Three strategies for starting a business that’s guaranteed to fail


In the United States, Thanksgiving is a time for acknowledging and celebrating all the good that’s come our way in the last year.

Many of us can find a lot to be grateful for, even if we still have a few unfinished goals for 2015.

But, if you feel you’ve been just too darn successful this year and are looking for a way to shift that around so you have less to be thankful for in 2016, here are three virtually fool-proof ways to start a new business that’s guaranteed to fail.

Strategy #1: Plan to work just a few hours a week.

After all, starting a business means you’ll be your own boss, able to call the shots, and free to wallow in your all free time, right? Go right ahead and plan on putting in just a couple of hours each day into your new hobby (AKA business); you’ll get totally lame results that will spare you all that thanksgiving nonsense next year.

Failure can be avoided.Strategy #2: Do your very best to be all things to all people so that everyone comes beating down your door.

Why limit yourself to an “ideal client” when there are so many warm bodies out there who must be itching for what you have to offer? Forget about creating an ideal client profile, or identifying an unsolved problem faced by the type of client you’d most like to work with, or figuring out what a prospect would find valuable enough to pay for. Just hang up your shingle – real or virtual – sit back, and wait for the traffic to come flooding in.

Strategy #3: Keep the focus on YOU rather than on your prospective clients.

Since it’s your business, you obviously get to be the focal point, the epicenter, the leading lady (or man). A business is your big chance to toot your own horn and let prospective clients know how lucky they are to have the chance to work with you.

Be sure to liberally sprinkle “I-me-my” language in all your marketing materials; after all, you don’t want to deprive people of a chance to learn how fascinating you are.

And definitely DON’T listen to those jokers who tell you that you should put your energies into talking about your prospects’ needs and problems, instead of all the fabulous and brilliant things you have to offer them.  Sheesh.

You can plan for failure – or success.

You see? It’s actually fairly simple to avoid having to add “a thriving business” to your list of things to be grateful for when next Thanksgiving rolls around. Lucky you!

But….Are you one of those oddballs who wants something else to add to your gratitude list? Are you seriously considering NOT implementing these start-a-business-that-fails strategies?


If that really is the case, I suppose I have some ideas that will make it easier to create a business you’d simply have to celebrate…

Of course, the question is, would you and I make a good business-building team? Just because I specialize in showing stuck entrepreneurs how to do the right things and ignore all the crap trying to sabotage their success, that doesn’t mean we’d suit each other.

But there’s an easy way to find out if we would: Just grab a spot in my calendar for a no-charge, no-risk-to-nobody, get-acquainted call. By the time we ask and answer some questions, we’ll both feel confident we’ve made the right decision, whether that’s to team up now or wish each other well and say good-bye.

So give some thought whether you want next year’s Thanksgiving to be more or less full than this year’s, and forge ahead with whatever you decide. Just be prepared for the fact that this clarity will be one more thing to add to your gratitude list this year…

(By the way, thanks to Clare Bell for posting the “fail” image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

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