BY DEREK SIVERS
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When you keep saying NO to almost everything in life, it will create a room where you will find yourself with things that screams HELL YEAH!!
If you want a lot of money to do something big, then you are in love with being BIG-BIG rather than being useful. And if you just want to create something that is useful for a specific community, you don’t need money.
If you want to be useful, you can start now without money with 1% of your grand vision. You are still ahead of many who do daydreaming.
Ideas don’t need funding to start.
Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from your persistently doing what’s not working.
To make a business, the only maths you need is to multiply the most brilliant idea with the most brilliant execution.
Be proud when you exclude people. Tell people who you are not so you can win hearts for people who really want you. Ignore 99% of people and care about 1% who matter to you.
Design your business where you don’t need big clients. Instead, you leverage the strength of many small customers. When you are serving thousands of clients, you don’t have to worry about one client leaving or making special demands. This is not possible with big clients where we have to bend the business to cater for their needs for forceful retention.
Never forget what you are doing and why you are doing it. Are you helping people? Are they happy? Are you happy? Are you profitable? Isn’t it more than enough?
FOUR WAYS TO GRADE YOURSELF – which one are you?
- Some people want to make $5 million and when they achieve that net worth, they know they are successful.
- For some people, success when doing philanthropy for $5 million.
- For some people, how many lives I can influence for the better.
- For others, they only want to influence a few people’s lives.
Every business exists to solve a specific problem. If the problem is solved, we don’t need that business anymore. The tragedy is businesses still exist after solving a problem and they charge fees for the solution.
Don’t be available all the time to everyone. People fall in love with people who won’t give them the time of the day. This is universal human behaviour.
TAO OF BUSINESS
- Care about your customers more than about yourself, and you will do well.
- Set up your business like you don’t need money, and it will likely come your way.
Don’t punish everyone for one person’s mistake. An individual may not be happy with your content and write hateful comments. That doesn’t mean that you should turn off the comments section for those who want to write positive or constructive feedback. If a person spills poison think about other hundreds who haven’t.
Whatever you write on your blog or for your content, write like an email to thousand people. You have to eliminate all the unnecessary words, reshape every sentence to make sure it’s not misunderstood. It’s like that quote –
I didn’t have time so I am writing a long email.
The magic is in tiny details that make customers thrill and excited so they tell their friends about your business. (Reference – The private CD BABY jet email)
If you find the smallest way to make people smile, they will remember you for that smile and for all your business stuff. (Reference – CD BABY send real squid to customer’s request)
Understand the difference between self-employed and business owners. Being self-employed means you are free to do what you want until you take a vacation where everything crumbles. Being a business owner means that even if you come after one year, you still make a profit. The answer is in the delegation.
Delegation at the core is about giving freedom to employees to make their own decisions that still align with the company’s vision and mission. However, you have to make sure that employees do not take advantage of that freedom. Be aware of over-delegation.
Empower the employees but not too much.
Delegation may not work until someone is getting paid or see real value as a volunteer to gain the experience. Although delegation is wonderful and you put trust in the resource, always verify!
Delegation means trust and verification.
Never ever promise customers beyond your full control.
In the end, it’s about being, not having. It’s about what you want to be, not what you have. Things that you want to learn may take time and it will not be efficient like an expert. However, there is joy in learning and the process.
If you want to run marathon, what’s the point of taxi drops at the finish line.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you do. Always be prepared for scalability. Design infrastructure and internal process in such a way that it has the appetite to care double the number of clients.
It doesn’t matter how good a candidate is during the interview. You only know the reality once he is on the job for a few weeks. So, take the hiring easy! Hire lightly, fire lightly.
It’s ok to be naive in some things so you build your own perspective rather than following crows. Most of the people just quit the job and provide 2 weeks of notice. I would provide 4 weeks of notice so I can train the replacement for two weeks.
You have to do what you love the most or you will lose interest in the whole thing. Most traditional business owners play the big games to expand the business but what if you just like to sit and read books? Or write, talk to customers or innovate new ideas?
It doesn’t matter whether you grow your business or not. The most important thing is to be happy, and your customer should be happier than you.
ON MAKING YOUR PERFECT WORLD
Business can be unique, unconventional and non-stereotype. No matter what you do, how well you or how much profit you make, there are always people that will tell you that you are wrong.
It’s important to remember that whatever business you do, you create useful products and services for customers that elevate their life. Above all, pay attention and do what excites you, do what’s real to you.
What you are doing has a slow growth or small following, it doesn’t matter as long as it makes you happy. In fact, things are beautiful when it’s small. All the big companies get messy when they go start growing beyond their capacity.
Whatever you make, it’s your creation, so make it your personal dream come true.