Yessir! Maybe Planning IS Important

Donovan Baldwin

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So the story goes:

A guy decided he would commit an armed robbery.

This gentleman couldn't just stick up a liquor store or knock over a bank. Nosiree Bob! He walked past a parked police car out on the sidewalk, and into a gun shop. Standing at the counter were a couple of cops. There were a couple of customers in the store. All four (or more) of them were armed, as was the clerk behind the counter.

As the Darwin Awards might put it, he involuntarily cleansed the gene pool.

Can you imagine going on a driving trip to some place you've never been and not getting a map, at least. You would think someone was daft if they went about it that way. You wouldn't be suprised to see them set off from Oklahoma, going to Oregon and driving East!

Well, how much better off is the person who signs up for a franchise, home business opportunity, network marketing or internet business without doing their homework?

For starters, many people do not realize that a network marketing business, for example, is exactly what the word says. It's a business. Owning a business means taking responsibility. As I used to tell some of my students back when I gave classes to people who had always held jobs, but were about to embark on their own business, “You are about to find out not only how good a manager you are, but you are going to find out how good an employee you are. "

Someone who starts their own business, expecting IT to somehow magically produce income is living in a fool's paradise. To tell the truth, almost anyone starting their own business will possibly have to work more hours than the average employee.

In the case of a brick-and-mortar business, the individual often has to leave the safety net of a “job" to get their business off the ground. Part of the planning process will be to have some knowledge of what cash reserves will be needed during the start-up period, and to assure that those funds are on hand.

It will be necessary for the new business owner to become aware of many of the challenges of managing any business, and managing THEIR BUSINESS in particular. The need for at least this small amount of knowledge would seem to be self-evident to most of us. However:

"Businesses with fewer than 20 employees have only a 37% chance of surviving four years (of business) and only a 9% chance of surviving 10 years. ” Restaurants only have a 20% chance of surviving 2 years. Of these failed business, only 10% of them close involuntarily due to bankruptcy and the remaining 90% close because the business was not successful, did not provide the level of income desired or was too much work for their efforts. " - Dun & Bradstreet

Wow, did you catch that? Let's replay the meat, “. . . and the remaining 90% close because the business was not successful, did not provide the level of income desired or was too much work for their efforts. "

Now, wouldn't a little up front planning have saved some of those? In fact, it sounds to me like some of these people started their businesses in expectation, if not hope, of not having to work as hard as at their JOBS. It also appears that these people overestimated the income their new businesses could, would, or should provide. This could be a combination of ignorance (education about a coming major decision could be defined as planning, I suppose), and in many instances probably combines with not wanting to work as hard as in previous incarnations to create a double whammy of disappointment.

Okay, so your network marketing recruiter told you about the “30 Second Commute", and “Put Your Business On Autopilot", and the ever popular, “Make Money While You Sleep!" Was your recruiter lying? Not necessarily. I get up every morning, walk across the hall, pull up a browser, and check to see how much I made during the night. Sometimes it's a hundred dollars or less, sometimes it's several hundred, but I DID sleep while orders were placed at various websites I own or use, and yes, I DO make a six-figure income on the internet. However, it took me hours at the computer to get all those web sites up and to interlink all the sites and to write the articles, place the ads. I also spent thousands of dollars for things that didn't work at all, didn't work as advertised, or I simply couldn't figure out how to make work. I call this accidental tuition.

I did, however, learn from my mistakes, and I was able to build my internet business up to the point where it does earn me the six-figure income I mentioned. . .

Oh yes! I don't get to keep ALL of that six-figure income either. Some goes to taxes, some goes to advertising (I pay one place alone $1300 a month for advertising), I bought a new computer last year. . . etc. But! I WAS able to go to Florida and to Mississippi (before the hurricanes) on two separate week long vacations, and I didn't have to ask anyone's permission, I didn't have to borrow any money as I already had it, and I continued to make the same level of income while on vacation as I made while at home.

I WAS able to start my internet business and work it part time while I still held a full-time job. Now I work my internet business part time AND my job part time. In another year or two, I will be able to retire completely from any real job and simply work my internet business part time (which is fun, by the way).

I would recommend starting an internet business to anyone, but I would also recommend doing your homework first. It took me four years and a few thousand dollars to learn what I know now. One of the things I know is that there are some excellent courses and books that teach what to expect in internet or network marketing and how to do it successfully. All of these recommend studying and planning, none even hint that you will get rich quick, much less without some actual work.

Once you get that business up and running, and you have everything in place, you can “put your buiness on autopilot", “make money while you sleep", and join the “30 second commute".

The author is retired from the Army after 21 years of service, has worked as an accountant, optical lab manager, restaurant manager, and instructor. He has been a member of Mensa for several years, and has written and published poetry, essays, and articles on various subjects for the last 40 years. He has been an active internet marketer since 2000, and now makes his living online. To learn more about improving your marketing performance, please visit . To read more articles by the author, please visit his blog at .


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