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Business Is a Love Story. So Don’t Be a Selfish Lover.

In: Business 101,

The only way to make money is to stop thinking about how to make money, and start thinking about how to make MEANING.

By which I don’t necessarily mean yours. Do we want you to do something you love? Sure. But successful business models aren’t all about you; they’re about what you can do for other people. What meaning can you bring to their lives?

I don’t care how much you love something–will you be able to create a successful business model out of gargling triple sec? Not a chance–even if it’s top shelf, imported from some obscure little country in Europe, filtered over diamonds, and then blessed by three virgins. Even if, you guys.

So if you’re going to start a business, start a business mentality, firstnot that of a bratty hobbyist whining they can’t have their cake and eat it, too.

That isn’t to say you can’t combine what you love with business—but it’s to say you’ve got to give a little.

Put a little less you, and a little more of your customer into the equation.

Remember: You can’t take anyone’s money without taking their heart, first.

Turns out, business is a love story.

Don’t be a selfish lover.

To concrete things a little more, consider this: What could you do, make, or spearhead that would be indispensable to your customers & your industry? Something so useful, they can’t help but put you in their bookmark bar? That’s the goal. Operation: BOOKMARK BAR.

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25 thoughts on "Business Is a Love Story. So Don’t Be a Selfish Lover."

  1. Liz P. says:

    I want to create something that stressed professionals can open from their bookmarks, skim thru/do/blink at bemusedly for 5 minutes, and feel just a little trickle of relaxation. In that moment where everything’s coming at you so hard you feel like you’re in an X-Wing on a Death Star attack run, I want my product/site/blinking cat gif to create that sassy little granule of inner peace you can look at and go “fuck, I can totally handle this until wine o’clock.” (Or, in Luke Skywalker’s case, nail the damn shot)

    I have NO IDEA what it looks like, but that’s the experience I want to replicate.

  2. Geoffrey Johnson says:

    I’ve been reading this over and over for the past 2 days. I never read anything just once anyway, because you never know what you missed the 1st time, what will click the 2nd time, and what you need to read/hear the 3rd time. And today about 10 minutes ago I think it finally clicked. I’ve decided to do just a simple “Share The Love” campaign. Wish me success, because I don’t believe in luck!

    1. Karen J says:

      Hurray for re-re-reading stuff, Geoffrey!

      This was in yesterday’s fortune cookie: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” 😉 All kinds of Success to you, Man!

  3. Tracey says:

    This is a great reminder of WHY we should be in business – thanks for the nudge again 🙂

    I too struggle a bit with sometimes this – I’m a fairly techie person (creating customised websites for small businesses) – I work predominantly with women, as those are the clients I seem to attract most, perhaps because I speak in plain English rather than the tech-speak that some web folk do. So I help a lot of coaches & therapists, for example – people who often just don’t want to deal with the techie side of things. I just love it when I hear someone say they’re so glad to have worked with me as I take away their pain…

    So here’s the thing: I can’t see the wood for the trees … how can I differentiate my offerings so that these people think, “god, I just HAVE to work with Tracey ‘cos she gets what I struggle with” – I do the bespoke stuff, and I’m wondering if I should also do a less bespoke, but therefore more-affordable-to-smaller-businesses type of offering – or run webinars to help people get the most out of their sites… I suppose what I’m really saying is how can I help more people in a less techie way???
    Any thoughts MUCH appreciated! 🙂

    1. Karen J says:

      Blessings on your “plain English” approach, Tracey!
      I would be all over your offerings, if I felt ready to “be in business” (ooops – except there’s no link to Your Stuff here…!)

      It sounds like you’re already connecting with your ideal clients, so keep a wary eye on those “shoulds” – they can kick you in the butt! (I’ve heard it said that “Should” tends to point to somebody else’s values that we’ve internalized, often unconsciously.)

      What is it you *really want* there? – a larger client count, more income, bigger traffic numbers; or to feel like you’re “helping more people”? For *you*, or to please some mythical Web-Business-Authority-in-the-Sky? (Finding the real, deep answer to that^^^ may take some serious internal archaeology, but is sooo worth it in the end.) Great Success to you ~

    2. Karen J says:

      Oooops, meself! I forgot to answer that last question –

      …how can I help more people in a less techie way???
      Even if somebody’s “target market” is way beyond where I’m at Right Now, I often read what they’ve posted – and happily make use of bits and pieces of the information they present. AND, remember where I got it from, so when I run into folks who *are* ready, I can point them out. 🙂

  4. Le Farm says:

    I’m brainstorming how to improve my display to appeal to more than their salivary glands when they see me and my produce. I want to reel them in hook, line and sinker into my French theme. (And also keep including their kids by giving out cool stickers, etc. What kid doesn’t like a sticker!) I want their FIRST thought to be that they better make their way to the Le Farm tent because, “If you snooze, you lose!” when it comes to buying all organic!