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Pirates - Pioneers Of The Home Based Business
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Pirates - Pioneers Of the Home Based Business

As we strive to build a better future. It behooves us to consider the past. From the earliest days of our existence we have strove to provide for your families in the most effective manner possible. Of all the examples in our history I would like to consider one group who best exemplify the spirit of the home-based business: Pirates.

A few of the finer points I would like to consider:

  • Worked out of their homes (even if their home was of the mobile variety)
  • Sense of camaraderie amongst each other
  • Organized hierarchy (changing from time to time due to one mutiny or another)
  • Targeted their customer base with pinpoint accuracy
  • A set of rules to live by (guidelines actually)
  • Took time out to celebrate accomplishments (rum is a good way to accomplish this goal if I do say so myself)

I don't know of any pirates from the days of yore who went to an office everyday. Imagine rising out of bed, getting dressed, eating breakfast and then up to the main deck for the day. There is a freedom to not having a commute to get to work and I believe that makes one oh so much more productive. I used to have a 45 minute commute every morning and it would take me the first hour or so at work to recover from that harrowing and grinding experience (forget about it if anyone actually cut me off in traffic, then the whole day was shot). Problems do arise from not commuting to work like can't use the traffic made me late excuse. Overall it is a real kick to go to work in your bunny slippers and no one to complain about your inappropriate attire. Other problems are that you are on call 24/7 but in a home based business that is an expected situation that can actually improve your chances for success because no one (customers especially) was to feel ignored.

Pirates on the ship worked together for a common goal. Everyone pitched in to keep those decks swabbed (although I believe this chore had more to with keeping the crew busy during the long times between "customer interactions"), the Captain fed and the sails in good repair. In any business you need an all for one and one for all attitude to succeed. Even in my dad's jewelry shop where they were no "employees" us kids and my mother chipped in to ensure success so you know we could have food to eat and a roof over our heads.

As with the ship having a captain, someone must be head of the business to keep everything moving forward. This may be simply you because you are the only one involved but anytime you have friends over or family helping out, someone needs to keep everything organized. It also keeps the arguments and fights to a minimum when there is a recognized leader. Of course, if you are working by yourself and you are having problems with arguments and fights within your one-man company then you have bigger problems to sort out that go way beyond the scope of the home-based business. The aid of a good psychotherapist may need to be enlisted.

Pirates were a lot of things but slouches in targeting their customer-base was not one of them. You as with the pirates need to see opportunities where they exist and pursue them relentlessly. Of course, pirates pursuits were and are considered at odds with the law and common decency but the concept still holds true. Your customer base needs to be consiered in any business decision you make. Whether you prepare taxes, provide legal advice from your home or make shoe strings (colorful, metallic and glow in the dark ones!) you must consider who your customer will be and what they need or want (shoestrings can define ones personality you know). Putting aside ones ego and considering the greater good can be difficult but in the end will lead to a more satisfying outcome.

As with the pirates, we need to have rules to at least guide our activities. Without which we would be chasing around in circles or worst not going anywhere. These rules will guide your principles and define your integrity with your customers. My dad's guiding principles were to provide a quality service for a fair price. Your principles may be less noble but consider having long range goals that will ensure a long life for your business. The quick buck may be alluring but it rarely leads to a significant business of any longevity. Rules need to be established for every aspect of your business from how you answer your phone to what constitutes a valid business expense. This is where the tax considerations come into play. For instance, if you are a rock and roll chanteuse your makeup is not considered a valid business expense, just ask Stevie Nicks.

More often than not you will be working to attain your goals but don't forget to celebrate your victories along the way. This is what makes business fun and enjoyable. Strive to treat your employees (family, friends, whatever) to a feast (just keep your eye on the expenses since you probably will want to have a business after everyone goes home) and break out the tankards of joy. Celebrate your victories and you will enjoy your successes more and more. In fact, anytime is great for a party so why don't you go out and have a block party today!

Take a few pointers from the pioneers of the home-based business and have a great time doing it. Just keep it within the confines of common decency and legalities or you may have to have a jail-based business.

Street Talk

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