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3 Reasons Why You Don’t Understand The ONLINE OPPORTUNITY

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The Internet is 25 years old and is still really nothing more than a young adult. If you look at any other technology – for example, cars – you would see that it takes decades before the real innovation and opportunity starts to exist. As is the case with the Internet, we are only just getting started and there are crazy amounts of money to be made online if you have the right intentions.

Recently I heard a story of a guy who had a blog and sold his 45-page eBook for $20 each. Over the last two years he has sold 15,000 copies. That might sound like a lot but if you do the maths he has made $300,000 – the eBook took him two days to write!

If you have dreamed of owning some of the finer things in life then maybe you should jump into the online space see if you can create something that people love, by using your passion for a niche.

Let’s analyse this further below and find out the 3 reasons why most of you still don’t understand the opportunity that exists online.

 

1. Piracy is at an all time low

If you had told me that eBooks and audio would be profitable for any person to sell online I would have thought you were crazy. I am starting to see that this opportunity is becoming more and more real because piracy is becoming less and less. The average person wants to be seen to be doing the right thing, so they happily buy things from iTunes or a website if they feel there is value in it.

A few years back, even if there was value in a product, it was all about trying to get it for free and thanks to torrents this was very easy to achieve. More and more Google is blocking search results from torrent sites and the main torrent providers are being closed down. This means that the ultra savvy IT guys can still find the content you are after, but normal people are finding it harder and harder.

Where am I going with al of this? If you have something to educate people on then the time is now to offer that advice in a media form that works for your niche. Go out there and create a podcast, eBook, blog, piece of software, video or photo collection and don’t be afraid to charge a small fee for it.

The key to this is to be providing some sort of value for free first. Gary Vaynerchuk’s method of JAB, JAB, JAB, RIGHT HOOK is a great strategy to employ. This means in simple terms that you will provide advice 3 times for free and then on the fourth time you will ask for a small purchase. When you have provided someone with something they value they almost feel obligated to make a purchase with you at some point.

 

2. Scale, through social media, is beyond belief

You hear this in so many articles and you are going to keep hearing it on A2S, social media will help you scale your startup better than any other means. There are so many social platforms now and whilst you think the market might be getting crowded, it’s actually allowing you to be much more targeted and explore other avenues that are not Facebook or Twitter. Below are some examples of things that have happened to me that further prove this point.

  • The other day I was searching for cool office layouts and I came across a few on Pinterest. I don’t typically use the platform at all, but I found it a great way to find lots of designs all in one place. I then found one I liked and when I click the picture it took me straight to the builder so I could get a quote. My experience started off as social, but it later turned into a sales process.
  • If I look at some other things I have brought recently then the social journey seems to start without me even realising it. I started following “The Sugar Film” on Facebook because I am a bit of a health buff, and for the last 3 months I have been reading their content on how to be healthy and being consumed by their very provocative pictures. After 3 months of viewing their content, I finally went and watched their movie. My intention at the start of following them on Facebook had nothing to do with purchasing anything, yet I still ended up doing business with them.
  • The same thing happened again on Instagram where one of the success sites I follow regularly posted up cool content that I really loved. Then one day, out of the blue, they said that one of their staff had written a book on success and I should check it out. I ended up buying the book because I found them relevant and trusted their opinion, so when I was looking for a book to read, their opinion was valued in my eyes.
  • Then again, I had another experience a few weeks ago. One of the entrepreneurial events I have been following for the last 18 months had another free event. I went along to meet some cool people like I normally do, except this time around there were some products that they were selling. Having been to their events and liking what their whole vision was, I ended purchasing a few things and introduced a couple of my contacts to their brand, who later ended up purchasing as well.

 

My radar for being sucked into purchasing things online is higher than most and I generally am not a shopaholic, but when I see value in something its only human nature to want to know more. The key to these stories is that the sale happened much later than the first interaction. If you can hold people’s attention long enough then eventually they will be led to a sale if you make it easy and valuable for them. In each of these interactions, the businesses were authentic, real and had my best intentions at heart.

