You've heard it a hundred times, and probably said it a few: "If I knew then what I know now..."
The thing is that you probably did know what you needed to know back then to build a very successful business. If you're an entrepreneurial type and in the habit of thinking up ideas that solve problems, you probably could have dreamed up a service that would be useful in the future.
In the year 1999, when websites were static brochures, I told my boss that I thought a website that consisted of nothing but discount coupons would be a great business. He looked at me like I was a fruitcake. What we didn't know was that Groupon and Scoopon and LIving Social would come along and reinvent the coupon business model. Imagine how well positioned my business would be now, if I'd taken the plunge?
And there's the rub. I didn't set out to find out whether there was a market for online coupons, I didn't build a minimum viable product, and I went on with my life paying the mortgage and educating the kids.
I imagine that's how it is for most of us - we might have a good idea, but we don't set out with determination to find out how useful it might be; we don't take the risks because we don't have the money, the energy or the sheer force of will to make our ideas happen.
So here are 7 Goals of Christmas, ideas that have changed my whole notion of success:
(1) Buy (and read!) Life In Half a Second - author Matthew Michalewicz uses the science of success to inspire you to make the most of every second.
(2) Write down your goals - and even better read them to a friend, there's nothing like that commitment to motivate you to action.
(3) Look at the past but don't live there! Study successful businesses and entrepreneurs who looked like they "lucked" into their riches.
(4) Read Enchanted by Guy Kawasaki, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.
(5) Read the posts on Facebook to find out what forces are driving mankind -- then hook your product or service to what you find there. Human nature has not changed significantly just because we have new communication platforms. People are still driven by the same emotions - fear of missing out, greed, envy, desire to be one up on the Joneses. If you have thought of a product that fulfills any of these emotions you are already more than halfway to success.
(6) "Don't get angry, get even" - I'd replace "get even" with "focus on the actions that will make you happier" (this does not mean richer - wealth is not always followed by happiness)
(7) Find something that you would love to do that deson't depend on wealth. That will sustain through good times and bad - and it will stop you getting bored if you do strike it rich and find you've fulfilled your monetary goals.
Merry Christmas, one and all! Have a wonderful holiday and an even better New Year.