Tag Archives: Business

Relentless Expansion

Should You Learn To Fight?

Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about colonizing other planets. Well, maybe not so much as hearing as I’ve been reading many articles on the Internet about the subject. You know how that goes, you find something online, you find this pretty interesting, and you read more and more about this, and click around on the links, and pretty soon you find that you suddenly have developed an interest in this topic that you only maybe were vaguely aware of before now.

When I think back, I think it was all started by something I saw on TV, some crime drama involving some guys that were on this privately owned space ship that offered millionaires the chance to go into orbit for a few days. One of the characters mentioned that this is the golden age when it comes to space entrepreneurial ship. Whether that’s actually true obviously remains to be seen. But it doesn’t take much imagination to see the correlation with Europeans setting out across vast unknown bodies of water search of new lands hundreds of years ago to setting out across space to set up colonies on other planets.

Of course, then there’s that recent movie that is a fairly thin metaphor of what to do when you meet up with people already living in the new area that you’d like to colonize. Human strategies have ranged from killing them, joining them, assimilating them, and pitting them against one another.

Probably the most useful strategy, and resulted in the spread of the most culture, at least according to some historians, is Alexander of Macedonia, or Alexander the Great as he is commonly referred to. He lead a coalition of Greek forces across Persia, and to this date is the second greatest conqueror of all time, if you measure how great a conqueror is by the amount of land they took over. In the number one position is Genghis Khan. An interesting side not is that Genghis Khan was a peasant who’s parents were murdered by a rival chieftain, and yet he rose to become the greatest conqueror in human history, while Alexander was born into a royal family, and inherited his kingdom, which already had quite a bit of support from the various Greek city states when his father was murdered. So you don’t need to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth if you want to conquer the world.

But while Genghis Khan swept through land with fury and terror, and slaughtered everything in his path, Alexander took a more diplomatic approach. Much of the land he conquered, he didn’t even have to fight for. The Persian Empire at that time had undergone quite a bit of upheaval, and they were spread far and thin. Many times Alexander and his troops would ride into a city, and the city government would simply switch their alliance from Persia to Alexander.

But one thing that Alexander did that helped spread Greek culture throughout the world was to encouraged his men, at least the single ones, to take brides from the new cultures. Often times he would pick up fresh soldiers from the cities, and many of his soldiers would stay and build new lives. Of course, this wasn’t always the case. When Babylon fell to Alexander’s troops, he gave them free reign over the city. They raped, plundered, murdered and burned the city to the ground, as was fairly common practice back in those days. (And unfortunately today as well in many places).

Another interesting strategy is the divide and conquer strategy. This was used particularly effectively by the Catholic Church during the colonization of South America and part of Asia in the 1500’s and 1600’s. First they would send the priests, who would convert as many people as possible, including the leaders. Of course, not everybody would convert, and would stick to the old “pagan” religion. Including in some that converted, and some that didn’t would of course be those involved in government. Once there was sufficient division in the ruling classes, then the solders would come, their jobs having been made much easier by the priests that preceded them.

This was attempted in Japan during the same time period, but all the Christians were expelled, or executed before they could finish their plan.

Anytime you want to expand influence into a new area, there is going to be resistance, and there are always several different strategies to take to best overcome the resistance. Brute force, cooperation, or subversion, it depends the desired outcome, and what an appropriate level of risk you’re willing to take, and what skills you possess and how they could best be used. I doubt Alexander or Genghis Khan could have gotten very far by sending in priests. I also doubt that the Spanish Conquistadors would have done well with Alexander’s or Genghis Khan’s fighting strategies, as they required open fields, and many men galloping furiously on thousands of horses. That strategy doesn’t work well in the jungle.

One interesting, and some say natural, application to all these battle, warfare, and conquering strategies is in business. Classic books on warfare, like Sun Tzu’s “The Art Of War,” And Miyomoto Musashi’s “The Book Of Five Rings” are usually found in the business section of the bookstore.

The huge success of the British Empire was largely do it’s effective application of these strategies of warfare to business. One could argue that English is the second most spoken language in the world today, behind only Mandarin, is due to the effective application of timeless warfare strategies to business purposes.

If you own a business today, whether it is a twenty-year-old brick and mortar shop, or an online start up that you are doing in your spare time, it might help to keep some of these ancient warfare strategies in mind.

Because I guarantee you, whatever it is you are trying to sell to your customers, there’s several other people fighting for their attention, and would be pleased as punch to get their business instead of you.


