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Aug 20, 2008

"Penny Wise and Pound Foolish"

This saying came to mind when reading one of the newsletters I receive. The author was discussing things that Chuck and I talk about all the time. A couple of weeks ago while listening to Jim Edwards’ audio newsletters he ranted about the “psycho freebie seekers” (love that name). Jim rants almost as well as Dennis Miller.

Anyway these two newsletters and what they had to say have been rolling around in my head for a couple of days now. What came to mind is that people who run Internet businesses from their home are no different than those who ran businesses out of their home in the 80’s…..they don’t want to pay for anything. You would think with all the failed businesses they’ve had it would dawn on them that it is because they have done no research, no business plan, no determination on whether or not there is a market for their business in their vicinity. They don’t do mission statements. I could go on and on.

Unfortunately, too many people still think all they need is a computer, fax, and some business cards. In fact, they don’t even give out the business cards, they leave those in their office in nice little card files. A lot of good that’s doing them.

They will spend money on all the trappings but not on education, mentoring or consulting. As Chuck once said to me when I started my first business, and didn’t do any marketing “You will be the most organized business in bankruptcy court”. It was a wake up call.

As Jim and JL discussed, and Chuck and I run into every day, people want to pick our brains for information and answers. After all, they have been conditioned that IT’S FREE. They feel it is their right to do so.

The Internet especially has made people think that information is FREE. Yes, it is, but those of us who have niches, and have written books all put in a lot of time, effort, and energy in researching, writing and marketing our products. SO NO IT IS NOT FREE. We worked very hard to put together excellent products to the best of our ability and WE EXPECT TO GET PAID FOR THEM.

These individuals also have over inflated egos. “Who me, ask someone for help, and what pay for it. Oh, no I’m sure my way is the right way. People just don’t appreciate my great product (service or fill in the blank). I’m just as good, if not better than he/she is.”

It would never occur to them to pay someone to show them what is wrong. Or take a class, or purchase a book that might help. Nope, they say, it’s not that, it must be something else. It’s always some one else’s’ fault or some things’ fault, never theirs.

Unfortunately, the impetus for this behavior was fostered starting back in the 80’s when home based businesses were just starting to come into their own. Many of  the magazines and publications of the 80’s (and now the Internet) fostered the idea that ANYONE can run a home based business. Remember those magazines that had little kits for Word Processing businesses, basket making, medical records, etc. People bought them, followed them. Some did well, but others couldn’t figure out why they didn’t succeed.

They didn’t succeed for several reasons. First, none of them did the basics, the grunt work. Checking first to ascertain whether or not this business was even a viable one in their area. If it was, checking out the competition, making up a business plan, a mission statement. Setting up goals for themselves for daily, weekly, monthly, short and long term. Setting up a publicity campaign, working with the different media, setting up a marketing plan, networking.

All of the things that those of us that have been in business did so that we can stay in business. We were not “penny wise and pound foolish! “ We succeeded, through a great deal of hard work, effort and hard knocks that we plan to get compensated for. We are not going to give it away for “free”.

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