Backwards Business Bugs

By Jamie McSloy / January 2, 2018
backwards business bugs featured image

Or Strategy Not Tactics Part 2,203,400

It’s 2nd January 2018.

I haven’t finished planning what I’m doing for this blog for the year, so I was browsing Reddit looking for topic ideas to steal.

I saw a lot of different topics from people looking for advice on a ton of things. Fresh out of the holiday season, they’re looking for the next thing to make them rich.

I’ve no problem with that, and if everyone has that entrepreneurial spirit, then the world will become a better place.

However there are a lot of folks who have the business bug backwards.

Let’s quickly help them out with this article.

Do You Have The Backwards-Business Bug?

Here are a few backwards business bug examples that I found:

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  • What should I do with the 5000 flyers I bought?
  • Should I buy Instagram ads to build a business?
  • I want to make $1000 a month as a student
  • Will Facebook Ads Still Work In 2018?

Why are these backwards business questions?

Because the people posting them are thinking of these things first before they have their actual business sorted.

“Will Instagram Ads Work in 2018?”

The correct answer to this is “Who knows?” For any hypothetical business.

You won’t know whether paid ads (or anything else) will work until you have a business to promote. When you have a business to promote, you won’t ask that question. You’ll ask, “How can I make Instagram Ads work for my business?” or “Does my business need Instagram ads?”

In other words, don’t put the cart before the horse and don’t worry about the tactics you’re going to use before you have a bigger strategy.

Imagine being like the guy who asked about Instagram ads. (Not to single him out, we’ve all been here.)

His Instagram makes him no money and he wants to monetise it in the future. In no possible way is buying ads a good idea.

If he sat and thought things through, he’d know that putting money into an asset without any idea of what it’ll generate in return (or, whether it’ll return anything!) is a bad idea. His strategy would inform the tactics.

A lot of people get sucked into doing stuff (like posting endlessly on Twitter or whatever) that doesn’t help them. They then understand that the tactics aren’t working – but double down or switch tactics. Those tactics aren’t the problem, strategy is.

Why This Is Important, And Why It’s Important Now

It’s important overall because if you run on a treadmill forever… you’ll get very good at running on the treadmill, but you still won’t have gone anywhere. Unless your goal is to be very good at one specific thing to the exclusion of reality, this isn’t a good idea.

It’s important now because we’re all riding high on the New Year, New You hashtag motivation stuff (and some of us are selling you on that) and so we’re all open to the bright and shiny new stuff.

Also, New Year rolls around and suddenly there are a billion new guys entering the market with half-baked schemes. Plenty of people will decide “I want to start a business!” with no idea what they’re doing.

If you’re a freelancer you might end up working for these people. They might promise you the earth (i.e. tell you that you’ll get paid) and then disappear.

They might sell you on new and shiny things, (These Tactics Will Bust Instagram Right Open And Make You An INSTANT Celebrity) that don’t work. You have to avoid that.

Most importantly… you have a whole year and you’re bright-eyed with enthusiasm. That enthusiasm is worth more than can be counted… and it all goes to nothing if you waste time following stupid leads down rabbit holes or some huckster screws you out of time and money.

Keep your eyes open, dreams alive and most importantly… think about the big picture and make sure that the things you implement to get you where you want to go are going to actually get you there.