Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Recipe for Success

I love to cook. It’s an excitement and a joy that I’ve discovered rather late in my life. I love searching out recipes, and learning how one part of the world’s cuisine differs from another. I love to combine the flavors and the smells.

I also love it when I try something new or challenging and it all comes out just right. It kinda pays me back for all the times when I try something new and it completely flops.

I often see people writing instructions for personal development and using the old recipe formula. This is, honestly, another one of those. I think it’s a bit different, though. These are all the ingredients that make up the personality of a successful business person.

1. 1 Tbsp of Innovation

It really makes a big difference, especially on the internet, to be doing something new. Seth Godin, in “The Purple Cow”, talks about how if you want to have a business that people are remarking about, you have to have a remarkable business! You can come up with a completely new idea that is totally unlike anything else. You can look at an old idea, and create a new approach to it, or a new way to use it. You can take two or three different ideas and imagine a way to combine them into something new and incredible.

You don’t need much originality, just a simple fresh idea that you can build on.

2. 1 Cup of Drive

Your business has to get you excited. If you don’t do or don’t care about what your business is all about, why should your customers? Having a passion for something also means that you’re involved in it. And if you’re involved in it, then you identify with your audience, because you’re a part of it!

3. 3 Cups of Persistence

This is the core of the recipe. There really is only one way to fail, and that is to quit. If you can consistently continue, you will eventually succeed. Now, that’s not to say that you should keep doing something wrong. If you are banging your head against a brick wall, it would probably be a good idea to stop for a moment and see if there’s a door nearby. And if there’s not, then you’ll need to find a way to climb the wall. Ramming your head repeatedly into the wall isn’t going to chip it down, but sitting down or going away isn’t going to get you moving forward, either.

4. A dash of Chutzpah

Chutzpah is having the daring to get things started. I know a lot of people that have a lot of plans and dreams. They often research the dreams, and make the plans, but never launch them. A lot of people will invest the time and money, build the website, even, but never promote it. Some will spend weeks analyzing a decision, but never make the final choice. Just like how you don’t need much chili to spice up a meal, a little bit of chutzpah is all it takes to get things moving!

5. A splash of Rebellion

Throughout the life of your business, you will face the nay-sayers. These people have no shortage of reasons why your idea is lame, or your timing is bad, or the stars aren’t in line, or whatever other excuse they can come up with for you. It’ll never work, and they’re there to tell you why not, and they’ll be there to tell you they told you so when it all falls apart. But you’ll notice that they’re not doing it, either. You make choices for yourself. You are in charge. You can make it work.

6. Patience

Pour all these ingredients together and let them simmer in patience. This is a long-term work you’re starting. Just like a good soup has to simmer all day, a business takes time to grow.

Now, just like a good recipe, don’t worry too much if you don’t have one or two of the ingredients. Subsitute something similar, like passion for drive, or creativity for innovation. Or dig deep into your personal pantry and find some patience that you didn’t realize you had. And when it’s all done you can serve it up in style!

Mark is the co-director of, the search marketing consulting arm of Clickincome ( Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

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