How to Fail in Business

Over the past five years or so, I have had some moderate success in business. I have seen my business’s revenue increase to the point of elation and I just knew that I was on my way. Then, suddenly the bottom dropped out. Well, I’d like to say “suddenly”, but in reality, my business was doomed to fail many months before it actually did and I just didn’t know it.

Now, this isn’t my first business or my first business failure. Oh, no, I’ve tried so many businesses in the past that I have lost count. While I have had some moderate successes, they have ultimately ended unsuccessfully. Therefore, I have put together this list of how to do what I did so successfully, namely, how to fail in business.

These ten things are not the only lessons that I learned over the years, but they are some that stand out for me. And, no, I did not make them all in the same business venture! Enjoy!

  1. Put together a great business plan and then analyze it again and again. Once you are sure that it is absolutely perfect, analyze it again just to be sure. After all, you want to have the perfect business plan in place before you launch your business, right? This is called paralysis analysis and it is one of the surest ways to guarantee that your venture will never see the light of day.
  2. Do not form a business advisory group that consists of the following people: an attorney, an accountant, a trusted business associate or two, and someone with industry knowledge. If you do decide to do this against my advice here, then make sure that you do not listen to them. After all, just because they are experts in their field, what do they really know about how to operate your business?
  3. Do not network with others in your business circle or spheres of influence. Put your business on an island and be sure not to share it with those that can possibly help you to grow.
  4. Don’t fund your business properly. In fact, ensure that you start it on a shoe string budget so that all of the revenue that you generate can be used to keep the business afloat. Live life on the edge.
  5. Don’t take the time to create any marketing plans for your business. Why do that? You can get your company’s name out there without any formal planning. Save yourself the expense, the time and the headaches. By the way, don’t take the time to learn the difference between sales and marketing. Be like most businesses and treat them as one.
  6. By all means, do not open a business in which you have a certain expertise. Step out on a limb and do something different.
  7. Read tons of articles, books, tapes, CD’s, and DVD’s detailing the things that you must or should do in order to succeed in business, then don’t follow through on what you’ve learned….. I know, because I think I may have read more than my fair share. I actually enjoy listening to audio books on CD while driving alone in my truck. I feel so empowered by the thoughts of the great men and women of business. Most recently, I have revisited one of my old favorites called The Richest Man in Babylon. It is a tale about how a seemingly ordinary man in the ancient times achieved great wealth by applying timeless principles for taking what you have and making it work for you. It is a wonderful book and even better audio tape. If you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend it. (Oops, do not do this if you want your business to fail.)
  8. Trust your business partners. Trust and believe that they will honor their agreements (verbal and written) with you and that they will hold up their end of any deals that you make. This trust will serve you well.
  9. Put all of your company’s eggs into one basket, that of your largest client. Allow your client to dictate some of your marketing efforts and even company operations. You can be sure that your client has your company’s best interest at heart, right?
  10. Lastly, please be sure that you are not passionate about what you are doing. Passion is very powerful and can help to carry you though those times when you have run out of patience, personal and business contacts, money, new clients and old business partners. If you are too passionate, then you’ll never quit. If you never quit, then you’ll never fail. Enough said.

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