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7 Confucius Lessons for E-Commerce Companies

The wisdom, personal or corporate, has not changed much in 2,500 years, it seems. Confucius, the former Chinese philosopher and politician, has a lot to teach us about running an e-commerce business.

Confucius – Kong Qiu – was born around 551 BC He served in the government. He has published or written five classics of Chinese literature. And he founded a philosophical movement.

<img class = "wp-image-155382 size-large" src = "×380.jpg" alt = "Confucius' words may have implications for modern e-commerce companies." Image: Wikipedia.

Confucius sayings may have implications for modern e-commerce companies.

His philosophy, Confucianism, is based on common sense, Chinese tradition, and morality. Confucius is also infinitely quotable. And that was, in fact, some of his quotes that inspired this article. Let me explain.

Recently, I read "Reinvent yourself," a 2017 book by James Altucher. Several chapters are devoted to applying quotes or behaviors of business leaders, political leaders and even Superman to personal, professional or business growth.

The technique of Altucher's inspired me to think of quotes that inspired me. These include seven of Confucius.

Lessons from Confucius

"Study the past if you want to define the future." Your e-commerce adventure may seem unique. But there is still a lot to learn from others in our industry.

Twice a year, I sit with marketing managers and managers of about 40 brick and click retailers to discuss what works and what does not work. We are learning to be better leaders, managers and innovators.

Study retail and e-commerce every day. Read articles, review case studies, listen to podcasts, and connect with peers and competitors.

"The success depends on the previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is surely a failure." Electronic commerce requires planning and persistent execution. To run a traditional ecommerce business, you probably need to place orders several months in advance, which helps predict demand and sales.

Clothing buyers buy winter products in June and spring items in October. Similarly, large e-commerce marketing plans may require weeks or months of preparation.

"When it is obvious that your goals can not be achieved, do not adjust your goals, adjust the actions." I paraphrased this one a bit. But the idea remains the same. You have probably set goals for your ecommerce business, such as sales goals or the number of items in stock.

Regardless, there will likely be times when it becomes clear that you will not reach your target if you stay on your current course. You can choose to miss the goal or you can choose to take additional steps.

"It does not matter how slow your path is, as long as you do not stop." "Entrepreneurship is not the glamorous career that it was designed to be," wrote Steve Tobak, a management consultant, in an article about the entrepreneur.

"It's not great ideas and ideals, there are no hopes and dreams, it's not a question of courage. This is not even a question of invention and innovation, and it is certainly not a quest for fame and fortune.

"More than anything, entrepreneurship is a game of wear and tear, it's about having the determination, the discipline and the money to do it." This is not to give up and to be the last man or woman standing when all others have fallen by the wayside. "

"The person moving a mountain starts by taking small stones." The success of e-commerce can take many forms but, in my experience, it is the result of many small things.

"A small step for a man, a giant step for humanity." When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon and pronounced those words, that was 39, was transformative.It was anything but "a" or "small".

"The execution of this first successful mission on the Moon was made up of thousands, if not millions, of small steps and victories," Stephanie Breedlove, co-founder of, writes in an article in StartupNation. "A giant leap of this magnitude does not happen overnight, nor does it happen with great effort." It's the same for successful jumps in the field. They are always made up of many small steps and small victories. "

"Better a diamond with a fault than a pebble without." We all hope our e-commerce operations are perfect, perfect gems. We want our platform to work perfectly. We want every order to be shipped on time and arrive as expected. We want every customer interaction to be the best possible. But this is not the reality.

Very often, e-commerce entrepreneurs experience loopholes, problems, and workarounds. But it's better than nothing at all.

"Whoever does not save will have to agonize." In April of this year, Business Insider reported that brick and mortar retail businesses were failing in record numbers. Some experts blame the rise of e-commerce. But finally, it is the lack of money that killed these companies.

If you want your e-commerce business to be successful, spend less than you earn.

"The best time to plant a tree dates back to 20. The second best time is now." Although this saying is often attributed to Confucius, it is more likely that a proverb General Chinese looks like something he would say. I'll call it a half lesson. If you need to change your ecommerce business – or even start a new one – do it today.

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