Your First Business

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You can remember a lot of firsts in your life: the first time you rode a bike, the first time you kissed a girl/boy, the first time you got arrested. The list could go on. Until very recently however, I had forgotten my first business. Maybe it is because it was so short lived and ended with out anything to show for it. You see, I was once on the cutting edge of the Internet. It’s true. I started using the Internet in college when there was no such thing as a browser. Back then, Internet meant Unix command line, and it meant anonymous FTP. Finding something out there was a combination of luck and networking.

I used the first browser on Windows when you had to install Winsock (the TCP/IP protocol) manually because TCP/IP didn’t come with Windows, all you got was NetBEUI (known throughout the computer world as NetKablooey).

Anyway, my first business was a [tag]startup[/tag] to design and implement [tag]web pages[/tag] for local businesses. How good of timing was it? Well, let’s just say it was 1997 and I had to explain to most people what the heck the Internet was and why in the world they would even care. Most people I talked to couldn’t get it. “So it’s like TV?” (If you ever get bored, read the first Internet cases to come before the Supreme Court and laugh your butt off at their questions as they try and understand it.) So, I was there perfectly poised to be on the front edge of the Internet boom. Just a small business with 50 clients would have been snatched up for a $1 million. So what happened? Well, I never got going. You see, selling web sites is no different than selling anything else. You have to talk to the people you want to sell to. I had one business where I had an “in” because I knew a guy working with them. I spent a week building up my courage and practicing what I would say. Every time I looked at the phone I got major butterflies in my stomach. When I finally called and they didn’t say “YES! That would be AMAZING!” on the first call, I hung up and never called back. I never called anyone else either.

The point of this is simple. If you are going to go into [tag]business[/tag] you have to be able to [tag]sell[/tag]. These days, I need never pick up the phone. I can do fine just responding to posts and ads, and so on. But, to be big, to make the big bucks I’ve always dreamed of will take a little bit more. Frankly, I’m still not ready for mass phone [tag]selling[/tag]. I cold called my way through 5 years as a professional financial planner, and I hated every second of it. Still, this time will be different because I love what I do and I am determined to succeed. My plan? Become an expert recognized in the fields I want to work in. How? By writing and publishing insightful, original, and useful advice and commentary. That is what Best Hubris is all about.

What’s your plan for [tag]marketing success[/tag] in your business?

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