They also all had amazing customer support to back it up (in other words they could answer an email). It is no wonder that more and more millionaires are being born thanks to the online opportunities that now exist, which are being amplified by social.

Mercedes, Audi, Lamborghini thanks to success online

3. Authenticity online doesn’t really exist

Back to my earlier point, a lot of online businesses are still not authentic. The moment you go to their social media or their website it is very obvious that they just want you to buy. The ones that do it well are the ones that spend their time educating you in authentic way. It’s easy as an entrepreneur to create a product or service, and then to put it out into the marketplace, and assume that everyone understands it and knows how to use it.

I have made this mistake many times before and what I now know is that you have to educate in a simple way if you want anyone to ever do business with you – your business is essentially an online education provider. Most of the online businesses I have seen don’t this or when they do, they educate you in a way that’s not authentic and makes you feel like you are going through a sales process.

The only reason you would ever not be authentic online is if you are not trying to provide value or don’t believe that what you have to say is important. Even if your business message has been said before, it may not have been said in the way that you communicate it, and therein lies the value you bring. If what your business does is important and shaking things up then you will naturally be authentic without even trying to be. Allow the mistakes of your business to shine through. Share things that went wrong with your business or product.

“Pull out your smartphone as much as possible and share videos and photos with your audience”

A recent interview I did with Grammarly really highlighted this for me. Their whole marketing revolves around making funny jokes about Grammar and sharing them with the world. Their hope is that you will read a few of their jokes and then ask yourself “who is this company Grammarly that post up all of these jokes?” When I first saw their product I didn’t believe in it and never ended up purchasing it. When I started to research some content on grammar, their brand popped up everywhere and they gradually started to build trust with me. After a while, I tried their product and it actually ended up being what I was looking for.

This is the power of being authentic online and building credibility with an audience!

 

If you know of some other cool online stories please share them with me below in the comments section or message me on LinkedIn.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Evan

    Dec 22, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Tim,

    Legit! If you don’t understand that the way is moving more and more towards online these days, you’re out of the loop.

    It’s time for more people to understand these possibilities right in front of us that we have to build a brand, share authentic content with people, and educate them sincerely.

    The barrier of entry has never been so low and we will attract and build with communities that we are looking to tap into so much easier!

    Keep moving!

    – Evan

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:42 am

      Cheers Evan. The speed of change is so rapid and there is so much opportunity for anyone to become an entrepreneur.

  2. Esther

    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Tim,
    Thank you for this thoughtful article.
    The key take away for me is “In each of these interactions, the businesses were authentic, real and had my best intentions at heart. “
    I am excited that you will write more on Addicted2Success. I will check out now your other articles.
    Thanks,

    Esther

  3. Tayo Giwa

    Apr 8, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Amazing article coupled with great insight. I strongly believe as well that the future of internet is way broader than what we currently experiencing. Thank you for such piece.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 23, 2015 at 10:58 am

      No problem Tayo and thanks for taking the time to share your thought. There are so many opportunities out there its not funny.

  4. Aria Naples

    Mar 24, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    You have put it really neatly. There are opportunities available for those who have a passion and genuine desire to share this with others. I agree that if you have the interest of the reader at heart, then they will genuinely buy something from you. I am just starting and have nothing to sell by the way!

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 29, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      Aria thanks for your comment. Even tough your just starting you have already picked up the most important concept. Even if you haven’t got a product or service yet, that’s cool, I am sure you will think of something. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

  5. Raymond Foo

    Mar 23, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Hey, it is so true about the Jab, Jab, Jab, Hook. I have read a few article about online business. Mostly are doing blogs with that method. Like I will go into some astrology horoscope and after you insert your information, they send you email and with a half way story then a purchase link. Of course, why would you input information, maybe you trust them or curious. And that’s the point, their website interface and some tricks like facebook’s Like or “previous customer” comment made you trust them. They would offer another half way story and discounted purchase link if you didn’t purchase it. And I knew all these tricks and never fall into that. With a half way story, I already know what I should do, I don’t need the further story :D. But not all people are as smart as we are. And another trick, input your email for subscription, email is very important to them. As well as you, Addicted 2 Success. But I don’t mind giving it to you, because I will never buy a product online though. :D. Good Luck.

