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3 Mountains We All Have to Climb

image - SMARTSTART Wisdom

Three mountains grace the life and business landscape. We must conquer all to succeed.

1: The Mountain of Uncertainty

All humans experience great discomfort in uncertainty. And that makes it much harder for us to be able to make a reasonable, sustainable income from our businesses.

We naturally tend to respond to uncertainty with short-term focus at the expense of long-term thinking and planning. Every day people are spending hours and hours in social media promoting the latest “whatever” around the internet. They are working very hard. Indeed. But they are delusional about how hard they are working on their businesses. Honestly, they would experience far better results investing that time in building a strategy for customer growth.

When all your energy is spent trying to sell that random quick-hit product or program that floods your inbox with orders, the odds of succeeding at your online business are no greater than the odds of winning the Powerball lottery. About 175M:1. Shocked? I wasn’t. But it explains a lot.

Lotteries do have incredible odds that seem impossible to beat. And yes, someone (almost) always wins. It’s just more likely it won’t be you or me holding that winning ticket.

To put this reality into perspective, we have approximately a:

  • 1 in 2.32M chance of being killed by lightning (and a 1 in 576,000 chance of just being struck by it)
  • 1 in 705,000 chance of birthing quadruplets for pregnant women (near 0 for men but science is changing that)
  • 1 in 270,417 chance of being in an airplane crash (based on aviation accident statistics from 1989-2009)

When it comes to online business especially, “lottery thinking” prevails. After all, this is what most out there are selling. The truth is real business building is a lot less sexy. Work is involved. But if you’re willing to do that work, your odds improve exponentially! There are countless success stories to prove that.

The problem to be solved is how to balance your reactive short-term focus with the need for creating well informed, long-term strategies. And that’s what we intend to show you how to do over the coming weeks and months.

2: The Mountain of Complexity

There’s no doubt life and business have gotten more complex even as certain aspects of both have been made easier with the use of information technology and access to the internet. Nor can we deny the huge cultural shift that’s taken place as we embrace social media and become more addicted to mobile communication.

The pace of change we struggle to keep up with today (compared to even just 5 years ago) is absolutely astounding. As the global economy becomes increasingly connected, creating a constantly growing and more diverse population of clients, customers and partners, it is less and less likely we’ll ever summit this mountain. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the ever-changing panoramic views of the landscape as we climb into the future.

Evolution shows us systems and technology tend to become more complex as they evolve, then they become simplified again to better meet customer demand.  The problem we face is how do you develop knowledge and thinking capability so you can design business models, processes, products and services in a way that minimizes complexity and makes what you sell more attractive to your target market.

Everyone struggles with that and we have some ideas we’ll share about it as they develop. In the short-term, our commitment is to teach simplified approaches to intelligent business to help reduce your risk of trial and error.

3: The Mountain of Information Overload

Change is the only true constant in business. (Life has three constants: change, death and taxes!)

Today nothing is changing more, or growing faster, than access to information.  Global internet traffic and the number of websites to visit have exploded beyond comprehension! This growth continues to expand. Most of my days I love it! (Some days I hate it. Like when I can’t find something I forgot to bookmark.)

If you don’t know where to find information or how to evaluate and apply it to your own business and situation your ability to consume and make sense of it is tremendously impaired. That’s one side of the equation.

There are now more than 1 billion active websites (or active top-level domains) that we, as online business owners, are competing with for attention. This is yet another reason the odds of winning the “lifestyle” business lottery are stacked against us. But doesn’t that make the victory of conquering this mountain all the sweeter?

Over many years in business, I’ve learned a lot about how to tackle this mountain with technology and human know how. Occasionally, those lessons came the hard way. So another thing I hope to do here is show you how to convert information into valuable knowledge that benefits your business.

There’s still a lot I don’t know, of course; absolutely nobody knows it all. However, my network is full of world-class experts who can fill in those gaps for both of us. That’s another key to success actually — never be the smartest person in the room!

By the way, did I mention I’m an Everest-a-holic? And, just as there are many routes to its summit, so too are there many ways to climb our three mountains: uncertainty, complexity, and information overload. Onward and upward!

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

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