First, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He took a step back, paused for a moment, and then had a second look. Still the same. The surface was uneven, rough and ruptured. A whole other world with mountains and valleys.
The moon surface didn’t look even close to the perfectly smooth and polished gemstone it was supposed to be. Next, Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope to the swirling swaths of the Milky Way. What bare eyes made out to be whitish clouds were in reality dense crowds of stars. And that was just the beginning of life-long battle that changed the view of the world we have today. It also proved the biggest authority at that time wrong.
Looking into the sky was a crazy idea to begin with
When Galilei first heard about the idea of the spyglass, it was used to spot ships on the horizon look what i found. It was an invention of military interest. The spyglasses of his time weren’t powerful either. At best they had a magnification of three times.
Being the passionate geek that he was, he reverse-engineered the spyglass without outside instructions (it was a military secret, after all) within 24 hours of hearing about it. Fascinated, he pushed the technology further, and within a year, he constructed a spyglass that could magnify objects thirty times. His salary was promptly raised, and ordered to produce more of them.
He could have lived a life of riches and leisure. Instead, he pointed his telescope into the sky.
When you open your own business, you also look into the sky
You could have kept that 9-5 job that came with a steady salary, health insurance and free evenings. Instead you wanted to tread your own path.
Next, you were supposed to run your business “properly”. Recruit your first clients among family and friends, offer your services cheaper while getting recommendations and building your customer base. Eventually, move into a nice office and advertise your business as it should be advertised, with flyers, billboards and the occasional radio spot. But instead, you looked into the sky.
You wanted to be your own boss
You didn’t want to depend on what other people told you would be the best for you. And you certainly didn’t want to to things as they have always been done. You wanted to conduct your business locally, but you also wanted to take advantage of the internet. That’s why you created your website. But things didn’t go smoothly.
It was like nobody cared. Despite your site looking professional, and offering everything you thought prospects need, nobody visited. With every passing day you checked your stats, you got more nervous. You were asking yourself if you made a mistake with the website, with the business even?
This is when the backlash started
Soon after publishing his findings, Galileo Galilei received strict orders from the inquisition of the Catholic Church to not “hold, teach, or defend in any manner the Copernican theory”. His findings contradicted the church-supported belief that the Earth was the center of the universe and threatened their position as an authority.
You might experience a similar backlash when trying to take your business online.With its low barrier of entry, they internet poses a serious threat to traditional power structures such as advertising agencies. That also means that the internet is a lot less regulated and it will be hard to find information and guidance that you can trust.
You are not the only one navigating unknown territory
Galileo did not have guidance either. He came up with theories, created experiments to test them and integrated their results in his work. It wasn’t so much his discoveries that changed our way of thinking, but the methods he developed to reach them.
You might feel lost at times as well, especially when your attention is drawn into many different directions, because everybody seems to have a tactic that works somehow. But nobody can offer a systematic approach to successfully bringing your business online.
What most of your competitors would see as an obstacle, you can use for your advantage. Instead of blindly following the latest fad for online businesses, chose one method and stick with it. Spend some time trying to understand how it works and set up a series of small tests on a limited budget. Take note of what’s working and continue testing in to this direction. Collect data and draw conclusions from it.
Success starts with the first step
You defied traditional thinking before. That’s why you wanted to run your own business. You also defied the obstacles along the way: uncertainty, and others trying to capitalize on you just starting out. It’s been rough, but you are still standing.
Continue to follow your instincts. Test them systematically and with a method. Follow what works. If you do that often enough, your findings might gain the power to overthrow the biggest of your opponents.