Find What Works Best for You. Ignore the Dogmatic Advice. *

So she wanted to be a full-time housewife. Not all people are glad about her decision though. It’s tough but my sister is persistent enough as a woman. My parents are government civil servants and they’ve always been pushing us overtly and subtly to embrace the comfort of being and leading a life of a government servant.

But my sister seemd to have and show very little interest in that. She had worked as a sharia bank employee even when I was still on college. She practically the first child in the family to join the workforce.

As she got married and had 2 daughters, the urge to be financially independent still lives on but this time she wishes to be her own employer. Her wish is granted late this year. Now she proudly is about to launch her own home-based business: a small shop.

Prior to starting to operate the small shop, she asked me how to literally start an online business. She aimed high. She set up her own Facebook page (even though somewhat technically challenged) and started to post an article on her blog which was made coincidentally by me on blogger.com.

As I’m quite familiar with online businesses, I told her much business and digital marketing advice which is likely to work.

But then she began complaining. She possessed no background in digital marketing. Yet I insisted she had to try my sophisticated advice. With very little understanding of blogging and digital marketing, she wrote a promotional blog post, which reads like an ordinary product description on every catalog  out there. I sighed. I wanted to help but had no time. I have my own workload. This is her business and there’s no way she is too much dependent upon someone else.

She is now collecting some suppliers and manages to display several daily customers’ goods such as detergent, soap, goods you and I can buy every day at a nearby convenience store. That is the easiest way.

And on Facebook, she tries to promote her future shop early to some old friends living nearby. They responded positively, which is good for her. Suddenly I realize my sophisticated digital marketing advice is not what she requires most now to run her micro scale enterprise well. It’s not that it is too advanced or too difficult but that’s just not the right way to reach the target customers.  And the customers, who can be reached and served the easiest, are her own social circle. Of course, there are a lot of other factors to consider as to why my advice is useless in her case but I’d like emphasize on the fact that she as a self-made micro business woman has to decide which way(s) works best. She needs to find it by herself.

That said, she also shows me that in the digital era when more and more people moving to the web, conventional old methods still work somehow. Thus, it’s a huge misassumption to conclude :”There’s NO reason for people now to believe and even apply the old business practice principles”. Digital world itself is not a complete, final solution that can stand on its own. It arises and gains more and more followers to walk hand in hand with its predecessors to help us business people climb the long winding road to ultimate success.

And I think this idea really resonates with what Dahlan Iskan (Indonesia state-owned enterprises minister known for his avant-garde attitudes and approaches) stated sometime ago. “Don’t take every and each piece of advice you hear from us, elder entrepreneurs. You’ve got to prove and experiment yourself”. That way you know which advice works and doesn’t. Nobody understands what yougo throughbut you.

*That includes the rule of making proper titles without period at the end.

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