‘How to succeed in business without really trying’ is the title of a famous Broadway musical. It is an award-winning show that is based on a book of the same title by Shepherd Meade. This is the story of a young man who reads a self-help book and starting off as a window cleaner becomes the head of a company. This was also made into a movie and a TV show. Incidentally, the book on which the musical was based had a sub title ‘The Dastard’s Guide to Fame and Fortune’. You would have probably understood by now that the book was a satire on office politics that can help a person achieve success.
The question though is whether you really can succeed in business without trying. The hero of the musical and book did it, but can you do it? Can you succeed in a business without trying or putting in any effort? At the outset, it seems impossible. Then again we remember what Napoleon said,“Impossible is a word found in a fool’s dictionary”. So maybe it is possible! Let us explore this.
To succeed in a career, it is obvious that you need to work hard, prove your worth to the management so you can be rewarded with a promotion and higher pay. When you work for someone, you are working with the assurance that you would get your paycheck at the end of the month. In business, it is different. When you run a business, it is you who will be writing the paycheck, but for others. You may or may not get your own paycheck, because you can earn money from a business only if it succeeds.
So, we are back to the main question, can you succeed in a business without trying. Before we even try to answer this question, let us look at the core part of this topic, namely succeeding at business. How can you succeed in business and become rich and famous? When we find the answer to this question, we can also look at the ‘not trying’ part of the topic.
A business is an enterprise where you, on your own or with others, invest money, time, and effort to offer something to customers. You would do it with the intention of making money. When you start a new business, you are obviously starting from scratch. You need to start a business, start offering products and services to customers, and then start making money. To achieve success you need to do the following:
1) Monetizing an idea
For a business to succeed there must be a core idea or a solution that can address the needs or problems of customers. If your business can offer that solution, you can taste the fruits of success. An idea needs to be converted into a product or service that can be offered to the customer. This is the secret of business success.
2) Have an action plan
An idea by itself is of no use. It needs to be supported by an action plan that outlines how the idea would fetch money. The plans for creating the product, for marketing it, for research and development, for managing finances are all needed. A clear-cut plan is required before a business starts operating. This can help the businessperson to carry out its operations in a systematic way.
3) Provide leadership
A great leader can ensure a business succeeds. Leadership provides vision for the organization that can guide everyone in the organization to do their work effectively. A leader participates in the process of growth and is the driver of success for a business. You as the person who has started the business can provide this leadership to make your business earn profits.
4) A team of motivated employees
For a business to be successful, one person cannot do it all. It needs a group of people who are motivated, dedicated and work together as a team to achieve goals. Under the guidance of a good leader, motivated employees can create magic. As the leader, you need to engage with the employees, involve them in decision making, and utilize their services in the best possible way. This will help you in your quest for success.
5) Take risks
If you want rewards, you must be ready to take risks. The higher the risk you take, the more the rewards you can expect. You must be aware though that when you take too much of a risk, there is a chance of losing all your money. In order to succeed in a business, you need to take a well-calculated risk. Risk needs to be taken in a well-planned way with contingencies in place to handle any risky situation. Investing money to start a businessis itself a risk. Without taking risks,it is difficult to succeed in business. The risks though need to be properly managed to yield rewards.
6) Focus on the customer
A successful business is one that has loyal customers. A loyal customer not only sticks with you for a long time and gives you continuous business, but also recommends others to buy your products/service. Therefore, the top priority for a business should be to create loyal customers. You can do this by providing products and services of value. Putting extra effort to not just meet customer expectations, but also to exceed them is the key to creating loyal customers. Research and innovation can help in creating a product of value that customers would like.
7) Cut expenses to earn profits
A business is considered successful if it earns profits. When you earn profits, it helps you clear your liabilities and generate funds for investing on expansion. This is how a business can grow and be successful. To earn profits, you need to earn more revenue by selling more of your products. There is one more way of earning profits, which is to cut down on costs. You need to spend money on various activities to run a business. There could be many wasteful expenses. Finding out such expenses and cutting them can help you increase your profits.
