What History Can Teach Us About Business

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The old adage ‘business moves quickly’ is true. But it brings its past lessons along for the ride. There is no other way to learn if something is going to work or not then just by doing it. Exchange rates, technology, our ability to travel wherever we like at the drop of a hat, those things we take for granted. But they were hard forged by many men, business and otherwise, before us.

“the pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.” – Justin Trudeau

And that is quite something to think about. The lessons from the men and women who have been in business for years, sometimes whole generations of skill passed down through the family. Others are taught in schools, universities, and colleges. Both Ivy League and Community.

The books that teach us theory were written in the time where that theory was new. And, many years later, we find ourselves using them for reference.

Products To Market

Something that we now have access to that we didn’t merely 20 years ago is a raft of information. We can find anything we want. From how cheese was first invented to how many people are How Many WW2 Veterans are Still Alive? There is a lot for us to learn. So when we are building our market research, looking for case studies to support our theories or debunk others – it’s there. Learning how people first took certain products to market and comparing that with now – it’s pretty amazing. Now we can simply set up a Facebook channel and have images of our products online.

The road to success was more difficult, now we are fortunate that even with a small product line, we can make a relatively good living only selling online.


We can often use past financial certainties to predict future impact. When we are putting together our business plans, and the financial forecast to take to the bank – we always use previous sales to indicate where we think the future will take us. In specific markets, you can predict rises and falls by looking at years of numbers.

The most significant impact on business has rarely been about new products or technologies – instead, they have been about the development of prices.

When farmers suffer lousy crop years, or there is a weather anomaly that impacts what they produce – there is typically less of that product. What happens then is the price will rise in the future – impacting other industries, and the costs will get passed on to the consumer. This might not be in the same quarter that the initial disaster was, it might be months later – sometimes years.


Isn’t always best. Sometimes the person who is first to market, or the first with a new technology suffers a colossal flop. They don’t always get it right. New products are in production right this moment – many of which are an updated, better tested, forward stride of what came before. They say that is your first product was perfect then you waited too long.

But perhaps it should be if your first product was perfect you learned from the mistakes of others who came before you.


There are brands that many of us love today, that started out a shadow of what they are today. They knew then, and it still holds true now, it is about perception. Great painters and poets turn people into ‘god’ like figures with words and images. So that is now how a person might refer to them – rather than who and what they actually were. Artists in modern times might be found in the graphics department and the PR department. The craft brands into what they want you to see. Looking at the past of brand giants, and seeing how they manipulated what they were doing, and even the color of their logos. In fact, JP Morgan Chase, for example, was founded in 1799 and was initially The Manhattan Group. Through mergers and wise investments, it is thriving under a name we are familiar with now JP Morgan Chase.


People now have the term ‘storyteller’ in their LinkedIn profiles. And for some it is a too fluffy term, others it is a subtle nod in how modern communications work. But Storytellers are an integral part of many businesses. It is a creative and emotive way to get consumers to ‘feel’ something about your brand. And in doing so, they are more likely to spend money – with you.

In terms of history, it would be remiss not to mention Shakespeare – for some the ultimate storyteller. Mark Twain who captures humor so elegantly, Keats who pressed and pulls on your heartstrings. They led the way, without knowing or meaning to, to make words matter.

The now matter in such a way that the communications team can sculpt and mold quantitative and qualitative data into something easy to digest at a 9am meeting.

Stories, or any type of communication, is witty, it’s strategic, it links up your audience with your brand and products. But it wouldn’t have been possible without artists and creators who paved the way for the creative story.

Connecting The Dots

Of course, not everything will make sense when lined up next to your business. But there will be many records about companies that have come before you. The mistakes they made, the financials, and in some cases, what cause them to collapse. If you can extract the relevant information, you can future proof your business using the history of others.

Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him – Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In general, it is essential to understand that the grooves that businesses, dating back to the time cargo was transported via ships taking months, are important. You can link economic issues, housing booms, bank collapse, and breakthrough technology to the anchor points of the past. And in doing so, you will have a richer, more in-depth understanding of not only your own business but that of others too.

