International Businesses Golden Rule

by | Jun 11, 2007 | Archives, DO NOT USE - MC

International businesses interest our readers as evidenced by this question a reader had asked:

“Gary, I keep asking myself, how do Gary/ Merri Scott continuously continue to produce uniquely insightful information for readers? How could I model just a small slice of Gary’s success online? I truly do not understand how you have been able to continuously grow for decades while evolving from print to internet/online, covering totally new locations, new businesses and completely new subject matter (not only investing, but health, language, Real Estate Retreats, Import/Export, Publishing, Country- UK, US, Ecuador, etc).

“Other than sheer determination and follow-through, which are obvious requirements, what is your long standing secret to success in ‘lifestyle marketing’?

“What would you say to someone like me just starting online and hoping to succeed to even just a small degree of your success over the internet? Of course, truly unique content and building a growing list of readers is key, but how do you manage the load (so many subject matters – keeps me in awe) and yet you always deliver relevance and uniqueness?

“What angle on marketing (small secrets) has allowed you to continuously succeed? I realize there are no miracles other than hard work, but any pointers to leverage?”

Before we review specific internet market strategies, let’s review at least seven fundamental steps to assure that if you attain marketing success, you will have staying power.

A number of readers have written and suggested that I have some form of genius. For example one reader wrote this. “Gary, you truly are in the genius category and I am a true admirer”.

However genius is not the case. The reality is simply that I have been doing this for 39 years and managed to learn from a few successes and innumerable errors.

My belief is that if you have a decent idea and can manage to stick with it long enough, your experience will make you appear smarter than perhaps you are.

This is why the first message in this series outlined the importance to engage the business evolutionary cycle by starting with something what you love and really want to do. If you did not read this see International Business Evolutionary Cycle

If you are not having fun or gaining some great fulfillment or satisfaction, then it’s hard to have staying power.

For example, I get to write almost every day. This has brought me innumerable rewards, one of them financial. This process has brought me freedom I never imagined I could enjoy. Today I am sitting in my office looking at our glorious woods in the middle of the Blue Ridge on a perfect blue sky day. There is nowhere else I would rather be.

Yet despite the multitude of attractive distractions, the garden to tend, the logs to cut with the chain saw, the brush to clear, the wood to chip, the horses and chickens and geese and our pumpkin patch hound dog to play with, I am writing and am actually happy that I get to write. That for me is a privilege. The fact I actually get paid for it is just a nice bonus.

The writer above suggests that “sheer determination and follow-through” are apart of this. I am not so sure. I need “sheer determination and follow-through” to clean up my desk, balance my check book and to do my taxes once a year.

Yet to write rarely takes “sheer determination and follow-through.” I awaken in the morning, ideally well before dawn and this is the second thing I want to do. The first is make a cup of French press organic Ecuadorian coffee from Intag with a bit of goat’s milk. (More on Intag and coffee in a moment.)

This is what I first and foremost love to do. So I repeat rule #1, do something you love.

However for real staying power, there is another really important rule.

Another reader who responded to the first message in this series hit this nail on the head when he wrote:

“Do what you love surrounds my instincts – also becoming debt free will put a new perspective on life. I have found, being 29 years old, that there are many generation X’ers like myself – but most have been sold big homes lately with trick loans.  By the time they pay this debt off, if ever, we could see a new chapter in the Bible.  I have found working with X’ers, I needed a strategy to get them out of mortgage debt to start investing for their future.”

This reader touched on the second really important point which I will call the Golden Rule. Live within your means!

A business must be able to start small, before it can grow large. Most businesses start with a learning curve. During the beginning and in the learning times it is essential that businesses are small. Once lessons have been learned the business can grow.

One cannot focus on and enjoy the things we love if we are hounded by payments and cannot afford the essential requirements of our business.

Living within your means is simple. Just do not spend what you do not have! Avoid debt for consumption. There are times when debt to invest makes sense, but never borrow to spend! Invest your extra money in the business rather than fashion and consumer goods!

Dr. Thomas Stanley in his book the “Millionaire Mind” lists the twenty most important factors that 733 millionaires (whom he interviewed) which made them rich.

None of the factors have anything to do with having a high IQ, a good education or a sharp stock broker. Some of them may surprise you but learning these factors and how to attain them are perhaps more important than any other knowledge you can gain about investing. The author discovered that most of the wealthiest households were not located in the most upscale neighborhoods. This discovery led to additional studies and finally to this book. These wealthy people don’t dine out much, are likely to drive four-year-old Buicks, and own very few Armani suits.

Conversely many households in the posh areas have little real wealth.

The Golden Rule of Good Business to live within your means has two other aspects, having well focused finances and using collapsible overheads.

Until next message, good investing.