Several years ago, a former boss of mine had a poster of Winston Churchill hanging on his door. It depicted Mr. Churchill pointing to you saying “Deserve Victory!” — underneath it, there was a large piece of paper that someone had taped that interpreted the meaning of the poster — it read:
“Our Business Deserves Victory”
Was that really true? Did our company deserve victory?
Well, unfortunately in the case of this former employer, the answer was a resounding no — the company itself had a badly flawed business model to begin with, didn't have high enough margins and wasn't listening to its audience–yet the perception among most of the employees was that the company still deserved victory.
Well, about 6 months after the poster went up the company failed — the market had spoken — the company was undeserving of victory.
Success in Internet Business Doesn't Reward Slouches
My boss had it all wrong–in this poster, I'm pretty sure that Winston Churchill wasn't saying “everyone deserves victory (even if you're stupid, lazy and/or have no idea what you're doing on a day to day basis to grow your business).”
This poster is actually all about accountability — it's about Winston Churchill staring you down, telling you that “You need to do everything in your power to be deserving of victory!”
I think it was a brilliant marketing piece and must have been successful–it pushed the responsibility of winning the war to every individual citizen.
Who Decides If You Really Deserve to Succeed?
If you've got your own Internet Business then you know that just like the British in World War II, you are fighting a war every day. You're fighting against competitors, time, Google and ultimately yourself … you're fighting for higher rankings, more clicks, more leads, more sales. And just like the British in World War II, each Internet Business owner is responsible for his or her own success.
Of course, ultimately, only your market will determine whether you Deserve Victory or not.
So How Do You Become Deserving of Victory?
In order to be successful in Internet Business, you must live consistently live by a code. Here are the 4 fundamentals of what you'll need to do to be deserving of victory:
- Select a Good Market — Whoa there, how do I find out if a market is good or bad? Well, there are several indicators that can help you. Look at the keywords and number of relative clicks to gauge size of market (you can use google's amazing keyword tool for this), and follow people from this market on twitter and become active in forums to find holes in the market and how passionate people are about finding solutions. If these seem to line up you can launch a blog or small product for the market to see what the response is. Even if there seems to be a great niche and you have a great idea, don't count on it being successful — trial and error is the only constant in Internet Business.
- Listen To Your Market — Yeah, uh, listen to your prospects & customers — novel concept eh? Well, from what I see out there, this is actually more rare than you'd think. Listen to your blog's audience and/or customer feedback you get in any form and use it to drive your business. Sometimes this can be hard — such as when your market says it doesn't care / like your product — that could be an indication that your time could be better served in another market.
- Develop Your Business Around Your Market — The most successful online businesses craft their products and services around feedback from their customers & prospects. Who knows what will sell in a market better than the market itself?
- Work Like a Mad Fool to Consistently Provide Value to Your Market — Look, Internet Business is a battle — if you don't expect to have to work long hours consistently and sacrifice then you might as well give up now.
So, print that poster of Winston Churchill out, hang it on your wall and look at it every morning before you go into battle. Let him remind you that if you fail — you only have yourself to blame. If you get motivated to create value for your audience by listening to their needs then who knows, your market might just deem you victorious!