I’ve been to some countries throughout my travels that have a lot of poverty. Countries like Mexico, India or Thailand have many poor people with a family of mouths to feed. There’s no social system to pay them for being unemployed so they must find means to make money. I have seen some ingenious, honest ways they make ends meet. The poorest people have incredible practices to bring money in so they can have life’s necessities. If we could harness some of their ingenuity and smarts for business, the sky is the limit.
Stay Positive and Be Grateful for the Little Things
While a simple idea, staying positive can make all the difference to how your business goes. If you’re afraid you won’t succeed, you may instill fear in your team. You are telling yourself that you’re not sure you believe in the company you’re building.
People living in the worst conditions always seem to have a smile on their face. Children running down a dusty path near a train station play with sticks and rocks as though it were the greatest toy on earth. Poor people are happy about having all their limbs and being able to work.
They don’t look at the fact they don’t have much. Remember to look where you started as opposed to where you need to get to. There isn’t time for negativity in your business so keep forging ahead and continue to believe your success is inevitable.
Support Your Team
Many of the poorest people tend to have large families but this works in their favor. Everyone plays their part in keeping the family thriving. They work harder because they know someone depends on them. If you think of it like a business, you’ve got people who make the money as well as supporting departments.
The person that stays home and makes meals in a large quantity saves the family money. Each family member has responsibilities that begin at a young age. Together, they help each other succeed to survive. If one person gets sick or needs money, they pool together the funds.
To genuinely care about the people you work with and the clients you deal with create a harmonious business that is fulfilling on many levels. The people working under you are going to work harder because they care about your success. Building a trusting work environment for everyone costs you nothing but the rewards are seen in sales.
When You Have Nothing, You Must Rely on Innovation
When you have nothing, you must be creative to make money. It should be something that people want but won’t cost you much, if anything, to start up. Handicrafts from Mexico, Honduras or Thailand are abundant. They have found ways to make animals out of coconut shells, figurines out of pop cans and jewelry out of beach shells. Tourists go crazy for these souvenirs because they get to take a piece of paradise home with them.
They spent next to nothing developing their handicrafts so every dime they get for sales is money in hand. If you have innovative ideas that people are going to want, you spend less on marketing and product development. Your innovation can also include how you sell things.
Many of the greatest successes in a new business is thinking of a new way to gain attention. The Grid started selling memberships before their product was even complete. More than 100,000 people purchased a $96 pre-membership. Think outside the box and instead of spending a lot of money, be creative in business.
They Don’t Let Anyone Define Their Success
In Japan, your family name defines your entire life. If you were born rich, congratulations. Doors will be constantly open for you even if you’re a total failure and have no motivation. Alternatively, even the brightest of youth in Japan have no opportunity if they were born with broke parents. Japanese anime artists born poor had to persevere past social stigmas by creating creatures that were irresistible.
They ignored the societal voices that told them they would never amount to anything and followed a dream they were certain would lead to something great. Many of these artists are now known worldwide and have a wealth they were told would never be possible. Don’t let anyone tell you your ideas won’t work.
You are the master of your own success and if you’re told by everyone that your idea sucks, let it be the fuel to your fire. If you are doing something nobody has done before, it’s unknown territory and risky. This is what may make your product or service a huge success. Stay focused on your business goals and keep persisting regardless of setbacks.
They Remember You
I don’t know if this is their version of customer service but when a street vendor in Thailand sees you once, they remember you. Before you’ve even purchased anything from you, they acknowledge that they’ve seen you before.
They don’t show you their products again because they recall that they showed you previously. They’re just being nice and letting you know that they see you. A relationship begins to form and the sale becomes easy when it’s a tourists’ last day and they’re looking for gifts.
At this point, they usually sell more than one unit of their wares. In any business, customer service is key. Your potential customers should feel like you’re seeing them. When you give them the feeling that they’re important, they open more to whatever you’re selling. When you give them a warm feeling with every interaction you make, they are likely to buy, buy and buy again. Creating loyalty with your customers costs nothing but you stand to benefit greatly in sales.
They Don’t Let Setbacks Get The Best of Them
When people are poor, they are too busy just trying to survive to think of the past or fuss about the loss of things. If their money-making ideas fail, they try something new to survive. Their poverty is motivation to strive for better. In the business world, we can all take something from this mindset. As Tony Robbins explains, the way to get what you want is to see it as a must. If you think that your business must succeed, your thoughts are going to be different about it. When you think differently, you take a different action.