If pastors can make money selling an invisible product, atheists can make money selling an actual product. Here’s how...
Throughout the years, I’ve learned that business truly is hard especially for wellmeaning rational people like myself. From marketing to management, business can be complicated, yet, it can be an extremely rewarding experience. In a world where most businesses fail in the first year, it’s important to understand the logic of building a business because it may not be so obvious. Logic doesn’t always apply to all aspects of business, so it’s especially important to offer an atheistic perspective towards building a business.
To learn more about one of the companies I’ve built, feel free to read about how one of my recent companies “LoveRoom” has been valued at 2 million dollars shortly after launching. I cover the marketing and PR strategy I used to gain traction from multiple news publications.
Here’s a list of my 5 tips that I think may help atheists along the road of entrepreneurship:
1. Business Ideas
Coming up with good ideas is easy for some but hard for the majority. I suspect that the reason for this is because most people have a false impression of how business works. Ideas are always changing and expanding just as scientists are willing to adjust theories when new evidence arises. Atheists must use that same mindset when it comes to ideas, and be open to change. For example: Facebook’s initial idea was of a social network for college students. We now see that it has expanded much larger than that in just a few years. And as a fun fact: The Founder / CEO of Facebook is an atheist.
The way I look at ideas is this: Every initial idea is a good idea so long as you’re open to adjusting, tweaking and expanding the idea as you learn more about the market. The “lean startup method” is a good approach to building a business, it’s very much like the scientific method. You can take a free course on how you can apply the lean startup method to your business ideas on Udacity. I’d also suggest learning from Seth Godin.
You can watch him give a TED talk about how to get your ideas to spread.
2. Building a Team
78 percent of Americans today are of a christian denomination. However, most people are not devout christians. There are plenty of christians that wouldn’t mind working with an atheist so long as their beliefs are not challenged, and there really should be no reason to challenge a fellow team member on their beliefs. This is business we’re here to make money together, not to debate.
In America, most people are moderate or liberal christians. These kind of christians are not hard to work with. If you can build a team of just atheists, great, but having a team of atheists doesn’t mean that there will be good rapport amongst all team members. When the goal is to make money, even christians become more tolerant or cooperative despite anyones stance on religion.
Marketing can be a challenge if you’re not willing to appeal to people who make choices based on emotions. In fact, most people buy emotions; meaning that, they want the feeling associated with whatever outcome your product or service offers. This explains why many people buy things they don’t need. Your website, promo videos, advertisements etc. need to focus on convincing people emotionally to want what you’re offering. Most people are not moved by numbers and facts, they’re moved by stories that provoke emotions. Of course, this is why so many people are religious.
We’ve all heard the phrase “the customer is always right”. This is true because a business cannot exist without customers. Customers are not always “right”, sometimes they can be irrational, egotistical and unfair. Your objective however is to make money. Whenever a customer presents a problem, deal with the problem by letting them think that they’re right.
Give the refund, say you’re sorry, give them a discount etc. Then, find a way to prevent that problem from coming up in the future.
5. Dealing with problems
As an atheist, it’s very hard to believe things without evidence. In business, there are times when you’re going to have to just trust that things are going to work out, even if there is no good reason to think so. Sometimes, you just have to believe that a solution will come even if you can’t find one now. You obviously won’t do this for any religious purpose, but instead for the sake of your sanity.
“...It’s so hard, that if you don’t, any rational person will give up “ Steve Jobs