95% of online business ventures fail. Actually, that not true – a more accurate number is 97% of online business fail to make it and those that do survive the cull are hardly profitable. So what means the difference between success and failure not just online but any endeavour you might take on?
I could tell you – but then I would have to kill you.
Seriously? I have never been one to teach anything without a good illustration and there’s no sense starting now so buckle up and lets get to the bottom of this.
What does Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and prisoners around the world all have in common?
Before I tell you, I want to take you inside Western Australia’s biggest Maximum Security prison – Causurina. I know, weird place to use as an example of success, right?
As you would expect, we’re talking about a huge project – this prison houses some of the scummiest inmates in the state along side all those 18 year old kids who thought that they were invincible at the time. Not only is there an obligation to protect society from these inmates, but there’s also a duty of care to protect these inmates from themselves and each other.
There’s the usual barbed wire, electric fences and walls along with a high tech security system that monitors nearly every movement you make depending on where you are in the prison. Each block is now surrounded by even more security in an effort to contain prisoners after their Christmas day riot a few years ago and the only contact with the outside world is strictly monitored.
Besides the occasional 10 minute phone call and snail mail (both of which are screened) inmates have a maximum of 2 hours a week visitations with family in a specially designed room that is staffed by guards and watched by camera’s so high tech they can read the ingredients on the back of your can of coke.
What many people don’t realize is that behind the scenes of this multi-million dollar security system drugs and alcohol in prisons are a massive “industry”. I know what you’re thinking. How of earth do inmates get drugs past the guards when at every step of the way, they are caught on camera, strip searched and told to squat and cough (don’t ask).
Here’s the key to your success online and their success in working around a multi-million dollar security system. The re-frame.
This is more commonly known as “thinking outside the square” but I don’t like that term. It sounds hard and reminds me of those brainteasers Mr Shaw used to inflict on us back in the 5th grade.
Thinking outside the square isn’t like that. Thinking outside the square means if you can’t find an answer then you’re asking the wrong question.
Okay lets have a look inside Casurina. How on earth do these inmates get enough alcohol in there to have a jolly good time. Visitors can’t take anything in and inmates are strip searched on their way back inside. Cells are searched at any time night or day without warning. Sniffer dogs have been trained to come through and detect misbehavior.
Enter the re-frame.
You didn’t have to smuggle a warm can of beer through all that security? What if, instead you asked another question? One that was more attainable? Like…
“Where can I get some raw potatoes?”
Now we’re talking! And how about the problem of brewing…what if we asked something like…
“Where’s a place I have access to everyday, that everyone walks past and nobody searches because it’s just so darn obvious?”
Without a word of a lie, these guys have turned potatoes into crude home brew right there in those pumpkins sitting in the middle of the vege patch. How cool is that? Erm..I mean…how bad is that?
They don’t see a toothbrush. They see something that can be carved into a weapon. How about that toilet paper? They wet it, squeeze it out and when it dries it’s rock hard. They add another layer and another layer until you’re left with a TP brick. A brick alone has potential to cause damage but what if you were to carve a shiv out of it? (A shiv is a crude knife btw)
Forgot to bring your tobacco with you when you were carted off to an isolation cell after stabbing someone with you TP shiv? No problemo…your old cell mate has stuck a small pouch of baccy to the bottom on the cubicle wall in the shower block that you all share.
What about a lighter? The courteous inmate who was isolated before you has left his lighter above the light cover back in the cell – probably the only thing that isn’t searched and/or removed from your cell each day.
Back in your normal cell, it’s ten past eight and you’re locked down for the night. Darn it, forgot to grab some sugar for your cuppa. What if, you didn’t have to break out through your cell door, down Big Brother’s hallway, through more locked doors, passed the guards sitting in their station and down stairs to the day room?
What if you next door neighbour had some sugar? Re-frame. You can’t get next door but what can? That’s a matter of emptying your laundry bag, pushing it out your window and using the rope handle to swing it next door for him to catch.
You get it now right? Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers were so successful because they understood what inmates all over the world understand. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. They re-framed the question until they found a solution that worked.
So how does this apply to your new online business? The first thing you need to do is take an inventory of everything you have access to. Not just the physical things. You have a world wide web of free and paid for services at your disposal – it’s going to be a long inventory!
Especially when you finish taking each item and breaking it down even more…remember the TP brick? So what else can you use those resources for? Facebook ain’t just a social media. Have you built your own Facebook page yet? What about you non-physical resources? Those guys you’ve been talking to in the forum – what else could you be doing with them? If they are targeting a similar niche you could be trading quality backlinks, going thirds or fourths or fifths in some high quality (meaning expensive)PLR articles for your site.
Re-frame. Think out side the square. More than one way to skin a cat. It doesn’t matter what you want to call it, if you want to be one of those 3% of Internet marketers who actually succeeds then you have to learn to think like this.