If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent. The skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.

—David Dunning

Is ignorance killing us?

Ok ignorance can’t kill us per se, after all they say that “ignorance is bliss” and while that old cliche stays to haunt us I need you to think about the issue a little deeper.

Ignorance, or lack of knowledge, might well ‘strangle us to death’, in business this can certainly be the case. People who have not taken up technology as an aid to doing business, may well have survived the early years of computers, but now the grip is much firmer from the competitors who did take it on, thus they lose out to those with the ability to use social media, research more effectively and generally find information to cause their business to grow.

But let’s get deeper and move away from the obvious to the details of the challenge, let’s take a look at what should happen and what does happen


In an ideal world a business would have effective startup capital behind it, the research would be thorough, the implementation phase would be solid and the business idea would move into action with ease, the customers would buy, become raving fans and more business would come your way. To top that off you make useful profit margins to grow the organisation and do some good along the way. The team you hire will be using best practice principles and be doing the utmost to ensure the values and beliefs of the organisation are upheld. To top that off you make an even better profit and do some more good.


Many businesses seem to fail the research bit, been there and done that myself, and many also start without much capital. Sue others have done it but it may not make for the easiest start up. Implementing a flawed plan with an awkward product or service might also add to the woes of the business, did no one read the E-Myth? Oh and you wanted to make a profit, phooey to that, because you probably now realise that making ends meet is hard enough.

The difference

Both models can happen but mostly the reality model seems to be the order of the day, as proven by the number of businesses that fail in the first 12 months, followed by the number that don’t do well after startup. The difference is the knowledge, followed by the implementation phase.

What do you do?

For me it would have been more research in the early days of the business I wanted to run, it was a franchise and I had a bunch of people I could have sat with and discussed the nitty gritty details, heck I could have even gone out on the road with them and discover first hand what the reality would have been like. I could have saved myself over $40 thousand dollars in the losses in the first year or two and probably the same in lost income over the next two years.

For start ups the notion of starting is often an emotional charged series of events where the business you want to go into will look fantastic, the logic will probably only look like a stumbling block and “who am I to compare against the competition, they are doing things wrong anyway…” well it might seem like that but the reality can be very different.

I have created many articles in here to give people solid starting points that can hopefully lead to some degree of success rather than falling on a sword and dying a slow painful death.

Please avoid death by ignorance, it can be so messy and end up costing a fortune.


Steve Gray

Steve Gray - Steve is a business educator - Trainer - Speaker (Steve You can get his Leadership E Book from The info provided in these articles is for educational purposes only and is intended as a starting point for you to build your business from, not as specific advice.
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