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The Newbie Advantage

May 16, 2014

Photo courtesy of Craig Allen

“I Learned All I Need To Know About Islam on 9/11.”

It’s been 14 years since the 9/11 attacks, but I still see bumper stickers with this and similar messages.

“Terrorist attackers were Muslim, therefore Islam is bad. End of story.”

That’s the message.

It seems stupid when you look at it that way, completely writing something off because on a single incident and not being open to any information that would challenge that belief.

But I’d argue most entrepreneurs, especially experienced entrepreneurs, have a similar approach to business…

“Nobody reads print books anymore.”

“Digital books suck. People want a book they can hold and write notes in.”

“Direct mail doesn’t work.”

“Wordpress is the only worthwhile blogging platform.”

“Email is dead.”

The Newbie Advantage

People new to business (or any situation) don’t have the experience to know what will or won’t work. Because of this, they’re often the most open to possibility.

How many “newbies’ have you seen come in late on a market (or marketing technique) and completely kick ass with it?

It happens…a lot. And that same level of success can happen for you, even if you’re not a newbie.

How to Jump In (Even When Experience Says To Do Otherwise)

Here’s the secret for being open… View what you’re doing as an experiment. Simply do something to collect “data” rather than worry with the outcome.

Still scary?

Ask yourself this…

“What’s the smallest piece I can break off and experiment with?”

For example, if you think WordPress is the only worthwhile blogging platform, but there is another platform you’ve seen somebody have success with, even if you’re not ready to move everything over to the non-Wordpress platform, perhaps it would be great for a personal or hobby site, just to let you get a taste for what it can (or can’t) do for you.

All too often, as entrepreneurs, we like to jump in 100%. This can be a great asset, but as we get older and more experienced, it can also become scary as hell.

It’s not “playing small” to do something less than 100% — it’s playing smart. You don’t have to do anything 100%, but if you want to continue to grow yourself and your business, you do have to do something.

But what will happen if something in your “experiment” goes wrong?

Usually nothing too bad. Certainly not anything worse that what will happen if you don’t do anything.

You should never write something off before you try it. And don’t write off something because it didn’t work once, or didn’t work several years ago, when the market was different or when you didn’t have the skills you have now. Things change.

Be open, experiment, and keep moving forward. That’s how newbies learn to thrive.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Every Friday, I give tips on how to build the foundation needed to have a successful business and platformSee other posts in this series here and, if you have a request for me to cover something specific, let me know via Twitter.

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