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The Curse Of The Technician

We often meet two very distinct types of personalities when meeting others who are trying to make a living online, which can probably be divided into two groups – tech savvy and non-tech savvy. Those that belong in the non-tech savvy group are often afraid that they don’t know enough about building websites or programming to be successful, while the tech savvy often flock to the world of online business because it seems to suit their personalities better.

We often get into trouble when talking to tech savvies, because we’re not particularly tech savvy ourselves. We enjoy technology of course, and appreciate how it has allowed us to live the life that we do, but when it comes to programming, we can both add an image or a link in html, but that’s about it. Out of the two groups of people, both have strengths and weaknesses, but it’s possibly the non-tech savvies who are most likely to succeed here. This might seem a little counter intuitive, but it comes down to personality types, and it’s important to know who you are, and what strengths you have, as well as what weaknesses you might have to overcome.

If you haven’t read a book called “The E-Myth” yet, I highly recommend you do so, as the author, Michael Gerber highlights one of the great reasons why most small businesses fail. It’s because many people have the impression that you run a great jewellery business (for example), you must be a great jeweller. As such, somebody who is a great jeweller, might decide that they have the per-requisite abilities for opening and running a successful jewellery business. Unfortunately, the technical side of a business is often only a very small part of its success, and you are often far better off employing or contracting someone else to do this technical side for you as soon as you can, so that you can concentrate on the “business” side of your business.

There are people with personalities that lend themselves to being technicians though, and doing the technical work can easily become a crutch that makes you “feel” like you are being productive for your business, when in actual fact it may well be distracting you from doing the work that will actually take your business forward.

I remember a web designer friend who started a niche e-commerce business because they believed that with their web design skills they were already “most of the way there” to being a successful e-commerce owner. It’s difficult to then explain to them that the web design aspect is only 1% of the “game” when it comes to being successful, and that web design is mostly free these days. I know there might be designers out there who are not happy with reading this statement, but that is the reality of today, and will become even more so tomorrow. There are many builders out there who know how to build a shop, it doesn’t mean they know how to run one. Knowing how to find markets with competition that you can beat, knowing how to source quality products while keeping your risk and capital outflows under control, and knowing how to brand your stores, these are the elements that will make you successful.

So where do you spend your time?

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