What A Business Is NOT
I’d always wanted to be an entrepreneur, for as long as I can remember.
But I took it more seriously when I was in my first year at the University.
I tried a whole lot of things, from buying and reselling mobile gadgets to trying several things online.
But towards the end of 2011, when I had a lot of internet data and had nothing to do with it, I started searching online to find what I could do for money.
Saw several ideas and even tried some…and of course, they all failed.
Then a unique opportunity caught my eyes.
Something I felt suited for.
I instantly knew deep within that I found my calling.
I came upon an article about young people making money online, and on the list, I read about a 15-year old making an average of $5,000 monthly from writing. And he lives in the same city with me!
Here I was; had already been writing for public consumption on my faculty board, and once in a while, on other boards around the school…for free. And people always commended my writing.
I never imagined I could get paid for writing, outside of competing in essay contests or writing a book for sale.
At that instant, I knew my search had ended.
I was going to trade my talent for money.
I started following this young dude closely. He was already 16 when I found him. And thankfully, I found that he had a website where he teaches other people how to write for money — YoungPrePro.com (now WritersInCharge.com).
His name is Bamidele Onibalusi.
I started binge-reading his website and then I discovered other successful writers and copywriters making a living online, from Carol Tice (MakeALivingWriting) to Sophie Liard (BeAFreelanceBlogger), Brian Clark (CopyBlogger), Jon Morrow (SmartBlogger), Sean Platt (GhostwriterDad), and so on.
I started geeking out on the business of writing and consumed everything I could. When I felt I’d learned enough, I decided to start my own writing business.
The first step I took was choose a domain name (LucrativePen.com), then I paid someone to build the website for me. It was completed after a few days,
And just like that, I had a business. Or so I thought.
What I didn’t know was that I was going to be a struggling Freelance Writer, riding the feast and famine roller coaster for the next six years!
I however didn’t learn my lesson.
I kept repeating the same mistake with other businesses I started, until I wouldn’t accept failure with my ecommerce business.
I’d done the same thing at first: got a great product, created a website, designed a nice logo, set up social media pages, built all necessary web pages needed to form a funnel, wrote copy, set up Facebook ads, and so on. And then I thought I was in business.
But it turned out to be the beginning of another struggle…until I decided I’d had enough of that.
You making the same mistake, too?
This is the same mistake most business owners make, whether online or offline.
Someone decides she wants to sell adult wears. Then she finds a shop in a “good” location, gets someone to do the signboard, business card and other branding; sources for the products and stocks up the new shop, hangs her signboard and opens shop.
Then she *waits* for customers to flood in, thinking she already has a business.
Or someone graduates from medical school, gets certified as a dentist, spends a few years practicing under a senior, then decides someday that it’s time to stand on his own.
Same path: finds a clinic in a good location, equips it, registers it, hangs his signboard, and then he’s open for business.
He then also waits for patients to automatically flood into the latest clinic in town!
Or someone that decides to start building websites for people, and then he sets up his own fancy website, opens accounts on a few social media sites, fills up his profile talking about what he does, then he, too, waits for people in need of a website to find him.
He might even go a step further and do some SEO on his website, and then, sometimes, pays his favorite social media platform to advertise his service.
What do these people, including my former self, have in common?
I’m sure you have several ideas already.
But before I tell you what I think they have in common, let me tell you what I think a business is.
What’s a business (my opinion)?
A business is a situation where someone decides to solve a particular problem for a particular market segment; finds all the places these people are gathered; learns more about them than they know their own selves; creates what they want and also what they need to solve their problem; crafts the perfect message to talk to these people, based on how they talk and how they want to be spoken to…
Let me pause there.
Did you notice I haven’t even said anything about opening shop or advertising?
A business is simply an entity that serves a particular audience, knows where they are gathered, understands them so well and then takes its solution to where this audience is gathered, with a message that speaks to this audience’s deepest fears and desires, in their own lingo.
And this 👆🏽 is what my former self and all these other businesses LACK in common.
Filling this lack?
Successful businesses don’t make guesses, take some feel-good steps then wait for people to find them. They proactively go meet the market with an irresistible solution the market already desires.
To fill this “lack”, gurus make you think that what is really lacking in your business is the ability to create Facebook ads with ninja targeting, or the ability to “build a list” …because “the money is in the list”, yea?
Or they tell you that the solution is SEO. Or it’s getting a dynamic ecommerce platform. Or it’s writing “killer” copy. Or funnels. Or any of the 101 things you can do online to make you feel good about doing business, while you’re not making any money.
Yes, digital marketing tactics and tools are great, but they are mostly just tools to amplify your business.
So if you have the wrong business or set up the wrong foundation for your business, that’s what you’d amplify.
And if you have a great business that is set up to attract the right people with the right offers and the right message, that’s what you’ll amplify too. And that is when you become unstoppable. That is when you succeed wildly and experience exponential growth. That is when you buy your ticket to freedom!
So…my charge for you today is this: pause and think about your business for a minute.
Be true to yourself in answering this question: does it have the right foundation? Is it set up for success, without depending on platforms?
Or if Facebook dies today, would your entire business die with it?
If Instagram deletes your account today, would you be instantly out of business?
The goal is to build a legacy; something that stands the test of time, no matter who/what comes or goes…and can even run without you.
That’s my goal for my business. As should be yours too.
All the best,
PS: If you think you got some value from this article, kindly share with your network and also “clap” or comment. Actually love reading back from you and answering your questions! 😊
Meet the Author
Hello! I’m Oludami Yomi-Alliyu. I'm on a mission to help driven entrepreneurs grow their business and attain freedom through consistent, profitable sales. This is why I created the Septuplar Sales System, out of my experience turning around my business failure and now consistently getting returns of over 5x my ad spend.Learn more