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Better Business Idea #56

Clarity - step one to success

© 2002 by Michael C. Gray

February 27, 2002

As in The E Myth, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, or Psycho Cybernetics, most success systems require developing a clear picture of where you want to end up. This concept is especially important in engineering a business that contributes to your life, instead of consuming your life.

Listing your strengths, weaknesses, preferences and dislikes can really help in making the choices of what your business will be and what it will look like.

According to Dan Kennedy, editor of The New Psycho-Cybernetics, knowing what you don’t want in your business is almost as important as knowing what you do want.

A wonderful success story that revolves around this concept is a marketing expert named Jeff Paul, author of How To Make $4,000 A Day Sitting At Your Kitchen Table In Your Underwear.

After having a successful financial planning company crash because of the tax law changes that eliminated most of the benefits of tax shelters, Jeff decided that he wasn’t going to have a conventional business. He wanted a business that would allow him to spend a lot of time with his family so he could watch his sons grow up. He didn’t want to interface with customers. Eventually, he decided he didn’t want employees.

Jeff has become a successful direct marketer that mostly works in joint ventures where his co-venturers handle fulfillment and customer service, and he provides the marketing expertise.

Jeff told me, "One of the best days of my life was when I fired my employees. They asked, ‘Who will take care of the customers?’ I said, ‘I don’t care. I’ll sell the business to someone else for whatever I can get for it and move on.’"

Not everyone has Jeff’s requirements or would make the choices he has; but he is living his life on his own terms.

So get a clear picture in your mind about what your requirements are, what you want people to say at your funeral, what you want your life to look like five years from now. Then start working at making it happen. You’ll make some mistakes along the way. That’s how people find their way. You might make some adjustments in your future picture when you learn the price you must pay to achieve it. But you have a much better chance of arriving at a destination if you know where you are going.

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Knowing what you want is the first step to getting it.


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Michael Gray, CPA
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