It’s impossible to run a business and not make mistakes. Part of running a business is making mistakes and growing from those mistakes. Growing from those mistakes is the take-a-way from that last sentence. [viral_tweet]If you don’t learn and grow from your mistakes then your business won’t grow either.[/viral_tweet]
Your business is personal – it’s a part of you. If you don’t grow, your business won’t grow. First you have to acknowledge you made a mistake, fix the mistake, and then discover how you can avoid making that mistake again.
I first started online in 2006, almost 8 years ago. In those 8 years I’ve made a lot of mistakes that have cost my business growth and profits. I’m almost ashamed to admit that it has take this long for me to take a complete full look at my business to see what is working and what is not.
I’ve made 5 major mistakes in my business.
1. Not delivering on time.
In the past I had an issue of not delivering projects the promised due dates. It wasn’t something I did on purpose and looking back I can track it back to the time I was going through postpartum depression. That’s not an excuse though. If I knew I was having problems making deadlines, I should have talked to my client and told them what was going on. It was so unprofessional and something I’m so embarrassed about.
To help fix this mistake I have started adding on extra time to my project estimates and will bring in extra help if I see I am going to have problems meeting the deadline. I also have started limiting the number of concurrent projects I take at one time. I would rather tell a client I cannot get started for 2 weeks rather than promise a completed project in 2 weeks and not be able to deliver.
2. Not asking for help.[viral_tweet]Life is just easier if you ask for help.[/viral_tweet] Why go it alone if you don’t have to? I unfortunately learned this late in my business. It wasn’t until I was already having issues meeting deadlines and getting upset clients that I realized I had to have some help. If I would have just made this decision earlier I could have saved myself and my clients a lot of frustration and heartache.
3. Not being active on social media.
I need to take my own advice on this one. On Faithful Bloggers I would tell people that they need to be active where their target market is active. I failed at this. While I had accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and a number of other social media platforms, I wasn’t using them. I wasn’t making connections or developing relationships. I was a total social media fail!
This is something I still struggle with because I’m an introvert. I normally do my best one-on-one and not in group settings. Figure I’ll take this mistake one step at a time but it is something I’m working on.
4. Not charging what I am worth.
I spent years charging the same hourly rate. I noticed at that low rate I only attracted certain type of people. Not always, but usually these were the type of people who wanted something for nothing. Once I wised up and finally raised my hourly rate I started to attract people who valued the work I could I do for them. They (and myself) recognized that I was worth the price.
5. Not treating my business like a business.
I don’t think I would have made mistakes #1-4 if I would have treated my business like a business in the beginning. Instead I treated it more like a hobby and while I did have some success I never felt successful. I never knew what steps to take next or even what I should be doing at any given time. I didn’t have a plan! That’s changing now! I’m still in the planning stage but I’m not making this mistake again.
Luckily these mistakes are ones I can recover and move on from. I’ve acknowledged my mistakes. I’m learned what not to do. Now I’m taking steps so I don’t make those mistakes again. I want to have a successful online business. I want to help others do the same. Acknowledging these mistakes are my first steps to making that happen.
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