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 29, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      Raymond you make some good points, although I would never encourage any online business to bait and hook a prospect in order to make a sale. This strategy might work in the short term but in the long term you will ever achieve massive success.

  6. Olivier Charles

    Mar 20, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Thanks Tim for this post ! Really inspiring for all bloggers who try to find a way to monetize their pasion

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 22, 2015 at 9:09 am

      Thanks Olivier and I am glad you found the advice useful. This is the best time in the internet’s history to be a blogger so don’t give up what you’re doing.

  7. Tanner

    Mar 19, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Hey, really awesome blog post. Lately its been rare to find much quality content here from what used to be offered about a year ago…but this was really good. I like that I learned how to actually increase my odds of success, in an honest and effective way, as well as an easy to implement way. Thank you.

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 22, 2015 at 9:13 am

      Tanner, I am glad you got something from the article, and I hope I have inspired you to keep pursuing business opportunities online. I have some exciting articles coming up in the startup category, over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. If there are any topics, you want covered just drop me a line as your feedback is crucial.

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Startups

The Best Side Hustle You Can Start Today In Just 15 Minutes

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The best side hustle you can start in 15 minutes is blogging.

It can be writing, making videos or speaking about topics you love through a regular podcast show. All of these acts are a form of blogging.


15 minutes is not long

That’s why blogging is a good choice.

A video that’s less than 15 minutes is easy to make and will work well.

A short piece of writing can be written in under 15 minutes.

A 10-minute audio conversation on one single question will give people heaps of value and detail in one particular area.

Starting is not where the power lies. Doing this side hustle every single day is how you get what you’re really looking for.


Many successful people are doing this

Whether it’s Hollywood actors like Will Smith or writers like Tim Ferriss or musicians like Ariana Grande — everyone is doing it.

Why is everyone doing the side hustle of blogging?

  1. It’s how we connect with each other.
  2. It actually works.
  3. It’s a way to create an audience which can become a business.

I didn’t invent this side hustle

I just tried it for myself and saw how powerful it was.

It got me:

  • New clients for my 9–5
  • A new 4 day a week day job
  • Clients to coach via Skype
  • Features in major publications like CNBC
  • The opportunity to meet amazing human beings like LinkedIn influencer Michael Chapman

The side hustle of blogging gave me meaning for my life

Before this side hustle, I was washed up, uninspired, negative and pissed off with the world.

Spending 15 minutes to start the habit of blogging got me out of my head. It forced me to search all over the internet and find things to talk about. Pretty soon I was spending 2+ hours a night researching personal development and figuring out what I wanted to blog about.

Blogging led me to want to help the homeless, share my very private battle with mental illness, come to grips with my startup failures and share the lessons, and even overcome my fear of public speaking in the process.

Now I have a meaning for my life thanks to the side hustle of blogging. I reckon it can do the same to help you grow and get you to the next level. You can blog about whatever you want and then watch it grow from there.


Why is blogging the best side hustle?

It’s how you be creative.
It’s how you express yourself.
It’s how you grow.
It’s how you attract the right people into your life.

There are many side hustles you could choose. Blogging is one of many. In my opinion and based on my experience, it’s the best. There are so many avenues you can go down.

Attracting what you want in your life has a lot to do with what you’re putting out into the world”

Blogging is a fantastic way to put out more of what’s important to you, into the world. Like a magnet, blogging attracts more of what you put out into your life.


Oh and don’t forget the income

Investing, giving back and making an income are all possible through blogging too. Part of my monthly income comes from blogging.

This allows me to back causes that help those in need, invest in stocks that provide me with a passive income and have money to spend on the occasional treat such as dinner dates and drinks with my co-workers.