You’re Ready To Take That Side-Hustle Full-Time

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If there’s one thing that bonds people in the modern-day it’s the side-hustle. Everyone seems to have a side-hustle these days. From Etsy shops to art stores, web design to freelance copywriting, sustainable swimming trunks to children’s books – side-hustles are now more common than colds. In fact, a recent study shows that just over half of all millennials are busy with some kind of side hustle, and two of the most standout reasons for this is a) to keep pushing a long-held passion or b) to boost their income.

Of course, that’s not the only reason people are running a sideshow. From our experience, another majorly massive motivator is all to do with people wanting out of their 9-5. One of the most desirable things for people these days is to leave the grind behind and start working for themselves doing something they are genuinely interested in. Most people know that it’s not easy and that there needs to be a serious investment made into their side-hustle, but knowing they might be able to eventually make it their full-time gig is enough to keep pushing on with it. The trick is knowing when you’re ready? Knowing when you’ve got far enough to turn your side hustle into your full-time money-maker, and with confidence.

That’s what we’re going to delve into.

Having recently sat down with a few entrepreneurs who made a success of their side-hustles, we learned what it took to finally take the plunge. So, without further ado, here’s how to know you’re ready to drop your mindless career and run with your passion-project:

  1. Your Financials Look Good

Like we said at the beginning, there are a million types of side-hustles in a thousand different industries. But one of the things that joins them all together on the hunt for success is, no matter what side-hustle you have taken up, your financials need to be ready before you can take the leap. The problem is: no one makes a bunch of cash right from the get-go and, for some, it’s an investment or a loan that really gets things going. That said, your aim should be to have at least a few months rent in your bank account, a good credit score and some savings you can fall back on. Once you have this, you can confidently take the plunge knowing that you have some cash behind you to keep pushing your side-hustle in the right direction.

  1. You’re Getting Attention

For almost every freelancer, grabbing the spotlight and shining it on your work is a battle like no other. You know you need to gain some attention for the work you have completed on different projects, putting your collaborations up on Instagram and putting up spec work online. The issue with this is, it’s you forcing people to look. It’s necessary, but it’s not enough to make you take the leap. What you want to know is that your side hustle work is starting to gain attention. You want to see your passion projects start to become a talking point where people contact you about this or that, or your work starts to get online likes. That’s where the Instagram and Facebook thing can really help. There are so many examples of people that have put stuff out on Instagram, kept up at it, learned how to market themselves through these channels and turned their passion into a full-time gig. That’s what you need to do. You need to sell your passion. Then, when you start noticing that these passion projects are turning into paydays of some kind – job offers, commissioned pieces, repeat clients etc – the feedback on your customer satisfaction tool is a great read and your online following is growing, you can rest easy in the knowledge your side-hustle is ready to become full-time.

  1. You Motivate Yourself

Going from an employed person that has to be somewhere at a certain time to a freelancer that relies on your own get-up and go is one of the toughest transitions anyone can make. All of a sudden, once you start working for yourself, you become the only person responsible for your success. There’s no team, no support, no backroom staff – nothing but you. That means you have to become a super-self-starter that’s proactive, you need to know how to best motivate yourself, when you work best, what sort of routines keep you grounded and moving forward and what sort of rewards keep you focused. And only once you have all this sussed out will you if you’re ready to go full-time with your side-hustle. Ask any entrepreneur that’s made it on their own and they’ll tell you the same thing: sure, talent and creative ideas are essential, but they’re nothing if you don’t have self-discipline or that motivation to succeed. As such, nailing this side of the game is so important before you try and take it full-time.

  1. You Have Business Acumen

Let’s get one thing straight: If you don’t know how to run a business, success is going to be a whole lot harder for you because, after all, you’re trying to start a business. That means getting clued up on all the mistakes and pitfalls out there, knowing what your overheads are, how to keep costs down, the art of pricing your products and services, who your target audience is, having a well-thought-out growth plan, knowing how to market yourself in the big bad world, and what trends are currently taking off. All of this stuff falls under the banner of “business know-how” and the better you can get clued up on it (and that means your market as a whole), the easier the whole full-time transition will become. It will be less knowing if you’re ready and more, “wow, I’ve done it!”

