Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Clocks And Shoes And Brooms Make Money

Many people labor under the misconception that you have to be brilliant--or at least quite smart – to become wealthy. But you do not. The secret to financial success is not necessarily intelligence, but rather efficiency. Many extraordinarily brilliant people have been poor all their lives, while many people with only average intelligence have amassed great fortunes. An example of the former is John Harrison (1693-1776), the clock maker. King Charles II founded the Royal Observatory in 1675 to solve the problem of keeping accurate time and finding longitude at sea. In 1714, the British Government offered £20,000 for a solution which could provide longitude to within half-a-degree (2 minutes of time). John Harrison, a working class carpenter, invented a very accurate clock that could be used at sea (no pendulum involved to be affected by the rocking of the boat) to solve this problem. The British Government, however, found excuse after excuse for not awarding him the prize. He was over 80 years old and near death when he finally received the money. Despite his brilliance, over 80 years of his life were lived in extreme poverty. In contrast, Seth Thomas (1785-1865), a Connecticut manufacturer, who contributed nothing significant to the science of time-keeping, amassed a huge fortune efficiently manufacturing clocks designed by others. Thus, the trick is not to build a better clock, but to sell clocks more efficiently than the next guy. The trick is not to build a better mouse trap, but to sell mouse traps efficiently. Many fortunes have been made selling clocks as well as other ordinary, everyday items, such as shoes and brooms. Everybody wears shoes and every floor needs sweeping, at least occasionally. The more ordinary the item--the more it is used by more people--the more you can sell it. Thus, to be successful in Internet Marketing, you need not create any brilliant new products or strategies; rather you simply need to efficiently employ the proven strategies to promote available products.
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