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WEB/DIGITAL The Six Paragraph (Digital) Business Manifesto

Andrew

Contributor
Aug 8, 2007
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I am working on a book about business theory in the internet & information age (with some title that will sound a lot more interesting than that); but, in case I get hit by a car tomorrow I am going to post the core concepts here. This is based on my own success as well as being friends with some of the smartest people in the business.

I will not make any numbers of how much I make or how much I am worth public, so feel free to completely ignore the post. However, it was just a handful of people like MJ who chose to share some of their "secrets" that completely altered my life's course, so its only fair to give back.

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First, know your business. This is the "newbie" step -- I have no idea what I am doing, where do I start? Start with what you know. You don't have to be an expert at every part of your business, but you do have to be an expert in some part. In my case I had been a PC addict for 10 years and could read, write, and design proficiently.

A lot of people are looking for a step-by-step manual of how to make $100,000 a year with 1 hour a week of brainless work. This is BS. Business is about *you* writing the step by step manual for everyone else. Business is about *making things happen.* This is a place where projects are not counted in hours, days, or weeks but in years and decades. If you are unable to do this, then you need to be an employee or a franchisee. Thats ok, and there is nothing wrong or shameful with this, most humans are destined to walk path.

Second, know your numbers. Find out how much your suppliers make, your competitors make, and most importantly you make. Do some serious critical thinking about how to make yours bigger. Let the numbers tell you what direction to move. This might involve completely abandoning your existing business model to move up the value chain. No one can tell you the right answers here. I think about my businesses every single day, sometimes all day long.

Here is the digital part. Remember the sci-fi books/movies about robots taking over the world and running everything? Its already here, except instead of mechanical robots they are digital. With the web, everything can be automated; often, very cheaply. The smart programmers I know have computers do the things that could give one thousand employees full time jobs.

You want to make a lot of money? Follow this path -- Automate, Escalate, Delegate -- in no particular order. Automate means setting your business system to run without you. There should be no such thing as repeating manual tasks. Escalate is about scaling out; this is what separates the mom and pops from the billionaires. This is a process of continually asking yourself, how do I get more customers? Third is delegate. The stuff you can't do, the stuff you hate to do, the stuff you do a bad job at, someone else should do. Also, its the things machines can't do -- like program themselves.

Finally, figure things out for yourself. You absolutely must think for yourself. I am an expert in my business, you are an expert in yours. Do your own critical thinking and outsmart all the business gurus who claim to tell you everything you need to know if you just pay $25,000 to attend their seminar. Reverse engineer your competitors business models and tear apart what they are doing. Test everything your can and understand why one element works and another does not. And don't stop.

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Case Study: Automate, Delegate, Escalate. Building a content website & internet community.

One of my companies built an online community; instead of building the entire thing by hand users submitted all of the content -- articles & pictures. Instead of babysitting the site every day we turned the users into moderators. In two steps, automate & delegate were taken care of. And it was free for us. This resulted in a website that made money every single day without any owner input more than 4 times a year.

Financially, the project was nothing to brag about. However, the result was a stream of income that allowed me to not have to work a part time job to get by. Now 100% of my time could go to business building.

The escalation phase was a failure. The community's growth should have been built in to the system, with an incentive for members to bring in more members. Additional traffic streams should have been tested aggressively.

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Think about how these concepts can apply to your business. You are the executive and owner. Your job is not to run things day by day but to focus on growth and profits. You'll be paid accordingly.

Hope this helps, good luck with your internet businesses!
 

taichijedi

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 22, 2008
130
27
34
Philadelphia
Thank you for your honest and hardcore insights on the reality of starting something up. I am at a cross roads where I was thinking about just this subject for most of today, and I can't tell you hoe enlightening this post is for me!! I'm sure this contribution will help alot of people take those hardest first steps.

Speed ++, Thanks Andrew!!
 

MJ DeMarco

Raving Lunatic
Staff member
Speedway Pass
FASTLANE INSIDER
LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR
Summit Attendee
Jul 23, 2007
28,054
93,419
3,751
Phoenix, AZ
Wow, missed this ... nice write up Andrew!
 

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