“Common sense is not so common.”
A long time ago I ended up on Seddit, Reddit’s message board about picking up girls. The posters were all arguing about nonsensical jargon. “If the HB12 IoI’s your sarge and he AA’s…” It read like a military handbook.
While I can’t speak from experience, I can almost guarantee that any guy who’s going out to “K-close,” is probably going to look a little dorky.
Two years ago I had no idea how a business worked. I thought you had to have a degree in order to run one. Every book I read or forum I looked at was filled with dudes throwing around terms like “synergy” or “Core Competency.”
Even when I had a job, that was a horrible era, I heard people throw around nonsense terms. “Our tiger team really moved the needle this quarter.” It was stupid.
In reality business is pretty simple. I probably could have run most of my current ventures when I was still in my early teens. Most of what I do is blatantly obvious. Here’s my basic guide to learning business:
Common sense and you
1. You’re going to need to offer something.
This blog is a hobby. It pays for itself, but that’s about it. In 2013 I made about $200 from 30 Days To X. That’s not enough to live on. Other than advice there isn’t much of a service that this site offers. While I plan to start selling consultations, this place is still just my hobby.
2. You want to have a low investment cost.
Inventing a cure for cancer might be noble but it will never make you money. A medical degree, research facility, and government license are going to drive you bankrupt. In contrast, writing pornographic stories isn’t noble but turns a profit. A few hours of writing and a book cover are fairly small investments.
3. Start small.
When I launched my Fiverr business I got way to far ahead of myself. I made a ton of random gigs and tried running them all. It ended up being way too time consuming. I scaled back and only offered three services. They ended up making me just as much money and only took half the time.
A couple clients that I’ve worked for, or people that I’ve seen on forums, end up biting off way more than they can chew. They come up with a grandiose scheme that will “revolutionize” an industry that they haven’t even experienced yet.
4. Have an edge.
Recently I was cleaning out my room and found a massive garbage bag of video games. Flipping through them I realized that most of the games were pretty much identical sans a few minor features. Every one on them followed a similar template (i.e. shooting aliens, racing cars, sneaking around buildings) but had a unique gimmick. Burnout and Need For Speed are pretty much the same game, except one has an emphasis on crashing into things while the other is all about swerving to avoid other racers.
Subway and Jimmy John’s are basically the same concept. They’re both chain sandwich shops. However, Subway revolves around the gimmick of being healthy while Jimmy John’s main selling point is not tasting like an old shoe.*
Fun fact: I have never spent a dime on marketing of any kind. I haven’t even promoted my blog in a couple of months. As much as Internet marketing gurus like to talk about “link wheels” and SEO, content is all that matters. A horrible website, book, or physical business isn’t going to be around for long. While you can fool some of the people all the time, and that number seems to be growing, you’d be better off making a quality product.
Even when I do things like write books on cocktails and recipes, I still put in an effort. They aren’t subject’s I’m interested in, but other people buy them and have yet to complain.
If you have any additional suggestion, feel free to post a comment.
* Explanation for foreigners: Subway is really bland.