7 Things Politicians Can Teach You About Business

Politician jokes

You may think of politicians as being extremely phony types of people who seem to have a permanent smile plastered onto their faces while they pucker up to kiss babies, but the fact is that they have some valuable lessons to teach you. Remember after all that politicians need to overcome massive hurdles in order to make it into their political offices and the lessons they can offer you are significant. Here’s what you need to know:

A Disclaimer

I don’t want to get into a huge fight with our readers here so I’m going to tread lightly and make a point of saying that I do not endorse necessarily any of these candidates nor do I necessarily not endorse any of them. I’ll merely say that they have something to teach us and leave things at that point.

1. Never Stop Trying

So, let’s start things off with a perennial presidential candidate whom almost everyone has heard of but who also generally is considered to have no real shot at the White House. Ron Paul, the Texas congressman has been running for the presidency for something going on twenty years now (technically, he has only tried three times — in 1988, 2008 and 2012, but because of his earlier bid, he is considered to be a perennial candidate).

The thing is, for all that Dr. Paul knows his chances at reaching the nomination, never mind the White House are rather slim, he has continued to try because he believes he has something to offer. If you believe that you have something of value to offer, then don’t just give up. Tweak your “campaign” and find ways to make it work just as Dr. Paul did in this election, when he started becoming more visible.

2. Be the Comeback Kid

In the IM world especially, failure is quite common. However, if you want to succeed in business then you may want to take a lesson from President Clinton. Back in 1992 when the Geniffer Flowers affair surfaced during the campaign (then Governor Clinton was accused of having an affair with her), Clinton didn’t run away from the problem and try to pretend it had never happened. Instead, he faced the situation head on, showed that the accusations were false and eventually went on to win the nomination and the presidency.

In short, Mr. Clinton became known as the “comeback kid” and he did it by being tenacious enough to pick himself up after this problem threatened to derail his campaign and simply moving on. Just like the former president, you’re likely to encounter some problems with your business. However, if you take the time to ride out the storm and pick yourself up after the fact, you’ll find that you can emerge stronger than ever.

3. Pay Attention to Rules

One of the most contentious elections in American history took place just twelve years ago when President George W. Bush was elected by a minority of the popular vote and by the slimmest of margins in the Electoral College. Readers may recall the whole argument that took place at the time regarding things like hanging chads and dimpled chads. It was a mess and the Supreme Court had to step in to make a final ruling about the election.

However, through it all, Mr. Bush kept insisting one simple thing: he was following the rules. The rules said that the popular vote didn’t matter as long as one had won the electoral college. He also said that he had won in Florida and that the initial recount had shown as well that he had won the election. President Bush went on to become a two term president who left an indelible mark on American politics however; he’s also someone who has an important lesson to teach us about IM.

I recently read a thread on the Warrior Forum where someone talked about having found a “report” which purported to provide the reader with a way to make a guaranteed $150 per day. The thing is, the method worked. However, it basically amounted to theft (I won’t go into the details here). Fortunately, the guy was honest and decided that it wasn’t for him — like President Bush, he was following the rules, even when some of us might only have seen the temptation of dollar signs.

4. Building a Team Makes a Huge Difference

Consider Newt Gingrich, who at one point in the recent elections was considered to be the front runner and the apparent nominee for the Republican presidential election. Polls showed him in front of everyone, including Mitt Romney (my apologies by the way to non American readers — as an American, I tend to use Americans as examples). However, there was one very fatal flaw in Mr. Gingrich’s campaign — he didn’t have a national team in place. In fact, in many places, Mr. Gingrich had no support whatsoever.

At this point, it’s then clear that his campaign is all but over and he’s staying in the race only for his own personal reasons but not because he expects to have any real chance of winning the election. The lessons from Mr. Gingrich’s campaign however also have a great deal of resonance for us in the world of Internet marketing.

The fact is that without a team backing us all the way, we’re not going to succeed in whatever we want to do. Nobody is capable of doing everything after all, as I’ve said in this space numerous times and as such, it’s important to keep this in mind and to surround yourself with people who can do the jobs you can’t.

Don’t know how to write well? Find a quality writer and hire him or her to do the job for you. Need graphic design work? Go and hire a pro who actually knows what they’re doing. Building a website is not easy and should not be done by someone who has no knowledge of how to do it — spend the money for a pro and you’ll see your business succeed where others fail.

5. Look for Consensus Where You Can

I know — our country is riven by partisan politics and this in turn means that people are constantly calling for bipartisanship even when the reality is that it rarely comes to pass. However, when one looks at the most successful programs in American history, things like Social Security and Medicare, these things were passed by wide bipartisan margins rather than being narrowly passed. One of the most popular reforms of more recent years in fact was also a bipartisan effort — the welfare reform act under President Clinton.

So what does this have to do with you as an Internet Marketer? Maybe nothing. Or maybe everything. The question really revolves around whether or not you have people to bounce your ideas off of. If you do (and I recommend that you do), look for ideas which seem to appeal to everyone rather than just you or one other person. These are the ideas that are most likely to sell your product for you and make you plenty of money.

6. Stay On Message and Focus!

No specific examples here. Instead, just look at most of the failed campaigns throughout American history. I’d venture to guess that more than 70% of those who petered out did so simply because they failed to stay on their message. The muddied the waters by flip flopping and or by stretching themselves out too thinly. Those who succeed in politics tend to have one overarching theme to their campaigns and they stick to that theme throughout their entire campaigns.

Your business should be the same way. Don’t go off into all kinds of tangents. At least not until you are truly ready to do so. You need to ensure that you get your core business running smoothly first and then and only then can you begin to look into focusing on other kinds of businesses. Of course, in the case where your business model is clearly not working…

7. Check the Polls

I know that we all hate shallow politicians who change their opinions based on polling numbers. However, the smart politicians do change their opinions if they see that the majority of the country is firmly against a particular piece of legislation. It just makes good sense to back down and not to anger your electorate when they clearly are not interested in seeing a particular law remain on the books.

Similarly, as internet marketers, we should be focusing on what our customers are telling us. If we see that our customers are almost universally uninterested in a particular feature in our software then we should consider removing it. Ditto for features where they really all want to see something. Bottom line — learn for politicians how to do internet marketing and listen to your constituency. They’ll tell you what they want to see and what they want to buy.

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