Z-Version 1 Blog: Starting An Online Business

This is yet another article on starting a online business, but why should you listen to me? I have never ran a successful startup, I’m not an internet millionaire or business guru like Tim Ferriss or Seth Godin. But I have tried, and failed. Should you be so foolish as to want to follow my lead, you might be able to use the following as a guide to not just repeat but exaggerate my lack of results. You’d probably be better off thinking of it as an exercise in what not to do when starting a online business, though.

First things first: you know a lot of things. You have hobbies and interests and an education. You have a network of family, friends, and colleagues. You have work experience and life experience. Ignore it all. Use none of it. Start from scratch in an area completely unfamiliar to you. That way, you’ll forever be so bogged down with learning new things about your product or market or field that you can’t process all the other new things you’ll have to learn about running a business.

Don’t do something boring, instead pick something exciting to do, something you think you would love to work the rest of your life at. That way you’ll be willing to toil endlessly at the trivial things and in the process forever ruin everything you love about it instead of finding excuses to delegate tasks and handle only the important stuff yourself. Further, because it’s exciting to you, it’ll be exciting to other people and they’ll want to do that work themselves. If you do, you’ll eventually have an endless stream of competitors and few people to sell your work to.

Instead of focusing on one idea in one area, try to please everyone. In fact, find the biggest, broadest, most established market you can and jump right in. That way you spend an enormous amount of setting everything up and make sure you have not only a greater chance of failure, but a greater loss should you fail.

Force yourself to come up with all your ideas yourself. If you find inspiration in media or through someone else’s business or website, maybe a way to improve something they’re doing or a market niche that’s going unfilled, don’t act on it. Instead, try to create a market out of thin air while you

Don’t market test. After all, you’ve studied the market and you know what it needs. You don’t have to check your guesses and fever dreams and middle-of-the-night fantasies against reality. You don’t need the complications of knowing frivolities like whether your idea has the potential to make enough money to recoup your investment. Most importantly, don’t talk about your ideas or business plan with anyone else to see if they think your plans and numbers and ideas are realistic.

In fact, be sure not to look for help or ask anyone for help of any kind when starting a online business. Instead, convince yourself that you’re on your own in your business. The more you do things yourself, the finer the understanding you’ll have of the entire business process. This will help you in the long run since the long you work on your business this way, the less free time you’ll have to distract yourself with trivialities like how your business is performing and the more opportunity you’ll have to panic about things like how to avoid expanding your business and creating more work for you.

Don’t advertise. Believe that if you really have a good idea, if you really deserve the traffic and business, it will come to you in the amount you can handle. Don’t assume that you will have to go after it. Worse, if you do go after it, you may end up with too much business and have something that becomes entirely unmanageable. If you do decide to advertise, ignore tools like blogs and social media. That way you can continue to pour money into advertising that isn’t bringing in customers, a product that isn’t selling, and a business that is going nowhere.

No matter how many people tell you that your idea is unrealistic, don’t reevaluate your business. No matter how poorly the market test goes or how bad the product sells, do not give up on your idea. Continue to believe that you are just before your time and that the market will catch up to you if you just give your business a few more months.

The best way to make sure you don’t succeed is to never start. If you don’t take even the first steps that take you from thinking up ideas through writing a business plan, doing some market testing, figuring out the problems you have to solve to get the business going, looking into suppliers, interviewing employees, and the like, you won’t even need to worry about doing all the other things in this article to make sure that your business fails.

In all seriousness, the internet is a busy place with millions of people and businesses screaming for attention. Starting a online business to compete in such a marketplace can seem futile at first glance, but it’s really not. The more people do, the more there is that needs doing, or as economists are fond of saying, resources are finite, but human wants are infinite. As long as this imbalance and scarcity continues to exist, opportunity exists for anyone who can figure out ways to use the scarce resources better and satisfy some more of the infinite desires. Of course, one might say that all the low-hanging fruit, the easy ideas, have already been picked, but that’s not true. The reality is that there never was any low-hanging fruit. All the easy ideas occurred to dozens, if not thousands, of people. The companies that came out on top did their hardest work in out-lasting and out-competing the others instead of when constructing their business model.

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