For most of human history, before the industrial revolution, pretty much everyone was a small business owner. The butcher, the baker, the blacksmith – they were all self-employed and the success of their business depended on the quality of service they provided.
It’s not the president of the United States, Bill Gates or anyone else rich and famous. The most important person in the world, when you are trying to sell something, is a single individual – one person who is your ideal customer.
When you chase something (or someone) what’s it’s natural reaction? To run away!
I wish some sales people could grasp this concept. Then they might stop harrassing me by trying to sell me things I don’t want – at least I don’t want them right now, and if I do ever want them, I will buy them in my own time from whoever I choose to buy them from.
If you’re in any kind of business that provides services to clients, you’ve probably experienced a client one day announcing to you, out of the blue, that they’ve decided to move to another provider. It happens, for all sorts of reasons.
A leading German general in World War 2, Erich von Manstein, came up with this thought-provoking quote:
“There are only four types of officer. First there the lazy, stupid ones. Leave them alone, they do no harm. Second, there are the hard working intelligent ones.
If you’re like most readers of this blog, you’re a business owner – an entrepreneur. And chances are, even if you’re not “religious” or a church-goer, you believe at least in some higher power… the Universe… whatever, and that life has a definite purpose and meaning.
I was in my 40s before I finally took the plunge and started my own business. In fact, that’s not completely true. I started a business in my 20s and again in my 30s, but the going got tough after a few months and I went back to the ‘safe” world of paid employment.
Every month I get several enquiries from people who want a website, and ask me to submit a proposal and quote. Most of these enquiries come from ads I’m running on Google.
In quite a few cases, I will submit a written proposal and quote, and then never hear anything back from the prospective client.
These days, I hardly read or watch any news from the newspaper, radio and television.
This might seem strange from someone who spent 20 years as a journalist. But the reason is, I’ve come to realise just how negative and counter-productive most of the news is.