That money comes from:

  1. Ghostwriting for other people
  2. Posting on Medium.com
  3. Coaching clients via Skype
  4. Consulting to businesses on how they can create content that aligns with their brand

There aren’t too many side hustles that can do that for you

Seriously, blogging is a game-changer. It’s a habit you can start in 15 minutes and repeat daily without much effort. Choose your poison — writing, video or audio — and then get started.

Do it for around twelve months and then send me an email with what you experience. I already know, having challenged lots of people already to start this side hustle, that it will work. It just requires patience and the habit of doing it daily.

15 minutes to start today.

And then 15 minutes every day for the rest of your life.

Try it.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Startups

You Are The Problem With Your Business

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A great way to screw up your company is to get into the habit of blaming your suppliers, the market, your staff or your product for your failures.

I recently heard a story of a business that had set up a website. They sold various products and services focusing on helping people with psychological issues. The business owner was smart. The product solved a problem.

Unfortunately, the company was making almost no money. They’d hired someone to help them with their digital marketing and it wasn’t working.

Plenty of traffic was coming to the site, users were having a look around and then not buying a single thing. Who’s fault was this?

Well, according to the business owner it was the person running their digital marketing. As a result, they wasted approximately eight months marketing a website that couldn’t make any sales. The reason the business was failing according to the owner was because of the keywords that were being targeted in the marketing campaign. This is a horrible excuse.

The reason your business fails is because you’re blaming someone other than yourself. It’s the quickest way to bankruptcy. Don’t do that.


Your company is a reflection of you.

It took me a long time to figure out that a company is a reflection of its founder.

One of the businesses I had, had a toxic culture and a bunch of people that were rude to customers, arrogant and not nice people. That was a reflection of exactly who I was at the time.

The company was reflecting the flaws of my own life and what I refused to admit.

In the case of the business owner above, what was obvious is that they were good at telling lies to themselves. It was easy not to change as a business owner and insist that the change needed was nothing to do with their vision.

The issue of their company was not the digital marketing strategy but their lack of understanding around what their customer wanted.

The thought that their products were too complicated, not solving a real problem or priced incorrectly was an admission of guilt they wanted no part in. Hence the eventual demise of their company.


Take responsibility and it will change.

When you own the business, everything is your fault.

You have the power to solve any problem you choose. It starts with you being brave enough to admit that there’s a problem, and then secondly, being bold enough to insist it’s your fault and that you can change it.

The problems in your business can all be solved. That’s what it took me a very long time to understand. When I changed as a person and faced up to my hidden battle with mental illness that I didn’t want to talk about, the odds turned in my favor.

Had I have not taken responsibility for my mental illness, I would have never become a leader in a business or started another side hustle. I would have been crippled by the big, bad world that I thought I could control.

Control came from responsibility, and responsibility solved the major problem in my business: me.


Change is a must.

Not with your digital marketing strategy.
Not with hiring new people.
Not with developing a new product.

Changing yourself is the *must* because YOU attract the problems and the solutions into your business”

You can’t find the solutions or stop the never-ending problems until you stop the cause of it all: you. You’re the problem with your business. The good news is that it’s entirely within your control to fix.

Change you.

Not the business.

<<<>>>

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Startups

The Different Ways of Measuring the Success of Your Start-Up

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startup success
Image Credit: Unsplash

You’ve probably heard people use the term “unicorn” in a business context. This means a privately held start-up whose value has grown to at least one billion American dollars. Think Airbnb, Uber, and so forth. There is no doubt that some start-ups have been major financial successes. And many smaller-scale start-ups are doing great as well, working hard and turning a steady profit. But that begs the question of whether finances are the only way to measure the success of a start-up. As it turns out, they might not be. At least, not always and not on their own.

How to Evaluate Success

As anyone who’s been involved with start-ups knows, you need a fair amount of flexibility to do well in this environment. Take the division of labour for example – rather than strict roles, you’ll often see everyone do a bit of everything. The same principle extends to measuring success. It can be vague and mean different things to different people, and it can change over time.

But amongst all that vagueness, one thing has become clear. Predicting the success of a start-up is very difficult for external observers. As a matter of fact, it’s often impossible. Therefore, in order to evaluate how successful a start-up has truly been, we need to know the goals of its founder(s).

