In hindsight, I don’t know how I missed it. Has that ever happened to you? A big problem was right in front of your face, but you didn’t see it? It’s embarrassing, even devastating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recover from a costly mistake. In the hopes that others can learn from my failure, I am going to share my embarrassing, business damaging over sight.
I have heard this lament over and over again from consultants and advisers. “My clients pay me good money to give them my expert advice, but they don’t listen! They keep doing things the way they always have. I can’t get them to act.”
We grow up being taught and encouraged to follow the rules. Color inside the lines. Follow the crowd. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
There are lots of books, courses and trainers in the business world who can teach you how to sell. We all know that sales are the life blood of our business. Without sales, you have no income and no business. Many of us wish that we could be better at selling than we are. But how do you know when NOT to sell?
You open your email to find an angry, nasty note from a client. Or you pick up the phone, and you hear yelling on the other end. If you have customers, then you’ve experienced an angry one at least a time or two. If you haven’t yet, it’s bound to happen sometime. I’m not trying to be negative here. No matter how much emphasis you place on providing a great customer experience, mistakes and misunderstandings happen, and sometimes, those situations lead to angry customers!
“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” Edwin Louis Cole
If you’re anything like me, you hate to fail. But let’s face it, if you’re an entrepreneur, as much as we would like our business success to be a steady, upward trajectory, the true picture is more like a roller coaster ride. Stuff happens. We make mistakes. Other people make mistakes. Things outside of our control affect our business.
Many business owners I talk to are very frustrated with the “drama” that comes along with having employees. A question I hear over and over is, “Why can’t employees just get along with one another and do their jobs?” Often, business owners are blind to their own role in perpetuating the drama among employees. That was the case with Dr. Jones.
During my years of working directly with small businesses, talking with entrepreneurs day in and day out, speaking in forums and seminars, joining small business and entrepreneurs associations, etc., I have noticed three factors that make any small business thrive. Contrary to what you might believe, it has nothing to do with the academic or business background of the owner. It has also nothing to do with the type of industry or geographical location the business is in. Most of the time it has nothing to with the quality of your product or service.
In business, sometimes it pays to be a rule breaker. Not a law breaker – there’s a difference – but a rule breaker, someone who is not afraid to buck the trends, try something new, disrupt a market. Rule breaking companies are the innovators, the businesses that bring us great new things that enrich our lives.