Aside from a few follies working for “the man” several years ago, I have come to embrace my life choice as an entrepreneur. There are some really great perks being able to work for myself. I create my own schedule, come and go as I please, and (as long as there is good internet) I can literally make anywhere my office. I’m proud to say that I’ve also been able to reach a level of monetary success and freedom that I use to think was next to impossible when I used to have a job.
The journey to where I am today, while all be it fulfilling, is a hard grind with many tough choices, sleepless nights, and painful repercussions. I’d like to say it was easy but that’s far from the truth. There were several forks in the road and many of them were wrong turns. The most I can do is learn from those bad moves so that I don’t do them again.
In a post I did last week about learning from other peoples mistakes, I would like to share some of my own. Hopefully you can learn from some of my business blunders in your journey to more success.
Sometimes in business to save yourself from conflict you say things to business partners or clients that they want to hear. I’ve fallen victim to this. The problem is, it’s not the truth. I’ve learned that it’s easier to tell the truth. It saves the time and pain of managing the dishonest facts so you can focus on solving the problem. You’ll also notice that the truth, sometimes painful at first, always seems to work itself out.
Not Trusting Your Gut
I never really understood what this meant until a few years ago. I don’t know how your gut is able to see the future but, as I’ve learned, I will forever trust it until my dying days. I’ve been put in several situations where I was driven by money. Sometimes I took on deals that I shouldn’t have. My gut said no this doesn’t seem like a good deal but my eyes said GREEN! Boy-oh-boy let me tell you, my gut was right. Those deals all turned sour and ended up costing me more money than the actual contracts. Trust that little voice inside you folks!
Conflicts of Interest
This is another situation where I was driven by the almighty dollar sign instead of good business. I really learned about the value of ethics on that day. I’ve had the really great opportunity to work with some really amazing people. Some of them being direct competitors of one another. This is a no-no. No matter how much money get’s thrown at your face, at the end of the day it’s all about your reputation as a good business partner. Choose a side and commit. Don’t play both fields. They eventually find out. Never let the dollar be the deciding factor on what is right and what is wrong.
Bad Money Management
There was a point in time when I really started to see the cash flow coming in. It was so good that I didn’t know what to do with myself. I know there are things called business expenses, wages and budgets but at the time I cared more about my image and wanted to ball out! Without a weary eye on the income coming in and going out I found myself quickly in debt. One of the worst feelings is having a business with great cash flow but seeing all that money go to a credit card. Paying off an expensive meal and bottle service that you p*ssed and sh*tted out the following day from 6 months ago is not a good feeling. It’s a better feeling to stay debt free and seeing those commas in your account.
I know what you’re thinking. 4! Just 4 mistakes! Well, as a matter of fact there were more like a few hundred but I decided to create a series from this post. Check back next week with more of my f’ups that you can learn from. Just remember that everyone makes mistakes and the best thing you can do is understand what went wrong to make sure you don’t go down that road again. You’ll see, like I’ve seen, your benchmark for success will be easier to attain once the grind starts and the mistakes slow down.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. Check back next week for more!