8) Understand finance
Many businesses depend on a professional manager or consultant to manage their finances. It would not be prudent to depend on someone else to handle the finances entirely. A successful businessperson is one who understands finance. Money is the lifeblood of business. Managing money is a critical skill that finance professionals possess. As someone running a business, you need to understand finance to make your business successful.
9) Hard work and perseverance
There is absolutely no short cut for success. It needs hard work, dedication, and effort. As a businessperson, you need to put in effort and work hard if you want the business to succeed. If you want your employees to work hard, you need to set an example yourself. Time with family, holidays, and entertainment needs to be sacrificed when you want to make a business grow. When you run a business, you are likely to face many obstacles and also failure. A successful businessperson is one who does not give up and perseveres until the doors of success are opened.
10) Be multi skilled
A businessperson should wear multiple hats. Marketing, Innovation, Operations, Customer Service, HR, Finance – a successful businessperson should be involved in every area. To achieve success in a business, you need to develop multiple skills. This calls for extensive learning, by doing courses, attending training, and learning from others. Being multi skilled helps a businessperson to understand every facet of a business and can thus provide effective leadership.
Having looked at how to succeed at business, the lessons are very clear – you need something of value to offer to customers so that they would pay for it. You need to spend a lot of effort and time to make your business work. There is no short cut for success in a business. It involves hard work, perseverance, and ability to take risks. From all these, it looks as though you just cannot succeed at a business without trying. In every aspect of a business, effort is needed to make things work. This obviously cannot happen without trying.
However, there are certain things that can help you achieve success without trying too much. Some of them are:
1) Offer a product of exceptional value
If you have a product or service that is as valuable as gold, then you probably need not put in too much effort. If you find oil in your backyard or have rare minerals in your land, then even without much effort you can make your business succeed and earn money. The other way is to create a new and innovative product -something that others do not have. It must be something that is unique and offers great value to customers. When you innovate and create such a product, you need not try to succeed at a business; success will chase you. However, even this involves trying. Without effort, you cannot innovate and create something new.
2) Inherit or buy a successful business
Now this seems like the perfect answer to the title of this article. If you inherit a successful business that would be the sure fire formula for success. You have a business that is doing well and all you need to do is just come to work, spend time, and take home money at the end of the month. If you are not in a position to inherit a business, you can consider buying a successful business (if you have the money).
Be warned though that this is not as rosy as it looks. Just because you have a successful business handed over to you, there is no guarantee that you can continue to reap its benefits. There are many stories of successful businesses folding up because of the mistakes of its new management. For a successful business to remain so, it requires efficient management and a dynamic leadership. Here again, without effort you cannot continue to hope for success.
3) Have a valuable employee who can run the business for you
A successful business owner need not run the business on his/her own. He can have a successful CEO/Manager do it on his/her behalf. If you have a dynamic and competent employee who can run your business in an efficient way, this is the perfect formula for success. You can then achieve success in your business without really trying. This again is an ideal situation, which may not be possible in practice. It is difficult to find such a genius who can profitably run your business without your contribution. Even if you find such a person, there is no guarantee he/she will continue working for you. Finding such a person itself needs trying.
Some people are lucky. They have a Midas touch that converts everything they touch into gold. Such a person can achieve success in a business even without trying. Luck is though a matter of chance. There is absolutely no guarantee that you will be lucky. You may be lucky once, but to be lucky every day and every year is not possible. Anyone who expects luck to help them achieve success is living in a fool’s paradise.
5) Working Smart
One formula for success is to work smart and not work hard. This means working in an organized and efficient way to get things done. Here also you need to try, without which it is difficult to get the desired results.
As is evident from all the above, you really CANNOT achieve success in business without trying. You need to put at least some effort, without which achieving success would be just a pipe dream. To quote politician David Bly, “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted”. Without trying, you cannot hope for success. To conclude, we can say that you cannot succeed in business, or for that matter in life, without trying.
