Business is mostly about how you think
There are idols in the internet world and one of them is Jason Fried of 37Signals.com. He and his biz partner David Heinemeier Hansson have built a company that many in the startup world idolize and then seek to duplicate. I do use a few 37Signals products but the greatest gift I get from 37Signals is the attitude they carry. They are totally ok with the word “No”. They are happy to lose certain customers. They build and run a business that they love not because of the money it produces but because of the problems it solves.
Think like a child
My daughter is 19 months old. She can speak, sortof:
“Please” = pees
“Thanks” = tnx
“Mom” = mum
“Dad” = did
She simplifies words. She’s a simple person. She also uses simple things. She’s no good at the Wii, the tv remote, books with pages that easily tear or anything with a keyboard. Those things aren’t simple, at least simple enough for a 19 month old.
Make it easy
The iPod and iPad we own are easy for her to use. The user only needs to know where one button is to start the device or go to the main screen. The navigation device is dependent on contact with human skin so that’s pretty inclusive. What is simplicity worth? I think it’s the difference.
It’s the difference between someone returning your product or keeping it.
It’s the difference between closing a deal in one meeting instead of ten. The more meetings, the less likely you’ll close the deal FYI.
It’s the difference between having competition or setting the standard for competition.
Get a mirror and start stripping
Look at your service, your store, your advertising, your answer when people ask, “What do you do?”. Leave the details in the training manual and tell me how it makes my life/business/family better. Look at yourself and strip away the extras. They more often confuse than convert. Everything else is a detail and the devil is in the details. People don’t like to deal with the devil. He’s tricky.
I’m all for bootstrapping but at some point you need to open your wallet if you want you and then your business to grow. A danger of experiencing success is the temptation to stop learning. My business has grown tremendously in the past two years and the more success I’ve experienced the more I have invested in my business. They’re not expenses. They’re investments. Here are a few.
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days
This product by Darren Rowse (@ProBlogger) improved my blog tremendously. It’s more a reference tool than a quick read. I even spent another $20 to get it printed in a special binder so it ended up costing more. If you blog then buy it.
World Domination Summit
Chris Guillebeau (@ChrisGuillebeau) is hosting this event in June in Portland, Oregon. It’s a really random group of people who want to dominate the world (in a good way, if that’s possible). It’s sold out, sorry. [Read more…]