There are two things we know about X-Factor judge Simon Cowell for sure: one is he is very rich, two, he knows loads of people in the entertainment industry. From a business perspective it is interesting to think whether he achieved his wealth because of his extensive contact list, or did he get his large list of friends because of his wealth. Which came first? It’s a chicken and egg kind of conundrum. Thankfully, psychologists at The University of Pennsylvania have conducted research which gives us a clue – and it provides a suggestion for the way you should conduct your web business.
The research looked at the way we all think about time and money. Participants were primed to think either about time or about money. If people were forced to think about money, they ended up being isolated, focused, heads down, “getting on with things”. They also reported lower levels of positive mood, indeed they were rather unhappy as a bunch. However, the group which were primed to think about time, tended to socialise much more, contact their friends more and were thereby positive, happy and in good moods. What the study showed was that when you think about money, you become withdrawn and isolated. When you think about time, you become social.
Now, have a think about how you make your money – indeed how most businesses make money. They do it because of their connections with people. Most businesses get money from people they know. Most businesses depend on referrals to get more business. Most businesses find that networking of all kinds – online and offline – generates more leads and more income. In other words, the income of a business depends upon that company having some kind of social activity. After all, how many times have you heard “the money is in the list”?
So, the businesses that do not focus on the money, but focus on being social are actually the ones making more money. Indeed, last year a major research study of the world’s top 100 brands confirmed that the companies which are using social media the most are the ones making the highest profits. Further evidence that the money is in the list.
But how do you become more social? How do you get to have an excellent contact list from which you can generate cash? The answer from this new research appears to be forget the money..! Stop thinking about the money you want and focus instead upon time. That way you will socialise more, meet more people and make more money as a result. Oh – and there’s a bonus – you’ll be happier too.
It seems there is an answer to the chicken and egg question of which comes first, the money or the list? It is – the list. Focus on time, think about time, concentrate on time and you will make more money. Think about money and you won’t have the time or the inclination to meet people, from whom you could actually make more money.
Simon Cowell probably doesn’t think about money much. But I suspect he does think carefully about how he spends his time and who he spends it with. That’s almost certainly why he is successful – and rich..!