both poised on natural power and on an natural environment. The capitulation from the man is immediate. A young business is like a fertile woman. She is running out of time and she has to make sure to ensure her future. What is the path ? Target three clients who are fat, highly matured and they are looking for some charm. Money and access are there for them. Spread your charm.
How to do this ?
If you are a man, get charmed and learn.
If you are a woman, charm and learn.
Either way, Charm is the Key.