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I'm convinced that choosing a business is more of an art form than it is a science. We pride ourselves in making all our decisions "strictly by the numbers", and this is wrong. Numbers only tell us to do things that are safe and to do things the same way they have worked in the past. A fast changing world requires implementing ideas that are new, those that have never worked before. But new ideas don't happen because of the numbers, they happen because an entrepreneur loves the idea and has passion for the process of seeing it fulfilled.

I'm not advocating that you throw away your calculator when you are making any decision. What I'm suggesting is that there is a time and place for calculator and you have to know when not to use it. Did you use a calculator when you picked a mate? No. You trusted your gut, your heart and all that other neat stuff. It's that kind of decision making that you need to depend on when choosing a business opportunity. Like selecting a mate, choosing a business, should be a very personal decision. Afterall, you may wind up spending the rest of your life with this business. If your business isn't right for you, you will want to leave it some day even if it is making money.

Many people use "staying in the business because of the money" they same way some couples "stick it out because of the children". The best of both worlds is making the money and loving your business.

Using your gut will greatly increase your chance of financial and personal success. If you choose a business you really have a passion for something magical happens. Your business is no longer work, it becomes an art and you become the artist. You think about your business all the time -- not just 8 hours a day like your competitors who are trapped in business they don't enjoy. And you'll eventually do it better than anyone else because it is your art. You're having fun working on the problems of the day while your competitors can't wait to get out of the office.

Your chance of success skyrockets because you won't be easily discouraged. Look around at the people who run businesses in our country.

You can see that it doesn't take a genius to run a company.
Just think back to all the idiots you've worked for in the past.
Perseverance, not intelligence, is the key.
If you love what you're doing, you won't give up at the first economic downturn and try to find something more profitable.
You'll stay and learn how to make money even then the economy sours.
Eventually, you'll become better at what you do than anyone else.

Judging your success by the numbers can also be a trap in judging your happiness. Someday you will achieve those numbers and then what? Success by the numbers is fleeting because once you reach one number you are at that point in time only for a moment before you have to choose another number as a goal. But if your goal is doing exactly what your want to be doing with your life then you are happy each and every day and not only on the day you reach your number.

I had a vision once of Picasso being a numbers man and waking up one day saying......"Today, I better paint five eagles and seven elephants." Or saying...."Maybe I should give up painting and become a stockbroker. There's more money in being a stockbroker than being a struggling artist." No, he never did this. Picasso had to paint what was inside of him, no matter what the numbers told him. This was true before and after his success.

I believe that we're all Picassos at something. I believe that there is something inside all of us that is our art form. The problem is discovering it before our life runs out. Real artists are lucky. Dancers, singers, painters, they all have an easily definable talent that everybody knows is art. But what about the rest of us, whose art is not so obvious. Why can't we find a business that gives us that same feeling as painting gave to Picasso? If you do figure it out, the chance of your success will increase greatly.

Maybe your art is shining shoes, maybe it's making people happy when they travel, or maybe it's even being a lawyer. Now, God knows this country doesn't need just another lawyer.But it always needs another lawyer who has the same passion for the law as Picasso had for his art. And it will need another whatever you want to be, if you truly have the passion for being it.

Steps for Choosing a Business

First start with your gut. Clear out the mind and try to explore your true loves. Open your mind to new ideas and opportunities. Ask yourself questions like:

1) What is my fantasy business?
2) What would I do even if I didn't get paid for it?
3) What people do I really admire in the world and why?Next take out your calculator and start exploring all your ideas.
Follow all your ideas even the dumb ones and see where they lead to.
Do the research, study the options.
Remember all the information you need to find out about any business is out there.

End with your gut. The final decision can be difficult. If you did enough research you probably came up with more than one potentially good idea. But be sure to make the final decision with your gut. You are the one who has to be happy with this decision. And when you are, you will work like hell to make that business a success. This is the only way you have a chance of being your own hero and winding up on someone else's list of people they admire most.


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