5 Mistakes We Made Last Year that Kept Us from Our Business Goals (Pt. 2)
Last week, we discussed 2 mistakes we made that kept us from reaching our business goals in 2017. Here are the other 3.
3. We focused on ourselves too much.
When I first opened my firm, and I was struggling to figure out why things had not taken off as I imagined they would, a friend asked me why I decided to go that route. I gave the typical, “I want to be my own boss, and have freedom.”
His response: “Congratulations. You’ve achieved that and you’re broke. Now what?”
His frankness stung, but it was true. I made the mistake so many of us make in thinking that successful businesses come from our passion. Unfortunately passion focused on us—how we can be more comfortable, how we can be our own bosses, how we can escape the mundaneness of the 9-5 world is not enough to create a great business.
We must be willing to take the extra journey between our passion and how it serves the world outside of us. The simple truth is that people only pay for what they care about and there are only a handful of people who are motivated to pay for your product or service just because they love you. We have to be able to do the hard work of figuring out what people want and need and then provide it.
4. We ran our businesses on sentiment and not sense.
Peter Ferré’s businesses grow each year. He does not experience loss. The secret to his success is simple: following the numbers. Ferré collects data from his companies, studies the trends, and makes his decisions based solely on what the numbers are saying. He does not rely on his whims and sentiments.
Now I’m not advocating for a complete neglect of your inner compass or sense, but I am saying that we should take the time to use our minds and make well-thought out decisions. The individuals who were closer to making their goals last year paid attention to the trends in the markets and made conscious decisions about how they would respond to the market. They did not turn a blind eye and hope that all would just “work out.” They ensured that everything would work out by simply doing some real honest thinking.
To experience the change you desire you’re going to need to take time and study the information you have. If you don’t have information or data, start there. What did people actually pay you for? How many followers or site visitors did you actually convert to customers? Use these questions as starters and pay attention to the trends you see. The information you collect will be enough to steer you in the right direction.
5. We gave our excuses to much power.
There will always be a valid excuse for why you can’t do x or you can’t do y. In 2016, we saw that. We saw consumers finding more options, and being too picky, and not doing x or y. But in the midst of those conditions, someone in your industry found a way to not only survive, but excel. Until we decide to be those people, those excuses will always resist progress and embrace comfort. Mediocrity will stay around for as long as well allow it too. Mediocrity is not intrusive...It's polite, and gentle. But excellence. Excellence is a disruptor. It comes in and says we're going to do better even if we feel uncomfortable--even if we're called names along the way.
We’ve got to decide that we the discomfort of striving will not be a valid excuse for us any more. We have to choose the discomfort of progress, over the comfort of mediocrity and complacency. When we do, we will not only meet our goals—we’ll exceed them.
Did you make any of the mistakes described above? Did you make any other mistakes not listed above. Share them in the comment section below and suggest ways to overcome them this new year.