Tesla’s report could trigger $7 billion payout to Musk
By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) – Tesla’s quarterly report on Wednesday could trigger a $7 billion options payout to Chief Executive Elon Musk, while owners of the electric car maker’s soaring stock are keen to hear the company’s target for 2021 deliveries.
Tesla posts its December quarter results following a nearly 700% surge in its stock over the past 12 months that has made it the fifth-most-valuable publicly traded U.S. company, eclipsing Facebook.
Despite production that is a fraction of that of Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen or General Motors, Tesla has become by far the world’s most valuable car maker, with a market capitalization of $843 billion, compared with Toyota’s $236 billion.
Its shares are trading at over 200 times the average analyst earnings forecast for the next year, according to Refinitiv, underpinning skeptics’ arguments that Tesla’s stock has become highly overvalued.
After Tesla delivered just shy of a Musk-promised 500,000 electric vehicles last year, investors are focused on the Silicon Valley manufacturer’s 2021 delivery target, expected to be provided on Wednesday.
“We’re expecting close to 900,000 deliveries. I think that as the economy opens up again, there is going to be pent up demand from people who want to spend some money,” said King Lip, chief investment strategist at Baker Avenue Asset Management in San Francisco, which owns Tesla shares.
Following the close of trading on Wednesday, analysts on average expect Tesla to report adjusted EBITDA of $2.3 billion, up 92% from the year-ago period. That would be enough to trigger the vesting of the fifth of 12 tranches of options granted to Musk in his 2018 pay package to buy discounted Tesla shares.
Musk, who is also the majority owner and CEO of rocket maker SpaceX, receives no salary at Tesla. His pay package requires Tesla’s market capitalization and financial growth to hit a series of rising targets.
Each tranche gives Musk the option to buy 8.4 million Tesla shares at $70 each, a discount of more than 90% from their current price. At Tuesday’s price of $889, the shares from four previous tranches and the current tranche could generate a profit of nearly $35 billion, or almost $7 billion per tranche.
Tesla earlier this month started delivering Shanghai-made Model Y sports utility vehicles to customers in China, where it is benefiting from ballooning consumer demand but also faces growing competition.
Over the past three months, the U.S.-traded shares of Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO have more than doubled as investors diversify their bets in the electric vehicle industry. Chinese electric vehicle makers Xpeng and Li Auto have seen their stocks jump 170% and 69% during the same period.
Investors will also look for updates on plants Tesla is building in Berlin and Texas, as well as the outlook for production of Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck pickup.
For the December quarter, analysts expect Tesla to report revenue surging 40% to $10.3 billion and net income of $752.5 million, with adjusted earnings per share of $1.01, according to Refinitiv. In the previous quarter, Tesla’s profits came from selling pollution credits to other automakers, and it would have lost money if it only sold cars.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; editing by Peter Henderson and Dan Grebler)
Twitter grants academics full access to public data, but not for suspended accounts
(Reuters) – Twitter Inc on Tuesday opened free access to its new application programming interface (API) software for academic researchers, enabling them to study public conversations on its platform, but is not providing data from suspended accounts as part of the product.
Twitter said, with the new product, academic researchers will be able to tap into all the tools released to date on the new API platform, which will enable them to listen to and analyze public conversations.
The data will not, however, include tweets from accounts suspended for violations of Twitter rules, which means academics will be unable to use the API to study tweets by former U.S. President Donald Trump, company executives told reporters on Monday.
Twitter this summer rolled out a rebuilt version of its API platform, which provides tiered access to public Twitter data that users have chosen to share.
The company is trying to create new sources of revenue from the API by offering a greater variety of access levels and easing the process for developers to switch between them.
Like rival Facebook Inc, it is also responding to criticism that it has failed to tame the spread of misinformation and other abuses on its platform and has set up mechanisms for researchers to study those issues.
With the API tools, researchers will have free access to the full history of public conversation and higher levels of access to the Twitter developer platform, among others, the social media firm said in a blog post https://blog.twitter.com/developer/en_us/topics/tips/2021/enabling-the-future-of-academic-research-with-the-twitter-api.html.
