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How to make it in business

1. You have to NEED to make it.

Wanting to make it is not enough. It must be your one true calling. If you’re willing to be broke, with no direction home, you might possibly make it. Sacrifice is the key element.

2. You have to be great.

Good is not good enough. You’ve got to blow our minds.

3. You can’t do it alone.

That’s an Internet fiction, from a decade past, that if you just posted something online it could cut through the noise. You need a team of specialists:

a. A contract administrator

b. A marketer

c. A bean counter

4. Money

It can’t buy you love, but it can buy you visibility. That’s what you’re looking for today. The story of 2013 is cacophony, noise. Nothing rises above the din unless it is worked by a team. There’s just too much out there, and no one agrees what is great. If you can’t get on their radar, if you can’t expose a large audience, you’re never gonna make it. Sorry.

5. Believers

Sure, you need fans. If you’re just speaking to your fans, getting money from them, you might be able to survive, but you’ll never be able to grow. You need to be so good at what you do that your fans can’t help raving about you to their friends.

6. Sustaining

That’s the hardest thing to do these days, not have one good product or service, but two or better still have many.

7. Learning

We live in a country where no one can admit they’re wrong. If you’re not willing to question every choice, do it differently next time, you’re never going to make it. Three years ago, almost everything I’ve said above would be different. You could go viral by your lonesome, social networking worked. But times change. You once used your aforementioned BlackBerry and were thrilled to get your e-mail on the run, now it’s all about apps. People hate change, but those who are willing to do so win. Kind of like in Silicon Valley, where it’s called “the Pivot.” Your original idea didn’t work, so you take the core and go in a different direction.

8. Pay little attention to those who are popular.

By the time you get your chance, completely different people and paradigms might rule. Originality is the key to longevity. Be yourself, not someone else.

9. Publicity

Was useless until this year. With so much information, we see publicity as evidence that someone believes in you. The content is less important than the imprimatur, that you’ve risen above. Used to be if we saw your name everywhere, we winced. Actually, we still do, but we now know you’re not a complete jerk.

10. Word of mouth.

Is still king, but too many are promoting for friends and have terrible taste. We’ve all got our trusted filters, and those who count are not afraid of the mainstream. The Internet is littered with those who abhor anything that is truly popular. Don’t get caught in their backwater, unless you want to starve. You want to be popular. Otherwise, get out. Yes urban spoon is popular, trip advisor important, but let’s be honest we all know these forums are manipulated by folk with agendas.

11. Be nice.

It’s the key to making it. If you’re a jerk, no one’s going to want to work for you, go out of their way to promote you. Constantly say thank you and go out of your way to be appreciative. Everybody loves compliments, not just what they have paid for.

12. Sour grapes.

Are gonna pull you down. The woulda, shoulda, coulda posse can tell an interesting story over a beer, but these people never succeed. Life is full of challenges, if you haven’t been screwed, you haven’t played the game. The road to success is paved with humiliation, you can complain about it or swallow it and realize it’s dues.

13. There are no guarantees.

Everybody’s time goes by. Most only peak for a short while. Enjoy the ride when you break through.


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