Why most businesses fail December 18, 2015 – Posted in: Blog, Inspiration – Tags: , , , , ,

Despite having more free time than people with a job from 9 to 5, I do use it fully, from morning to night, and it’s usually not easy to explain to those that look at me with a weird face wondering how I make a living from an online business, which, by the way, happens all the time. I think they just don’t believe it, as I tend to hear the same question repeating itself in different ways as if I hadn’t said the answer already.
I spend about 80% of my time studying and 20% working. I wish I could just be working 100% of the time but the world is far more complex than it seems, and I’m often surprised about how dumb people with degrees in Engineering, Finance, Psychology, or even College Lecturers from different backgrounds, really are, as they can’t see it.
I meet people with such degrees all the time and they do surprise me with their ignorance. In other words, it’s not ignorance in itself that surprises me but the people I meet that possess it. I’ve recently met writers, software engineers and financial “experts” that are incredibly dumb, and it’s not a pleasant thing to observe, as it makes me feel weird about myself and wonder how this planet really works.
One of my friends contacted me recently, telling me that she worked for a company exporting to China that couldn’t sell, because, according to her boss, “there are many companies in the market already”. And well, here’s another evidence of stupidity. I mean, I can accept that, as an employee, she agrees with this belief, as she doesn’t know and doesn’t have to know either, but how can a business owner, trying to export to another country, and a very big country like China, believe that his profit is related to competition? That’s dumb! And I wonder how such people even keep their business alive.
I find myself thinking if getting a research about the market and improving the quality of a product is something so mysterious that I’m among the 1% that actually do it. I think this is a quite obvious necessity, but now I start to understand why most of the studies I did for companies I worked for in the past as a consultant were rejected. I really thought they knew more than me, and that that’s why they rejected my researches and studies, but now I know they didn’t. It’s just that most business owners are, simply putting, stupid idiots. And yet, my eternal question remains: How can idiots make money? I’m still trying to find the answer to this question.
One of the persons I did consultancy for in recent years has told me days ago that her business may bankrupt soon. And I must say that this didn’t surprise me, as she had told me many times that I don’t understand anything about business or money. I’ve been doing consultancy for over 10 years, had my own companies, and keep reading books about wealth and research in finance, so when someone that doesn’t do as much as me and for so long, tells me this, I can’t take it seriously, unless she knows something I don’t, which time ended up proving that she doesn’t.
One of her main excuses was that my companies had failed. But a person that uses such excuse doesn’t understand anything about business. A business never fails, unless you’re only measuring it in monetary terms, which is far from being the only reason justifying why anyone is successful. And yet, it’s the main and only reason 99% of the people use to measure success. They forget that every million or billion starts with one dollar. And they also forget that money is only one among hundreds of different indicators related to the progress of a company.
In other words, it was because I failed before and often than my current company succeeded in less than 6 months with a 200% increase in sales and keeps increasing in profit at an average of 10 to 15% a month. And nonetheless, the graphics I use and the money I earn, are just superficial indicators, not the way I use to judge the business.
Those that know me think I’m successful because I, apparently, don’t need to work. They completely ignore the fact that I spend 100% of my time, from Monday to Sunday, working ahead of time, creating new products, new strategies and analyzing trends and new tools I can use.
Most people, 99% to be more precise, are very far from understanding this mindset. They think they just need a good idea, and that’s it, money will come automatically and they’ll be rich in one year. Every single person that has shown me a good idea, and nothing more than an idea, failed, despite having a very good idea.
This is now so obvious for me, than when someone hides their ideas, and then sends me a group email, like the one I received days ago from someone that did such thing, saying: “I’ve just opened a new restaurant, come and see it”, I know that this business won’t last long. And I’m not saying this because of the attitude of such person and his beliefs, but because when people are stupid, they not only think stupid but plan stupidly.
A person that hides an idea thinks that the idea is the business, so, when this person starts the business, it becomes obvious that the idea is all there is. When I saw the description related to the restaurant, I only saw ideas, not a single strategy. It’s not that the strategy wasn’t unique, but that it just wasn’t there. Opening a vegan restaurant isn’t a strategy, but an idea, just an idea. It may sound like a good idea, but it’s just an idea. A strategy is, for example, to put the menu in the email with affordable prices, which is the only reason that would make me want to visit the restaurant of someone that has hidden the project from me, like a small kid that didn’t want to share his toy.