Taking a side-hustle and making it your full-time gig is no easy feat. But it is easier than ever before as proved by the number of people doing it. The trick is having the confidence to know when the time is ready. That’s all.

What We Really Do In January

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January is a bit of a let down if we’re honest. There is so much hype surrounding December and even November, with the holidays and New Years. And when we reach that time where we cross over to a New Year, there are so many people saying New Year, New Me. Setting resolutions and promises to change and do new, positive things. Unfortunately, those well-meant promises aren’t easily kept. Changing habits or even making new ones takes a lot of willpower. But just because you don’t immediately accomplish every little thing within those first few weeks of the year doesn’t mean that you have failed and should stop trying. What we really do in January doesn’t mean that you won’t accomplish what you set out to do.


Following the holiday’s everyone is scrambling trying to sort out their finances. So many people use their savings to pay for Christmas, and so when it comes to the New Year, their funds are low. Rather than trying to push those minimal finances to stretch to pay for all those new activities you wanted to get involved with, wait a month and give your savings account a chance to gain a little of what it has lost. Besides, most places put up their prices in January purely because so many people sign up this month. So when you get to the end of the month and realize that you haven’t started going to the gym, or haven’t had the money to start eating clean yet, don’t worry.


Throughout the holiday’s normality goes out of the window. Following Thanksgiving, the build-up to Christmas is a blur of shopping and visiting. Christmas day is all about eating rubbish from the moment you wake up, afternoon naps, and late bedtimes. Then you have the lead up to New Year’s Eve where no one really knows what day it is. So January is a shock to the system as you try and get back to normal. So when you look back at the month, if all you have achieved is getting your sleep pattern right and are eating at the proper times, then consider it an accomplishment.

Set Up

For many people, that first week of January is a ‘set up’ week. Where you call al the places, sign up to all the things, and buy in all the stuff you need to do the things. You come up with ideas and plan how to get them off the ground – if you want to read more on that, you can click here. And then it gets to the end of the month, and you realize you haven’t done much of anything. And that is because you are living through point number two with a budget of number one. Again, see this month as a stepping stone; you have accomplished part of what you have set out to do while getting back into a normal routine and trying not to overspend. That’s an accomplishment.

Trying To Run A Startup Without These Things Will Doom Your Business To Fail

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One of the things that a lot of people realize when they actually start trying to set up their own business is just how many different elements there are to it. Even the smallest startup is made up of a lot of different parts that all need a lot of care and attention put into them. Because of that, it can be kind of overwhelming to keep track of them all. However, there are some things that need more of your attention than others. With that in mind, here are three things that you startups is totally doomed without.


There are a lot of resources that your business can’t survive without, but if there’s one resource that’s more valuable than just about any other, it’s your employees. You might be at the head of the business, but they are the ones who can turn your ambitions into a reality. Because of that, you need to make sure that you’re bringing in the right people at all times. Using some applicant tracking system software can make that entire process much easier, without you having to divert all of your attention away from your business. And when you have the right employees, you need to make sure that they’re well taken care of because if you can’t look after your employees, you really can’t expect to get the very best out of them.   

An accountant

Accounting is one of those things that far too many business owners have a habit of neglecting entirely. This is often for two pretty simple reasons. Firstly, it can be incredibly complicated and frustrating to wade through hundreds of invoices in order to figure out what position your finances are in. Secondly, it’s just plain boring. There are far more interesting aspects of your business that you might prefer to focus your energies on. That’s why outsourcing them out to an accountant is such a good idea. It might seem as though you’re going to end up paying more than you need to there but the truth is that a good accountant is worth their weight in gold.

An online presence

It’s pretty much impossible to deny the fact that the modern world that we live in is ruled by the internet. Just about everyone on earth is online now, and most people have the internet in their pocket pretty much all day long. Because of that, if you ignore the internet when arranging your business, you’re putting yourself at a serious disadvantage. Everything from marketing to actually selling your products can be done online incredibly easily, and you’re much more likely to connect with many more customers if all they have to do is put a search into Google to find you.

Sure, these things might need to be right at the top of your list of priorities, but they certainly aren’t the only things that should be there. You need to make sure that you’re putting as much care and attention as possible into pretty much every aspect of your business from top to bottom.