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” – Marianne Williamson

The Numbers

When people think about business, it’s common to boil matters down to the finances. And it certainly is possible to use numbers to measure and predict the performance of a start-up business. Net worth, gross margin, customer acquisition cost – these can all be indicators of success. But, a start-up can post impressive numbers for a while, perhaps even attract large investors, and still shut down in the end. So does this make it a failure?

The answer to this depends. If the founders wanted to start a lasting business, then yes, they failed to meet their goal. However, that isn’t always the case. If they were looking for a short-term solution and came out with more money than they had coming in, a closed-down start-up needn’t be unsuccessful. It can actually be the opposite of that.

So, looking at the figures isn’t enough, and there are different perspectives to consider. When they start planning their business venture, start-up founders may not have any particular numbers in mind when it comes to profit. Instead, they can judge their success according to some of the following criteria.

1. Happy Customers and Solving Problems

The story of a start-up often begins with a problem. The desire to help people overcome a specific issue can be the spark which ignites the creation of an entire business. And in the end, that may be all that matters to the founders.

This is closely connected to the happiness of the customers. If the resulting product or service has made people happy by helping them solve a problem, that is all that may be required for a start-up to be a success. Now, no business wants unsatisfied customers. But in cases like this, happy customers aren’t the way toward the ultimate goal – they are that goal.

In other words, some start-up founders don’t just use financial reports to measure how much they’ve achieved. To them, the one metric which stands above all others is the quantity of positive feedback they’ve received. The main area of focus is customers who use the start-up’s products or services to solve a problem they were having.

2. Impact

Every start-up founder likes doing well in terms of revenue. But for some of these entrepreneurs, the profit is merely a side effect of what they actually set out to do – impact the world in a positive manner. You can see an example of this line of thought with Elon Musk. He said that back in college, he had wanted to be a part of things that could end up changing the world. The continuation of this philosophy is evident in his electric cars (which aim to reduce pollution) and the SpaceX program (which strives to break down some of the barriers of space exploration).

In both cases, the furthering of mankind is the ultimate goal. Many other start-up founders feel the same, even if they have smaller goals in mind. To these people, there is no greater proof of success than if their company has had a positive impact on society or even a small segment of it. In their view, to make a difference is to succeed.

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” – Tony Robbins

3. Freedom

For some, starting up their own business is less about getting rich and more about gaining the freedom to conduct their business the way they want to. In this case, financial success is just a means to an end. The endgame is to be your own boss.

The fact is, some people don’t do well when they’re constantly receiving orders. They are simply hardwired to be free thinkers and they require an environment that allows them to do things in their own way.

Being in a position where you hold all the cards can be exhilarating. The knowledge that your decisions are final is very empowering, and many strive for such freedom. If a start-up can allow such people to go from being a regular employee to being in charge of making all the decisions, then it has already achieved all the success that it needs to.

4. Time for Friends and Family

As many people know all too well, a job can easily turn into the focal point of your daily life. Instead of being a way to support your lifestyle, your work dominates your time. And when that happens, the time you have to dedicate to your loved ones becomes scarce. Combating this is precisely what some have in mind when they decide to take the leap and start their own business.

Now, running your own company is no mean feat and it will require a lot of effort. But the beginning is the most time-consuming part of the process. Later on, it can be possible to create a system which leaves you with a lot more time on your hands. You can spend this time with your significant other, your children, or your friends. A start-up which gives you this opportunity is perhaps the greatest success of all.

A start-up is an extension of its founders and so are that company’s goals. Some entrepreneurs are in it for the profit, but not all of them. In the end, there is no single way to measure the success of a start-up. It all comes down to the specific aims of those who established it. But if the founders can end their day on a happy note, then the venture is a success even if it doesn’t fit some standard definition of the term.

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Startups

The Problem Is Not Your Website Or Your Product.

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spend a lot of my time talking to business owners. They focus on their product, their marketing channels and trying to make more profit.

