In the depth of an old paper file I found an article I wrote some years back (2008) it’s still relevant to day. So I thought I’d share.
Us self employed entrepreneurial types are always looking for the next thing, another angle, something else to look at, something else to solve a problem.
So we turn to books, the internet, certain podcasts and to people we share our lives with. Often looking for that one little snippet, the last bit of the jigsaw that makes it all complete. Once we’ve found that everything will work out just so.
And the market moves on, Google change their algorithm slightly, the cost of adwords creeps up, someone ‘up north or darn sourf’ starts to undercut your pricing and very soon the agitation that caused you to start your business in the first place, that need for freedom, the need to do it your way to offer something different starts to become a noose around your neck…
…Slowly tightening but without anyone really pulling on it. At the moment it’s just a feeling that things are not what they were, for some reason it doesn’t feel right. A nag, a sleepless night, a call from the bank, your online system crashes, your reaction is to immediately feel like it’s the end of the world, this is something big.
So you keep reading, researching, being nosey, looking around like a Meerkat on steroids, hoping for the next new thing. You buy some books, purchase some training, maybe even some consultancy, a year on things have just got worse.
This is what happens to hundreds and thousands of small business owners every year, you spend time learning, understanding and then nothing. I call it ‘bright shiny new thing’ syndrome and it ends up as ‘shelf help’ in that’s where it sits and stares at you.
There is little that is new. On the internet, online and in books much of the stuff you’ll get access to is regurgitated, stories that are told time and time again, and you have to stop. Do nothing with any new stuff until you have…
… Actioned that last thing you learned, the last snippet you picked up. If you’ve not taken action on it – you’ve just been diagnosed with ‘bright shiny new thing’ disease and your business, your life is not going to change until you start to take action on, to put into practice the thing you have just spent time and money on.
I’ve seen it hundreds of times and it’s real. A very real illness.
So please don’t be that guy (or gal). Whatever you picked up the last time you learned, if you haven’t yet put it into practice stop where you are.
Do not do another thing until you’ve made the changes you already know about.
There is a problem, and it’s this. You ain’t doing what you should be doing with stuff you already know, knowing more stuff ain’t gonna help.
Meanwhile, there is a reason a lot of pre Guttenberg books continue to sell (remember these are books that were printed before mass low cost printing was available) and the reason they continue to sell is because the information contained in them is timeless and still works today.
These books are based around principles, fundamental things that make everything work.
Stop wasting your time on new things. Look at what’s working for you know, yeah really look and then go do a lot more of it. Meanwhile test some different approaches whilst continuing to work the old processes – you’ll be amazed at how much of a shift you get.
You’ll find plenty of things that work but not until you start to take some action.
Action action action. Do something, send an email, get a list of prospects and phone them, reach out to your suppliers, these are people you pay, ask them if you can do some cross marketing offer to do the same for them first.
You got loads of options, just do something.
Here is short list of some books that will teach you something on most of the pages. Yeah sure there’s some that will piss people off, religious, non
religious, geeks and freaks, a few hard to read, some a bit easier. Just
remember this, there is a reason these books survive, unlike Greenshield Stamps, Woolworths and a ton of other casualties of the last fifty years.
The Confessions of St. Augustine
The New Testament
The Old Testament
The Apocrypha of the Bible
The Book of Proverbs
The Republic by Plato
On the Brevity of Life by Seneca
Apology by Plato
The Histories of Herodotus
Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Tao Te Ching
Histories of Cornelius Tacitus
Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas
Analects of Confucius
Lives of Plutarch
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
The works of Aristotle
The works or Hippocrates
The Enneads of Plotinus
Elements by Euclid
The Lives of the Caesars by Suetonius
Geography by Ptolemy
The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
The Odes of Horace
The Kama Sutra
Canon of Medicine by Avicenna
The Canterbury Tales Chaucer
The Bhagavad Gita/The Upanishads
The Aeneid of Virgil
The Arabian Nights
The Divine Comedy by Dante
PS – NINJA places are available at the moment but no mentoring positions (sorry have stopped these for the time being). www.therichardsmith.com/ninja
Or Borrow my Brain – a full hour of pure gold where I solve your business issues in an instant, and provide written feedback and send you my ’shock and awe’ pack of business shizzle to really solve whatever issue you have.
I introduced this because I was tired of wasting my time with tyre kickers and wasters with the ‘can I just pick your brains for a minute’ – you mean take money out of my pocket.
© Richard Smith, 2017
…the brutally honest truth about growing a small
business in world of self interested crooks, scallywags
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