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The Seven Eternal Truths of Entrepreneurial Success

"The Seven Keys to Web Home-based Business Success" talks to the primary things the novice web entrepreneur must keep in mind. The main focus is on understanding your own personality and its impact on your level of sccess. Follow these injunctions and there is a much higher chance of success.

Everybody has a secret recipe for success on the web.

99.9% are not secret and who knows how many lead to success? But there are some eternal truths that work both on and off the web, indeed work for life in general. Are they secret – no! Are they usually forgotten – absolutely!

1. Know Yourself! Even at the oracle of Delphi over 2000 years ago this was cliché wisdom. But as they say, clichés are clichés because they're true!The essence of business success is self-understanding. Without it you cannot understand others, your interactions and reactions to events and people, and how to maximize your probabilities of success. In classic leadership development, the candidate is put through a battery of personality tests and the organization puts feedback systems (360 degree programs, job evaluation) that force people to examine themselves objectively. What has this to do with the home-business entrepreneur?Working in your pajamas at the living room table can be a wonderfully releasing experience. But after a time it can pall – believe it or not!For many, the lack of companionship, the loneliness of it and the lack of imposed discipline can lead to a loss of focus and a drop in motivation. For those who are squeezing it in between a hundred other tasks and calls on their time, choosing a business model that doesn't fit with your personality can be a disaster.

From a life point of view, Knowing Yourself is a powerful way to expand your world. There is no value in not knowing and the value in knowing is to use the MasterCard catch-phrase: priceless.

2. Know where you're going. "If you don't know where you're going any road will get you there" (The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Caroll)Home-based business is no different from IBM or Toyota. If you don't know why you're doing it, you'll get lost and confused. I'm not suggesting a corporate Vision Statement, but a picture of the Ferrari you want or of the beach in Bermuda, or the Private School you crave for your children will serve just as effectively. Stick them to the ‘fridge and know why you're doing all this.

Should you set personal goals, production targets, and detailed objectives? It depends. If you are running a Google Ad campaign with 250 separate streams I think you need a lot of focus. Similarly, if you are in an MLM scheme where you have to contact 200 people a day, then operating goals are a necessity. Home business can be as ‘structured' as you like, but most people sitting in their pajamas may think they left regular employment to avoid imposed discipline but eventually find they want (and need) some structure.

3. Focus on the Process. Every business is simply a number of processes that identify, create and deliver value. If you are a Fortune 500 company you may well spend millions on refining and focusing your activities. If there are just you and the cat, well it seems like over-kill. However!! Small business on the web is becoming more and more professional. Others are focusing on making sure everything is covered off. If you don't, you will fall behind in professional skill.

Work out the steps in your business and focus on improving them. This will guarantee long term effectiveness

4. Be aware of the Critical Success Factors. A Critical Success Factor (CSF) is something that MUST exist if something else is to happen. If you want to win the America's Cup you need a top-end 12 meter yacht with perfect aerodynamics, plus a top-flight crew, plus a winning skipper, plus…well you get the idea. Miss out ANY ONE of these and you will fail.

Every business, indeed every human endeavor, has CSFs. Work out what they are – typically there are more than 3 and fewer than 7 – and make sure you have covered them off.

5. Learn, learn, learn and most of all learn from Action. Building knowledge is critical to growth in your web-based business. There are endless e-books to buy on how to do web business, a goodly number of them totally useless and many of the rest simply regurgitating stale ideas. However, the best sort of knowledge comes FREE. It comes under the heading of Action Learning. Every action you take in your web business (or in life for that matter) is a potential source of learning. The cycle is: act, measure, reflect, adjust, and act and so on. Most of us (and most businesses incidentally) go through life missing out the Reflect and Adjust steps. We lurch from action to action hoping for the best. That's Einstein's definition of madness (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!) Milk your experiences for every drop of learning and apply it.

6. Find the best resources and use them. Virtually everything you will ever want to do on the web has a supplier, and their offerings are getting more sophisticated all the time.

7. Act, ActFree Web Content, Learn and Act Sitting on your chair and doing nothing but dream is a recipe for zero profit. It almost doesn't matter what you do – just do SOMETHING. Then see what happens and get into the learning cycle.

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Michael Kay is Research Director of HBB Research a business school based research program looking at web home-based business. He is the lead author of HBB Research's recent Report: The Gold Rush. To For more on The Gold Rush and to get your free subscription to HBB Insights, the ideas newsletter of HBB Research, go to

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