Now doesn't that just sound like the stupidest quote ever? And yet I'm about to demonstrate to you just how profoundly true that quote is, and how it can totally change your business life.
First, a word of caution: If you are waiting for the “perfect” business idea or plan to get started, then you will never, ever start. Nothing is perfect, and there always seems to be another idea that is more intriguing, exciting, newer, etc. just around the corner. Yes, the grass is always greener – and if you're always looking at the greener grass elsewhere, you will die without having started your business. It's that simple.
So if you haven't started yet, then choose an idea that is good enough (not perfect) and just START now.
Okay, back to the quote. Those of you who have been in business for awhile can certainly attest to what I'm about to share with you, and it's this: Only when you are in business will you see the next big thing and the next big thing after that.
Let's say you sell widgets, and while you're pitching your widgets, you're told by your customer that your competition is now delivering their widgets in an entirely new way. You never would have known this had you not already been in the business. So what do you do? You could run back to the office and moan and groan that your competition is leaving you in the dust, or you could figure out what they're doing and then find a way to do it better/faster/cheaper. If you do, you'll smoke your competition and grow you business. Bottom line, you never would have known that your own business needed to evolve if you hadn't been in business in the first place.
Another example: You've built up a terrific mailing list of people in your niche who love you and trust your advice. A red hot expensive product comes out that you and all of your competitors are going to promote as affiliates. But because you've been in business for awhile, you've got the list and the trust of those people on the list. Result? You make MASSIVE affiliate commissions that you never would have made if you hadn't already been in business.
Third example: You're coming out with your new product, and because you've been in business for awhile you have a long list of affiliates and JV partners who will be glad to promote your product. Had you not been in business, you wouldn't have made these contacts.
Fourth example: You've been in business for awhile and like the smart entrepreneur you are, you've been saving money. An opportunity comes to buy out the competition – an opportunity you wouldn't even know about, much less be able to afford, had you not already been in business.
If you haven't started your business yet, start. Now. This month. If you have started, then here's what you need to do – find out who your competition is and then watch what they do. You'll get some of your very best ideas from watching others in your industry, as well as watching businesses totally removed from your own niche.
Don't put your head in the sand. Always be looking, watching, monitoring, etc., what's going on outside of your business. Because you're in business already, you'll be able to spot things you never would have seen standing on the sidelines.
And talk with your customers. A lot. Talk with them on Facebook, on your blog, on your forum and so forth. Find out what makes them tick, what they want, and what their biggest challenges are.
Just as you cannot learn to swim without getting wet, you cannot succeed in business without BEING IN BUSINESS.