Doomed To Repeat
Philosopher George Santayana once stated, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” We see this repeatedly in military history, political history, and personal history. When we fail to learn from our parents’ mistakes, we make the same mistakes. Thus we see things like higher divorce rates among children of divorcees. This principle applies to life in varied aspects. In the realm of home business, it serves the same purpose. Those who fail to learn from the history of home business are doomed to repeat some of the same mistakes. So what fatal flaws do we see in the history of home business?
The first fatal flaw which comes to mind involves Egyptian architectural structures. That’s right, the pyramid. Several people have heard of pyramid schemes, but few can explain them, and only those hurt by them truly understand them and their potential for damage. Consider this scenario: a family with small children, strapped for cash because their jobs simply do not allow them to care for their family in a lifestyle they desire. So they hear about this great opportunity. All they must do is sell a product. Furthermore, if they can sell the possibility of selling the product by convincing others to do the same, they will eventually have the opportunity to sit back, enjoy life, and just watch the dollars roll in. There’s a catch, however. They must invest some of their own money. After all, it takes money to make money. So they clean out their savings account and begin to invest. They start selling their out-of-this-world product, and they even convince a couple of their friends to do the same. They start begin to see some money roll back in from their hard work, and they feel great. Suddenly, the company closes shop. Everything dries up, because their market has been saturated by the plethora of sales people, and not have they lost their extra income, but they have an empty savings account and uncomfortable silence around those friends who invested with them.
So how do we avoid this scheme? First and foremost, with any home business opportunity, the seeker must do his homework. He needs to read about the company, ask around about it, and learn not just about its product but also its business practices. He also should ask about how sales people make money and receive promotions. If an individual receives a promotion simply by teaching others to sell under him or her, then you have a pretty fishy-sounding business. Solid businesses rely on sharp sales people to sell their product. Thus sales people do just that: sell the product. They do not turn into recruiters for the company.
An additional fatal flaw that has occurred repeatedly in the history of home business focuses on self-discipline. Certainly a great majority of individuals desire to spend more time with their families, and they see a home business as the perfect opportunity to blend family with vocation. However, they often misunderstand the necessary balance for business in the midst of the home. They begin to simply work when they feel like it, and they ignore the self-discipline that may have granted them success in the traditional work world. They do not maintain regular hours, and they begin to see their clients drop off or they cannot obtain a client in the first place.
Those who work at home should not sacrifice family for business. However, they must find the critical balance so that they provide for their family while still meeting their emotional and psychological needs. They can do this best by maintaining regular business hours. Certainly kids can visit the home office while dad or mom is at work, but kids also must understand that just like they have specific times in their lives for eating, playing, and sleeping, their parents have specific times for working. History tells us that those who work hard and find that balance will indeed succeed at their venture.
We have memories for a reason: to remember what occurred and to learn from those memories. If we only remember things with a chuckle, a sigh, or a frown, then we have learned nothing. But if we can take a lesson from the memory, such as those in the home business realm, we have nuggets of gold to invest in future success.