12 Ways to Ensure Your Personal History Business Fails.

[A tip of the hat to Laura Spencer at Freelance Folder for inspiring this post.]

Ever get a “teensy” bit tired of all those gung-ho blogs dedicated to productivity and success? It’s time for some balance. Let’s talk about good old-fashioned failure. For all you personal historians who are  run off your feet with  clients’ demands, here’s your escape plan. Follow these 12 tips and you  can’t help but fail successfully.

Do you have some great failure tips? Let me know.

  1. Don’t listen to clients. This is perhaps the most important step. You’re the one with experience, not your clients. Forget what they think they want. You know best. The sooner you turn a deaf ear to their wishes, the quicker you can lose them and fail.
  2. Keep clients waiting. You don’t want to look too eager. Leave that e-mail reply and return telephone call until you feel in the mood. It’s less stressful and gives the impression you’re too busy to get back to them. Remember the longer you wait, the better the chance of failure.
  3. Stop marketing. It’s not fun anyway. If people don’t know about you, then you won’t be bothered by pesky clients. Failure is guaranteed.
  4. Enroll in courses, workshops, and seminars. The trick here is to load up your plate with as many educational opportunities as you can squeeze into a day. This not only makes you terribly busy but leaves absolutely no time for clients.
  5. Rate yourself with other more successful business owners. Nothing can make you feel more depressed than comparing your own efforts with successful entrepreneurs. The more despondent about your own business, the quicker you can give up.
  6. Watch daytime television. Who says there’s nothing on daytime TV? It’s jam-packed with entertaining shows. Better yet, find a few programs with an educational bent. You know, the ones about home makeovers and cooking. That way you can convince yourself that you’re gaining valuable knowledge while glued to the set for hours on end.
  7. Fake competence. Assure clients that you’re capable of delivering on any type of personal history format their heart desires.  Never produced a video biography? No problem. Never created a book? Piece of cake. The results  will inevitably disappoint your client and ensure that bad word of mouth will drive others away.
  8. Fail to meet deadlines. People are much too obsessed with deadlines. Not to worry. You’ll deliver when you can. No need to add stress to your life. As a bonus client killer, don’t bother returning their calls. They probably just want to find out when their project will be delivered.
  9. Spend your day on Facebook and Twitter. It’s so important to keep abreast of your friends’ activities and let them know your latest news. Working on your client’s project really eats into important social networking time.
  10. Attend to household chores. Working from home allows you to see what needs to be done. Your office calls out for a major clean-up. The kitchen could use a new paint job. Put your client’s work on hold. After all, your needs are just as important as theirs.
  11. Over promise and under deliver. Clients can be far too picky.  When you told clients they could include as many photographs as they wanted in their book, you didn’t literally mean that. Really, it just takes too much time to scan all those images. Select a sample of ten photos. This is sure to disappoint your client.  Bingo! Someone else who’ll help drive people away from your services.
  12. Don’t ask for referrals. Why do you want more clients? You need time to work on your hobbies and household chores. There’s no room for more clients. Besides, asking for referrals just seems so needy.

Photo by James Jordan

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4 Responses to 12 Ways to Ensure Your Personal History Business Fails.

  1. Dan, This is such a great blog. Hits a bit close to the bone in some areas I have to say. It really is a wake-up call – not that I do all of the above, but I’m not on top of certain areas. I think this is a blog that many entrepreneurs working from home would benefit from reading. It’s so easy to kid yourself you’re doing everything you need to be doing to get your business flying, but it’s very rarely the case. Thank you! – I’ll be tweeting this one & putting it on facebook (in between watching my daytime tv shows & household chores of course ;-)
    Cheers Louise

    • @Louise Bibby Hocking. Thanks for the great endorsement, Louise. You’ve made my day! I appreciate your spreading the word. Will you be coming to the APH conference in my fair city of Victoria?

  2. Dan,
    I love your tongue-in-cheek approach to this advice! Some of it hits just a bit too close to the truth, but a great wake-up call. Your blog always has such great content. Thanks!

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