Somehow, most people I meet think they get some kind of advantage over me when I tell them about my business but they hide theirs. And that’s definitely something that only stupid people do. The smart business owners that I’ve met, share everything because that’s how they learn with other people’s opinions. They’re not afraid to get their idea copied because they know that this is stupid, and not how a business really works. In fact, an idea that can easily be copied isn’t a very good idea in the first place.
In order to do consultancy for anyone or to start a business on my own, I always check everything in detail. By detail, I mean absorbing the information, analyze it, see patterns and then design a successful business strategy. I do admit that it’s a slow process but proves itself more sustainable and infallible in the long run. And that’s the type of person I am. I never do things just for doing them, but always to succeed. And yes, losing is part of the game, but most people focus only on the loss. Or, when focusing on victories, they disregard the losses. For example, 80% of my profit does come from 20% of my products, but this rule applies to nearly anything I ever did in life. Success often arrived after 80 to 90% failures. Even my best ideas arrived after hundreds of bad ideas.
If we want to avoid failure, then we have to spend 80 to 90% of the time studying about it. And that’s what I do. I’m currently reading 2 books and studying 17 courses online. I usually don’t even notice time passing by. I focus on the learning process because that’s how I increase perfection and avoid mistakes. There is no such thing as luck. Luck is for irresponsible people. If you want to be responsible for your success you have to be wiser and more mature.
A few weeks ago a person sent me a huge email with all the details about how she intended to do seminars with me, and my main question was: Where are the numbers? In other words, there was a plan, there were obviously costs involved in that plan and people expected too, but I didn’t saw one single number about costs or people. So, this person clearly doesn’t understand how to do business, even if having the experience already. A plan without numbers isn’t a plan but an extended idea, a dream with no roots.
I think these things should be very obvious, but apparently they aren’t. I’ve seen very well-paid consultants selling online courses for Entrepreneurs and saying basically just this. There is no value for me in their words because I know more than them. I wish I didn’t, because I do want to learn, not feel arrogant about myself.
Unfortunately, that’s how the financial experts I meet see me, as they can’t answer any of my questions and always feel that I know more than them, more than they wished to be true. And envy is indeed a terrible thing for the one that can’t learn. But what should I say regarding a world where Entrepreneurs pay to listen to the basic: You must be responsible and study the market. Shouldn’t this be obvious? Apparently, for 99% it’s not. Then people wonder why the wealth is concentrated in less than 1%, why most businesses fail after 3 to 5 years, or why an idea secretly well-kept doesn’t become a major success.
The answer should be obvious, but apparently it isn’t. Most people I meet think I’m hiding a secret strategy from them, or that I’m doing something illegal, and that is why I can earn so rapidly. It’s the get-rich-quick scheme idea that prevails, in which success isn’t possible without a very secretive, competitive and smart approach. Why can’t people wake up, and realize they are stupid, very stupid?
99% of the Businesses fail because 99% Entrepreneurs are stupid. And the only reason making me less stupid than them, is that I realized it long ago, and have been working on my ignorance since. Studying online courses and seminars every week, is acknowledging that I’m stupid and need to learn. Those that think they are smart and don’t need to learn as much as me will always be more stupid. And they can then think whatever they want about people like me, even call me arrogant, but what they think will merely reflect their current situation and make it persist.
When someone tells me: “I have a great idea and I’m going to become a multimillionaire, buy a mansion and then invite you to my yacht”, my next question is: “and what have you bee reading?”. I can easily judge that possibility by the answer given. And if the answer is “nothing”, then I must ask: “What drugs have you been using?”
The worse scenario, however, is the one of the individual that hides his idea because only a very poor idea needs to be hidden. You don’t need to hide one dollar when you have the pockets full of them.
I also know that 99% of those reading this text, or hearing me speaking the same, will think: “Wow, this guy is really stupid, because he has just told me something I didn’t know and that will put me in his level and in the level of the top 1%, which will guarantee me my wealth”. And to those I must say: There is no shortcut. You will still have to listen to thousands and thousands of seminars and online courses, and read thousands of books, about finance and wealth, as I did for the past years, to know as much as me. There is not even an imaginary possible way to resume so much information if a few minutes. Technology is simply not that advanced. If authors and speakers could write or say everything in one sentence, there wouldn’t be a need for books or seminars.
People that really know as much as me, behave like me. They will tell you everything because knowing everything means acknowledging that you can’t do anything without sacrifice and hard work. And even if you do become a competitor in the same field, it’s impossible to compete with someone that is always ahead of you, unless you can read more than such person, which is hardly the case if he’s already doing what the top 1% do, which is to learn all the time. Even if I offered you all my books, by the time you reach the last, I will have already doubled that library.

Samuel River

Author of “Thinking in Chinese”

Thinking in Chinese