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Free Marketing: 101 Low and No-Cost Ways to Grow Your Business, Online and Off by Jim Cockrum

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CHAPTER 79

DISTINGUISH YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS WITH THE X FACTOR

What will really set you and your business apart online or off?

If you had to identify one overriding principle to commit to that you could never compromise on, what would it be?

Even if times got tough, budgets got stretched, and the pressure was really on, what is that core value that would keep you focused even if it meant going down to failure as a business?

For me the answer is the same for all three questions, and I think it should be for your efforts as well. I see it working time and time again in not only business settings, but also in personal affairs.

Before I give my answer, let me walk down memory lane with you for a moment.

I remember when the Internet was first being commonly used as a tool for business in the mid-1990s. There were a great deal of cons and illegitimate businesses set up with anonymous owners hiding in the comfort of their basements (or in many cases their mom's basement). The anything-for-a-dollar crowd was everywhere online. I remember the best advice back then were phrases such as:

  • “Don't ever use your credit card online—are you nuts?”
  • “You can't believe what you read online!”

Times have changed now, though.

  • Billions of trusting customers are doing business with millions of online merchants every day, and both sides are happy with the end result.
  • People actually do believe what they read online, in most cases well before they'll believe anything in the newspaper or on TV. This ...

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