On Monday, Facebook said it would provide academic researchers information on how political advertisements were targeted in the lead-up to the U.S. presidential election last year.
(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru and Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Maju Samuel)
Aviva sets Feb deadlines for $6.6 billion disposals in France, Poland -sources
By Pamela Barbaglia and Carolyn Cohn
LONDON (Reuters) – Aviva has set late February deadlines to receive final offers for its operations in France and Poland – a deal that would help the British insurer streamline operations and raise an overall 5.5 billion euros ($6.67 billion), sources told Reuters.
Aviva has secured indicative bids from industry heavyweights and wants to wrap up the sale of both units by the end of the first quarter, three sources said on condition of anonymity as the matter is confidential.
The London-based insurer, led by boss Amanda Blanc, is expected to sell its French business for about 3.5 billion euros while the Polish operations are valued at roughly 2 billion euros, the sources said.
The sale is central to Blanc’s turnaround plan aimed at shifting the insurer’s focus to core operations in Britain, Canada and Ireland after prolonged share price weakness has irked investors.
Aviva declined to comment on the sale but confirmed it was exploring strategic options across its portfolio, including in France and Poland.
Dutch insurer NN Group, Italy’s Assicurazioni Generali and Germany’s Allianz are among a group of bidders vying for Aviva’s Polish business and facing a deadline of Feb. 26 to submit final offers, the sources said.
French mutual insurer Groupe Macif is dominating the French auction with a 3.5 billion euro indicative bid, and is working on a final proposal ahead of a Feb. 22 deadline, two of the sources said.
The bidding field for Aviva France also includes investment firm Eurazeo and life insurance specialist Athora, which is backed by U.S. private equity investor Apollo, the sources said.
Eurazeo made a non-binding offer of around 3.2-3.3 billion euros in early January and is keen to clinch a deal that would give it access to Aviva’s investment portfolio and boost returns with alternative investments, one of the sources said.
Eurazeo, NN Group, Allianz and Generali declined to comment, while Macif and Athora were not immediately available.
Aviva faced stiff opposition in France when it tried to strike a deal with a consortium of Allianz and Athora last year.
Their joint offer prompted concern over job security and strategy as French regulators, unions and Aviva’s local partner Association Française d’Epargne et de Retraite (Afer) sought to halt the sale.
Allianz remains interested in the general insurance assets of Aviva France’s business, another source said, and may still team up with the likes of Athora or Eurazeo.
Generali, Europe’s third-biggest insurer, is also waiting on the sidelines as it wants control of the same assets, two sources said.
The Italian insurer could try to pursue an alliance with Eurazeo should the French investment firm led by boss Virginie Morgon emerge as a winner, they said.
Eurazeo is bidding for the whole of Aviva France but its focus is on the life insurance side, which makes up around three-quarters of the unit’s revenue, a source familiar with its strategy said.
If successful, the Aviva purchase could become the basis of a life insurance consolidation platform for Eurazeo, with the general insurance portion flipped to Generali or Allianz, this source said.
Aviva is also in the process of selling the rest of its Italian business and is reviewing some of its international joint ventures, including in Turkey and India, after pulling out of Indonesia last year.
($1 = 0.8249 euros)
(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia and Carolyn Cohn in London; Additional reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, Gwenaelle Barzic, Alex Huebner and Toby Sterling; Editing by Barbara Lewis, Jason Neely, Jan Harvey and David Gregorio)
Tesla’s report could trigger $7 billion payout to Musk
By Noel Randewich (Reuters) – Tesla’s quarterly report on Wednesday could trigger a $7 billion options payout to Chief Executive...
Twitter grants academics full access to public data, but not for suspended accounts
(Reuters) – Twitter Inc on Tuesday opened free access to its new application programming interface (API) software for academic researchers,...
Aviva sets Feb deadlines for $6.6 billion disposals in France, Poland -sources
By Pamela Barbaglia and Carolyn Cohn LONDON (Reuters) – Aviva has set late February deadlines to receive final offers for...
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