The Business of Hope


Our world is a curious place and we are slowly but surely navigating in the wrong direction… If you look at the evolution of our society in an ideological way, I’m sure you’d be scared and worried about how all of this is going to end one day…

In line with this evolution there is one idea that will always generate good revenue: the concept of hope and the selling of dreams. Hope to lose weight, hope to win that jackpot, hope to slow down the process of ageing or the hope for some sort of cure. People and businesses thrive on the basic concept of human optimism because we all want to believe that its possible to be the lucky one some day. Look at casino’s for example. We all know that the bank always wins (in the end) but still, these modern temples for fortune seekers are always packed. Why? Because we want to believe that its possible… But is it? What are the odds? Is it worth spending your time, chasing these things? I don’t think so!

The business of selling hope has existed since the beginning of time. You’d find travelling salesmen who’d offer you lotions and potions, snake oil and shark fin powder to make you better, stronger, healthier, younger, slimmer and what have you. A lot of businesses prey on hope and optimism. In today’s world it is the countless producers of anti-ageing creams and weight loss powders that capitalise on your hopes and dreams to be better, slimmer or look forever young. What is funny about this is that none of it is true and none of it works as promised! Deep down we know that our looks and ageing is directly linked to our genetics and our lifestyle. If you keep yourself in good shape, eat well and remain mindful of your way of life then you will get the best out of your mind and body for as long as possible. No powder or cream will change that. In the “evolution” of medical practices, people accept the fact that they inject paralysing poison into your skin to stop it from wrinkling.  

From a business and marketing perspective, the sale of dreams is the most interesting and the most lucrative but its also very challenging because you have to renew your promises and clever inventions frequently if you want to stay in business. It’s not like selling nails or bricks, a business where hardly any innovation or evolution takes place. You also have to come up with plausible promises that will make people believe and reach for their wallet. I think that plausibility is a key word in this field but the beauty is that people want to believe, there are hardly any sceptics in the majority of the global population, allowing you to capitalise on a massive herd of gullible believers.

Whatever you are selling, you should always try to add a hint of hopes and dreams to it; making sure people will believe that their life will improve by parting with their money. In advertising you always see beautiful people and the consumer then aspires to be the same way. It’s important to understand the fundamentals of these practices so that you can apply it to your business. If you want to achieve success you must play by the rules that society has laid out for us. A pretty face will sell more potions and desire is a massive motivator for people to spend more. 

Personally I cherish a beautiful mind because it holds the potential to amaze you in a continuous manner as opposed to superficial beauty which will inevitably fade – no matter what cream you use or pill you swallow. In your business you will need both; a pretty face to sell your product and a clever mind to create it.


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