Most of you won’t know this, but I am a long time development chemist who has become a consultant to pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries about a year ago. I know most of you don’t know this because I obsessively monitor my traffic to see how I am doing. While I am at it I generally take a look at all sorts of statistical information that Google serves up, including the fact that the bulk of my readers get here through searches and haven’t visited before.
But I have decided I am going to stop checking my stats daily – even the really addictive one that tells you who is on the site right now. My reason for this is that I have realised that readership is a pretty rubbish measure of success for this blog. I am not trying to compete with the Daily Mail’s website, and wouldn’t succeed if I did. And more to the point, if I replicated the Daily Mail’s success by replicating its methods I might have a lot more money in my pocket but I would feel really bad about myself. And what is the point of that?
So from now on the only thing I am going to concern myself with on this blog is whether or not I am happy with the content. If just one person reads a blog post that will be good enough.
I have picked up this new approach from my experiences running my own business as a consultant as opposed to being an employee of someone else’s business. One of the benefits is that I get to interact closely with a much wider range of different businesses than I have done before, and to do it on a more commercial basis. Basically I have to make sure I am making a profit or I don’t eat. And this applies equally to my customers, all of whom have to keep the till ringing if they want to stay around.
When I first started this seemed like a scary state of affairs and I expected that I would have to become a lot more hard nosed about things. I’d have to be sure to take on jobs that were profitable and concentrate on working for bigger more profitable companies. Well I tried that. I found it made me miserable – which I sort of expected. It also made me poor. When I lightened up a bit, I started acting myself a bit more. That worked much better.
What I have found in fact is that businesses worth working for are the ones that aren’t so concerned about their profits as about their products. Cosmetics can be a very profitable line of business indeed. A lot of products can be made very cheaply and with clever marketing can be sold at quite high prices. So it does attract a lot of people for whom the profit motive is the main one.
But there are also a lot of people who just love making these kinds of things. You might have supposed, as I did, that these people would be making less money. Well that simply doesn’t seem to be be the case. So just as I have decided that I am going to concentrate on writing blog posts that I think are worth reading, I advise anyone thinking of going into the cosmetic business to concentrate on loving what they make not on working out how much you are going to make. You will be a lot happier, and so will your customers.