To quickly and easily develop strategies to catapult you ahead of your competition in all areas of your life, click on the link below:

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

The Farmer’s Advice

As You Sow, So Shall You Reap

I met a couple of my buddies for lunch the other day. Some guys I hang out with sometimes. We were talking about the recent economic conditions, and how messed up they are for everybody. Our particular industry that we are in is slowly spiraling down the drain. A few years ago, in this one particular niche, there was plenty of demand that would easily support any old shop that decided to open up. You didn’t need much experience, or even business knowledge of savvy. If you just sold this particular product, you could make money.

Things like that happen all throughout a normal business cycle. For any particular product or service that is offered by a bunch of different companies, it can be tough to separate the exceptional services from the mediocre, and even the lucky. Whenever there is a general economic boom, you could swing a dead cat a hit a slew of successful businesses.

Similarly in the stock market. In the roaring nineties (and even as far back as the roaring twenties), anybody with half a brain could, through some real experience, convince themselves they were a savvy investor, as pretty much any tech stock, especially Internet stocks, were doubling every couple months as a matter of course. Of course, then the bubble eventually burst, and wiped out a lot of so-called “savvy” investors.

So it is with any market boom/bust cycle. On the boom side, anybody can set up shop, make tons of cash, and convince themselves they’ve discovered the secrets to a successful market. But the true winners are the ones that survive the bust and continue to make money.

Like the particular industry my friends and I are involved in, ten years ago, any housewife without any education could set up shop and make a decent profit. But with the economy shrinking, as many peoples disposable incomes, making some purchases are no longer no-brainers. People are actually forced to make some hard choices how they spend their money.

We noticed this old guy sitting next to us, and he was kind of going alone with our conversation. He wasn’t eve’s dropping or anything, it was just a quite café without a lot of other people, and he seemed to be nodding along with certain parts of the conversation. Slowly he kind of joined the conversation.

That in and of itself is an interesting thing. There’s the guy who shows up to a few people who are talking, and interjects himself rudely, and tries to hijack the conversation. Perhaps you’ve seen this guy at a party or a bar. Then there’s a guy who happens to be in the area, and slowly over time, your conversation circle slowly expands, like some kind of social amoeba or something.

Anyway, this old guy happened to be a farmer, and he was telling us how farmers every year must make a tough decision on what to grow. Because the planting time to the harvest time is quite a few months, a wrong decision can have some pretty harsh results. If you belong to some kind of system where the government offers some kind of guaranteed protection, where they’ll buy your stuff at a certain price, this isn’t such a big deal. But they only offer a certain price for certain products. And the government price is usually on the low side. So while it’s safe to farm that way, at least in this neck of the woods, it is anything but lucrative.

Which is why many farmers attempt to grow things not on the government approved list of guaranteed purchases. While this is entails a lot more risk, the rewards are much better. The rub is that you have to predict six or eight months ahead of time what the market will be like. Of course, if you grow some kind of product that is always in high demand, then you’ve got yourself a good business. But then again, there’s always competition for that same product ever year.

So you’ve got to not only accurately predict what the market demand will be, bit you’ve got to have a pretty good handle on your competition as well.

There’s much more that goes into farming that just planting seed and waiting for them to grow. This farmer was telling us that they too, experience the same boom/bust cycle. Somebody will start to grow a new crop, and it will do very well. Then the next year they’ll be even more demand, and more farmers growing that same product. But then a few years down the road, the market will be saturated, and they’ll be more supply than demand, and the farmers that joined in too late in the game will be left holding the bag. Literally. A bag of product that they can’t sell.

The secret, he said, (which we listened to intently, as this was some old guy who’d been around the block a few times) was to always be aware of your circumstances, and your abilities. He said a lot of farmers get stuck in growing the same thing year after year, and get dependent on market demand. When market demand turns sour, they have no place to go. But those that are always successful always keep something hidden in their back pocket. Always have an idea in the back of their mind for a new crop or a new product in case the market suddenly turns.

To some people, a field of dirt is a burden that can only produce corn or wheat or whatever you’re used to producing. But to others, a field of dirt is pure magic, and will grow whatever seeds you plant. If you keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities, and choose wisely, and plant the right seeds, you will have an extremely lucrative harvest year after year after year.

To expand your resources in the present and make the best possible choices for the future, click on the link below:

Powerful Metaphysics

Powerful Metaphysics

How To Build A Successful Business

The other day I was driving down the freeway, listening to the radio. Suddenly a song came on that I hadn’t heard in a long, one that reminded me of my university days. My friend that was riding with me was eating some bread that he had just picked up from a new bakery that was down the street from his apartment. It was one of those places that is trying really hard to establish itself, giving out free samples, trying to get as many customers as possible. He hadn’t planned on buying the bread, but couldn’t help it when he was drawn in by the aroma as he walked past.