I met one such business owner who was in the plastic surgery business. Their product (boob jobs and nose jobs) was not working. Their website sucked and people clicked off as soon as they visited it.

People would call their office, get put on hold, listen to the on hold message and hang up.

This business didn’t seem all that special. I’ve talked to many businesses and didn’t think for a microsecond that a plastic surgery clinic could ever teach me anything valuable.

I’ve been to Hollywood on holidays and the issues of body image are all too apparent to me. Anyway, this post is not about body image.

I ended up losing this business as a customer — not that I would ever have sold anything to them if it were up to me. I sat down one afternoon and thought about why we no longer did business with them.

That’s when I realized it’s not about your product or your website. All the issues with this plastic surgery clinic and a lot of other businesses I’ve dealt with stem from one thing. Let me explain in more detail.


Your Google Reviews say you’re an piece of work.

I looked up their Google Reviews and their customers said they were assholes.

They spoke down to clients, they didn’t deliver their clients what they wanted, they argued with their staff in front of customers and they treated people like they were nothing more than a dollar sign.

All I had to do was read their Google reviews to see that the problem wasn’t their product or their website.


Your clients tell you every day that you suck.

I asked the plastic surgery what their clients said.

Many of their clients told them that their services sucked and they would prefer to go to places like Thailand where they could get a better product at a much lower price.

The business owner made the mistake of thinking it was their product that was the problem and that a new website will tell clients a different message.

That wasn’t it.


You abuse your staff and they consistently leave.

I spoke with many staff that worked for this business.

Every single one of them hated the company and were not afraid to say what they thought of the business owner.

The business owner would sit outside on a nice sunny day and look across the street at all the yachts and the people boarding them.

They’d sit there and think that every lead they got was going to take them one step closer to owning their very own yacht.

“If only I could deliver more boob jobs, maybe I could have one of those,” they thought quietly to themselves hoping that no one else could hear how ridiculous this sounded.

I can remember multiple times being on the phone to the business owner and having one of their staff burst into tears halfway through the call.

The first time it happened I didn’t think much. After the third time, I got the message. During the short time I dealt with this business, people consistently left. If you made it to the six-month mark, you were some sort of hero and would probably be given a free surgery to say thank you for your work and make you feel worse about your own body at the same time.

It was free noses and boobs in return for daily abuse.

The problem still wasn’t the website all the product.


You don’t solve real problems; you solve your own problem.

A good business solves a problem.

That problem typically affects human beings and solving it is how you make money in business. Solving problems can start out with a problem that affects you, but at some point, you’ve got to start solving that same problem for other people/businesses.

This owner of this plastic surgery clinic was only trying to solve their own problem which was making more money to buy fancy items like yachts.

Only solving your own problem is not just selfish but bad business.

Good business is solving a big problem or lots of small problems for entire strangers who you don’t know thus doing something valuable for the human race.

Solving only your problem will make you poor.

The problem still wasn’t their website or product.


Creating more problems.

Everything this business owner sold created more problems.

They’d film videos to purposely make people feel like their body wasn’t perfect.

They’d write articles suggesting that everyone needs botox to feel young.

They’d take photos of men and women who were supposed to be perfect so that young people would dream of looking like them.

Not only was their business not solving a real problem; it was also creating more problems every day that it existed.

If your business creates more problems than it solves, you’re in real trouble.You need to take a long hard look at the business and become obsessed with doing everything you can to change it — and do so damn fast to limit the whirlwind of problems you’re creating behind you.


The heart of the problem.

It’s the business owner.

The business I mentioned will fail. That part is certain. The problem with the business is not the website or the product.

The problem is the business has no heart because the business owner has no heart.

You cannot focus on your own selfish desires, create really bad problems in the world, treat other human beings like garbage and expect to go buy a yacht and live happily ever after. It just doesn’t happen like that.

Whether you are a plastic surgery clinic like the one I described or a solo entrepreneur, the problem with your business is you.

Fix the problem of YOU. You can’t get away with being horrible forever.
Being horrible is bad business.

Being respectful, kind and valuable is the final answer to the problem with your business.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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