Just read: ‘Define Your Strategy by What You Aren’t Doing’ at BPlans

Good concept: We frequently include ourselves in a larger segment of people while we plan our strategy. But we create possibly higher value definitions about who we are and what we do when we exclude ourselves from a large group of people.

Define Your Strategy by What You Aren’t Doing.

I’ll start…

  • I don’t just deliver copy
  • I don’t write about any topic
  • I never deliver content whose sole purpose is keyword density
  • I don’t proofread work sent to me unless you’re a really valuable existing customer who gives me other work (i.e., I don’t edit)
  • I’m not cheap
  • I don’t give up-front discounts on the promise of future work
  • I don’t copy
  • I don’t churn out content
  • I don’t resell old content
  • I don’t have a day-job
  • I don’t add filler
  • I don’t also design websites
  • I don’t also create logos
  • I don’t accept unprofessional clients

Constructing the anatomy of your business

Muscles of the Face, Wax Anatomical Model
Image by Curious Expeditions via Flickr

A friend of mine has gone back to school to study massage therapy with the goal of becoming a licensed practitioner in a sports clinic some day. Until he started studying, I knew next-to-nothing about massage, and even less about massage therapy. With apologies to massage therapists everywhere, I figured it was just a lot of kneading and rubbing and whatnot.

But, during a recent lunch, my friend described his studies to me. I was fascinated by the level of detail and intricacy of his studies and it made me wonder if fewer start-ups would fail if entrepreneurs put as much thought and study into business that massage therapists have to put into their preparations.

For my friend’s major assignment due at the end of the year, he’s been given a skeleton (not a real one, of course!) and he has to use modeling material to build each individual muscle accurately, marking connection points on the bone where they actually exist. In other words, each student builds a scale model of a human being from the bones up.

This is only one of several highly detailed anatomical/physiological studies required by his class. In other projects, they have to accurately draw muscles and connection points on transparencies laid over a picture of a bone. They have to put in a hundred hours of practice time each semester by massaging family and friends plus another hundred hours of time in a clinic. And, last week, they went to the local Health Sciences Center to view cadavers that had been cut open for them to view real muscle. (Gross!)

At the end of his studies, he’ll know the human body literally inside and out. And that got me thinking about how aspiring entrepreneurs could potentially achieve spectacular success if they applied the same diligence and study to businesses.

Aside from just dreaming and planning their own business, can you imagine how much more successful an entrepreneur could be if they constructed the muscle on top of the bones of a business? (An example of this is something we did in the Financial Management class of my MBA, where were given financial statements and had to reconstruct the business from them). Or if the entrepreneur spent hundreds of hours observing local businesses and looking at case studies of successful businesses (and case studies of business cadavers)? Or if they “interned” with a successful entrepreneur to help and study?

For aspiring entrepreneurs who are currently working for someone else, yet dream of some day starting their own business, why not become a business expert right now by studying the anatomy and physiology of businesses around you?

This day in history…

The Wall Street Crash of 1929, the beginning o...
Image via Wikipedia

October 29 was called “Black Tuesday” because, in 1929, the market plummeted and launched the world into a decade-long recession.

Decades later, my wife was born… also on October 29.

I like to remind her of this fact from time to time, and I try to suggest that she is somehow responsible for the Great Depression. She politely laughs every time.

To celebrate her birthday (and to toast the Great Depression), we’re having dinner at Mongo’s Grill — one of our favorite restaurants — and I got her season’s tickets to the opera as a gift. (Don’t tell her; it’s a surprise).

Also on this day in history, the first computer-to-computer link is made on the internet-precursor, ARPANET. Maybe we’ll toast that, too.