The lady that runs the shop is particularly interesting. I think this was her fourth or fifth business that she has set up. All of her previous businesses were very profitable. What she does is she has an interesting way of identifying food-based niches in small neighborhoods. She figures out what kind of restaurant or food shop would likely be successful based on what other shops are already in the neighborhood, and have already been successful. Then she sets up a shop, generates a lot of loyal customers, and the turns the shop over to one of her assistants in kind of a franchise deal. Her assistant makes half the profits, and she takes half the profits.

She then goes to another neighborhood, and does the same thing. Other that go around and set up businesses based on what they like don’t do as well. For example if somebody only wanted to open up a hamburger shop, sometimes they’d be successful, other times they wouldn’t. Some neighborhoods have a real need for a hamburger shop, while others don’t. Because she is very flexible in her approach, and provides what the market demands, she always seems to make a lot of money.

I remember when I first moved into the dorms in college. We had a party, and snuck a keg of beer into the room. While we were drinking, a friend of mine started telling me about his philosophy professor. He was saying that those that are the most successful in life are the ones that figure out what they want, and then figure out how to mold reality around t heir desires. He said the most important thing is to look underneath want you want to find the underlying desires. Most things that people think they want are really based on an underlying desire, which can be applied to most anything. The mistake many make is trying to fit their surface wants into society, without focusing on their underlying desire.

If you can figure out what your base desire is, you’ll be surprised when you find that almost anything can satisfy it. Which is why we had the party in the first place. And as it turned out, my friend actually did have some left over bread that he could share with me, until we finally go to our destination.

I even remembered what that song was, so I could down load it from iTunes when I got home. I like it when stuff like that happens, don’t you?

I’d Like to Change My Order

I was having dinner with a friend the other night. I was in a pretty good mood (as I usually am,) but he seemed to be out of sorts. I could tell because he usually orders a mixed cocktail (he has a really strange system based on the day of the week and the general weather pattern to choose his drink. Either that or he’s been pulling my leg all this time,) but that night, he ordered a beer. Not just any beer, well actually, yea, he just told the waitress “whatever’s on tap is ok.”

I asked him what was wrong. He said that he was having second thoughts about going forward with his business that he’s been planning on starting. “What changed?” I asked.

He said that he’d been talking with another guy that his advisor had put him in touch with, that had successfully started a business in the same general line of work. He said that he had worked 7 days a week, about 12 hours a day for the first two years. He had a supportive family, and finally after two years, his business was successful enough that he could hire other people to manage it for him.

“So what’s the problem?” I asked. He said he wasn’t really prepared to put in 12  hours a day for a year before he saw a profit. He seemed to think that all businesses need that level of commitment to get off the ground and become profitable.

I told him about this book I read (I forgot the title) about a kind of study they did on successful entrepreneurs. Now that I think of it, I think it might have been a tape program, and I’m pretty sure I got it from Nightingale Conant. If you’ve never had a look, I recommend it. They got some good stuff there. If you find something you like, you might check ebay first, because lots of times people buy stuff, listen and get great benefit, and then sell it at a pretty cheap price.

So what this program said was that there was a huge range of variables that went into successful business creation. Some people were successful right from the start, some had to work at it over several years, others had all kinds of loans and help from family. It really didn’t matter. The term ‘work’ is really a relative concept. What might seem like ‘work’ to some, may be totally enjoyable to somebody else. Some people might consider putting two weeks of effort to get a ton of money a huge burden, but others might consider three or four years total enjoyment, even if you don’t make a lot. So long as you enjoy what you do.

I asked my friend if he enjoyed doing what he thought he was getting himself into. He thought about, an decided that he really did enjoy it. Then I asked him if he would enjoy doing what the other guy did for two years, 12 hours a day for, and he said no way. Then he confessed that the other guy said the only reason he quit after two years, well not really quit but hired other people to take over, was because his wife had their second baby and really needed his help around the house. So it turned out my friend was imagining himself doing what the other guy was doing and imagining not enjoying it, while in reality the other guy was enjoying it so much it took a second baby and his wife’s demands that he ease off a bit.

When he put it into that perspective, it made total sense to him. Although the waitress was pretty confused when he sent back his beer and asked for a Vernal Equinox.