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How Six Things I Learned From My First Love Can Make Or Break Your Business Part 1

Aug 17, 2007
Business owners should know that an uncanny parallel exists between business survival and the survival of a marriage. A nationally representative survey conducted by the Census Bureau shows that in every age group except 25 and under, the proportion of divorced people exceeded one in eight, and for those 40 and older it exceeded one in three.

Contradictory information subsists concerning the failure rate of business startups, but Mark Hendricks, (Entrepreneur Startup Magazine, March 2006) states, "the SBA, using U.S. Census Bureau data, reports that almost half of new firms with at least one employee survive beyond four years." But it stands to reason that if almost half of new businesses survive, then a little more than half fail.

From my personal experience, I know a successful online business or home business exemplifies the same characteristics of a successful marriage or relationship. In 1976, as a student at Sam Houston High School in Houston, Texas, my most valuable education came from my first love, and I pass six lessons along to you in hopes that you receive great personal and business value from it.

1) Everybody Deserves What They Desire.
My first "real" girlfriend came about in my senior year in high school -- most of the girls I liked, saw me as their brother. Nevertheless, seeing couples being cozy, boys carrying their girlfriends' books as they walked to class, and sharing a coke or a kiss, always appealed to me.

Being politely turned downed never stopped me from "dreaming" about the day when I would have a girl of my own. Much in the same way I fantasized about untold riches and the finer things in life after reading success stories found in Entrepreneur Magazine, Income Opportunities and other business periodicals.

In fact, dreaming helped me to believe I could take $20.00 at age 20 and start my first publishing business which 14 years later was grossing $500,000.00 per year. It all stemmed from accepting as truth that I deserved more than I had and could have what I desired.

2) Good Things Come To Those Who Take Action.
My fortune changed the day Pamela walked into the women's store at the local mall which employed me as a porter (a lesson itself in humility). Catching my eye several times at school, she stood out as a cutie pie -- maybe even out of my league.

Approaching her would be uncharted territory for me, and made me very apprehensive. Being at work, the atmosphere betrayed my confidence, and a million other excuses filled my head telling me why I shouldn't speak to her, although my heart told me, "now or never."

Business counselors will advise you to save a minimum of six months' income, secure financing, develop an extensive business plan, etc. However, the majority of the people I know who own and run successful businesses ran counter to this advice because they knew action begets action.

3) A Poor Dog Won't Wag It's Own Tail.
In the old days, a gold prospector's first concern centered on protecting his interests; to let the world know about his business; that he saw it first; it belonged to him and him alone. These early entrepreneurs knew they needed to keep competitors from stealing what rightfully belonged to them.

In many cases, it was simply a sign at the beginning of an opening in a mountain, while others either directly or indirectly put out the word in the community. Either way it was a lesson in marketing that I subconsciously applied to dating that when applied later to business taught me several more valuable lessons.

I asked Pamela for her phone number; we chatted a few days later; I asked her to "go with me" and she said "yes." One of the first things I wanted to do was "market our relationship" by giving her a "promise ring" to let the world know she "belonged" to me, to "stake my claim," so to speak.
About the Author
Marvin D. Cloud provides a self-publishing alternative at mybestseller.com. For a free writers' workbook and online marketing tips, go to http://mybestseller.com/html/marketing_tips.
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