How to Succeed in Business

The wheel was invented about ten thousand years ago. At each stage, from a simple log to help move heavy objects, to chariots for hunting and war, to two-wheeled farm carts, to covered carriages, and finally to four-wheeled freight wagons and passenger coaches, there was an entrepreneur who helped advance to the next and greater wheel.

There are only two choices in life: be an entrepreneur or work for someone. I ignore for a moment the twentieth century invention of the union where one can not bother working at all and still get paid.

Aside from drug dealers I’m one of a select few Americans who has actually carried a suitcase weighing 110 pounds filled with hundred dollar bills or walked the streets of New York with millions of dollars of gold in my backpack; so it is quite often that young people who know me ask for advice regarding what occupation or profession they should pursue to succeed in life. Actually, they are asking what business should they get into in order to eventually be their own boss and make lots and lots of money so they can retire early.

The answer is deceptively simple. Two things:

  1. Find something you like to do. Steve Jobs liked to quote an old Chinese proverb: “The Journey Is the Reward.” If you do not like your job, you will never succeed.
  2. Be the customer – don’t focus on the product. Another old Chinese proverb: “Make happy those who are near, and those who are far will come.” Case in point: Verizon is a company that will eventually fail because they are focused only on their products, not on their customers. For example, most of you are likely familiar that Verizon charges 1.99 for data usage, and that hundreds of millions of dollars each year are fraudulently being billed to people who have never made use of the service or who might have accidentally switched on the service.

    The Consumerist, Verizon Configures Phones So You Incur Erroenous Data Charges? (To The Tune Of $300 Million)

    “The phone is designed in such a way that you can almost never avoid getting $1.99 charge on the bill. Around the OK button on a typical flip phone are the up, down, left, right arrows. If you open the flip and accidentally press the up arrow key, you see that the phone starts to connect to the web. So you hit END right away. Well, too late. You will be charged $1.99 for that 0.02 kilobytes of data. NOT COOL. I’ve had phones for years, and I sometimes do that mistake to this day, as I’m sure you have. Legal, yes; ethical, NO.

    Roger Tang, Verizon’s regional head for Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, said the charges were not an attempt to con customers out of their money [Read more: Fierce Wireless].

    Despite that protests of innocence, Verizon is only “crediting customers for unintentional data charges as customers bring the ‘error’ to our attention.” This is of course how Verizon gets away with their scam. They know that it is very easy for a customer to mistakenly activate the Internet on their handsets but rely on the fact that only a small percentage will notice the extra $1.99 charge on their bill. The majority of people pay their bill without even looking at it because they trust Verizon.

    Over-billing, billing for non-existent services, billing for uncompleted calls, these are the standard practices of all the Baby Bells. Hopefully as consumers become more aware of these fraudsters, fewer people will do business with them.

That’s it. Once you find a job you absolutely love and you can “be the customer” then opportunities for going on your own will appear. If you focus on product or simply on making money, you must fail.

At the risk of pimping companies I consult for, I’d like to give you an example of a business you can start by first being the customer and then when you get the hang of it you can become a SIP Reseller; it’s simple, easy to start, doesn’t require huge upfront fees, and is completely refundable if you’re not satisfied.

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