I made mistakes. A lot of them. Shows I am human after all. While I love to celebrate my wins I also love to admit and analyze my mistakes to correct them. Here I share some of my mistakes in the hope that it helps you as well.
Please note that I have businesses I run outside the internet and so these mistakes are drawn from them all and not from interactions on twitter. I am constantly working to improve myself and my systems.
So here goes:
1. Mixed emotions with business.
Naturally I always want to help people. And so I go over and beyond trying to be nice. But I had my fingers burnt. The moment people noticed I was out to really help, they took advantage of it. Clients began to make demands that were evil. Wanting some freebies here & there
Eg, one said "this product I have, my goal is to have you sell 300m and I will pay you 1%. You get 30m. Just help me sell"
An extension to this is having family members in your business. Someone said: never hire who you can't fire. It is not easy at first and it is a mental process.Business doesn't mix with emotions. I'm steadily working on myself in this area.
I have a habit of doing things for free and my models and mentors have warned me to stop.Even discounts. They have asked me to stop it.
2. Managing expectations.
Many of us always want to over deliver. We want to make the customer very happy. But if you do this without a clear definition of expectations, you will burn out and get exhausted.I noticed this in my business. I always had this desire to overdeliver.People began to feel entitled to my time and my service. Even after over delivering, they felt entitled to more.
What I discovered here was I did not know how to 'set and manage' expectations. I eventually sat with a coach and learnt this.
It is important to learn to set expectations from the start so everyone knows when the job is done.
3. All customers or clients are not the same. The ones who don't understand value will stress you.
I learnt this the hard way still. Yes I knew all customers were different, but I was trying to serve them all the same way.See, anyone who does not understand value will make your work a living hell.
And these are usually low paying customers. They will pay you peanuts and disturb your life. On a few occasions I had to reject some jobs when I noticed the person had no regard for value. This was after I had experienced someone who had zero understanding of value.
4. Business Money is business money.
Any money coming out of your business should be accounted for. It is possible for money to flow constantly that you ignore how it flows. I had to learn how to account for every dime that goes in and out. If money is not monitored, she can evaporate. One minute the pot is full, the next minute it goes empty.
5. You cannot save the world if you haven't saved yourself.
This probably is the biggest lesson. To all you generous givers, I hail thee o. You know how it feels to keep giving and ignoring yourself. I don't want to call figures, but in April of this year, I discovered I had given out six figures in helping people. I thought it was generosity on my part.
No, it was a lack of discipline. People would call and before they land, I interrupt them 'send your account details.' Bad habit. I had to start learning.Even with family, Sometimes you just have to say No to some demands, especially if you are building a business.
You have to save yourself first, before you can save others. Practice righteous selfishness. Your business is your girlfriend or spouse that doesn't understand.If she demands for Pizza, you had better give her pizza. If she demands for shawarma, don't ask her to manage bread. Business doesn't understand
I hope you learnt a few things as well?
I'll love to know, what mistakes did you make and what lessons did you learn from them doing business this year?
Have an amazing day ahead.