Online Business To Start...

If You're Smart

by Arturo F Munoz

online business to start peddlersWhat online business to start? If you're smart, consider the following before taking your first step.

You've heard it's easier than ever to be on the Internet and now you want to know what business to start there. Let me give you a warning.

If you're smart, you won't start with the question "What online business to start?"

You should be online. That indeed is easy to accomplish. It's also cheap. It's also useful and valuable for your future. But don't confuse being online with starting an online business.

Let me explain this with a vivid illustration.

Launching An Online Business To Start Begging For Money

I walked out of my Chinese acupuncturist's office today with a sore limb after getting some treatment. It was a beautifully sunny California afternoon that brightened my face and made me forget the pain long enough to spot the young pregnant woman crossing my path followed by the vivacious 5 year-old.

"Any day now," I remember thinking to myself. She was well into her last trimester for sure. That baby would be out to enjoy the sun like me in short order.

I got to my car and placed a call to my daughter, when the young pregnant woman attempted to make eye contact with me. I smiled and turned slightly to make sure I'd focus on leaving my daughter an accurate voice mail message. The young woman moved in front of me and signaled that she wanted to speak with me. Raising my finger to indicate to wait a moment, I recorded my message, looked down, and hung up.

When I raised my eyes again, the young woman had a cardboard sign before me and in heavily broken English she told me she was destitute and wanted money.

"Forty dollarÂ…forty dollar" she insisted, "I need forty dollar for me, please, for me to sleep not in street."

I have a personal policy. I do not give out cash to street peddlers. I believe anyone who has the capacity to ask in the street for money has some capacity to do something to earn it, even if it is carrying a conversation with me to get the money. In short, as the Bible says, if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. So I try to help them work, that they may eat. Most don't want to eat, so they won't work. My money then is put to better use elsewhere.

online business to start panhandler sign This young woman, however, was willing to speak and I had time in my hands and a willingness to spend it plus $10 on a conversation lasting 20 minutes. Another time I'll write about this woman's story.

Suffice it to be said, it was unusual, beginning with the fact that she asked me whether I spoke Spanish, to which I said yes. So she proceeded to tell me in a Spanish less broken than her English and which allegedly she learned from watching soap operas in her country that her name is Maria from Romania, 24, with her daughter Sophia living with a friend in a motel. Since when can someone like that make it to the United States only to panhandle in the street? Astonishing.

Anyway, the real crux of the matter is that for every other sentence that she finished, she inserted the phrase "You give me $40 dollar, yes? We talk all you want." She was relentless about this. I genuinely wanted to help this person. It was obvious she was in need of help, guidance even protection. But she had learned very narrowly to focus on only one thing: money. It was all she wanted. She could say it in 3 languages and she wanted nothing else.

In fact, while I was trying to sell her assistance, she was not buying. She was too busy selling me a story that I wasn't buying. Ten dollars and 20 minutes later, we'd gone nowhere.

"Would you like some food?"

"No. I don't want no food."

"Would you like help with a bit of work for cash?"

"No. I want forty dollar."

"I see you're desperate."

"Yes, I desperate. Need money for room."

"Would you like for me to help you find a shelter where you can stay with your daughter without having to pay for it?"

"No. I want forty dollar. You come. We go to bank. You give me fifty."

After all this, I frowned slightly and said:
"In America it is very hard to ask for money and receive it only for asking. In America you must do something to get the money you want. You must do some work. I gave you $10 so you could speak with me. Now we have spoken. My time is very important to me. I've also taken my time and given it to you, because I wanted to help you with some word of hope or direction. You only ask for money and more money. I don't have money to give you for nothing. I cannot help you."

If You're Smart, You'll Start With You Last

This young woman launched a business. It was a cheap venture. Low barriers to entry. Easy to launch. But she advertised well and managed to connect with someone. She had a story to tell. She even named a price and stuck to it. She found someone willing to transact with her for his own reasons and even got enough from him to whet her appetite for more.

But she didn't know how to get more. She didn't know how to scale what she got into something of greater value for the one that she was dealing with. She had no clue how to turn $10 in cash into $100 worth of services. So she lost the bigger sale.
online business panhandling sign
That's how launching an online business is like.

So, what online business to start?

When you think of an online business to start, you might be tempted to think like this woman did, starting with the words "I need money."

Big mistake.

Putting a web site or a blog online as your first step to starting a business, which is what most people do when they think of an online business to start, is just as easy and cheap to do as writing a message on a piece of cardboard and stepping out into the street to panhandle.

Even if you got a story to tell, even if you know what you'd like to charge, and even if you got to connect with a few souls to transact a few dollars with them, you can still end up nowhere unless you come to know from the very start the real reason why somebody really wants to transact with you.

"Why do you want to speak with me? What may I do for you?"

These 2 questions never occurred to the young pregnant woman in need. She was too focused on herself, too focused on her own desires, her own needs, so much so that she couldn't even spot a real opportunity to improve her lot if only she had paid more attention to what I wanted, which was to help her.

Don't let this happen to you if you're wondering about an online business to start. If you're smart, start thinking about what someone else wants first and then build the business around fulfilling that desire like no one else online or offline can do. That's how you learn what online business to start.

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