If you’ve been in business for longer than a few months, you already have started to figure out that you don’t know what you don’t know. At some point, it happens to us all. But it doesn’t have to be the end all. You can always learn more. The question is how?
Do you learn best by reading? Maybe?
Do you learn best through a mentor? It sure doesn’t hurt.
Do you learn through time and experience? There we go…
Every business owner has to learn to live with failure if you’re going to succeed. In fact, failure may just be the secret recipe to success. I’m talking about the earth breaking, glass shattering type of failure that will rock your world and leave you wondering what in the world were you thinking when you decided you wanted to start a business.
Like many other successful entrepreneurs I’ve come across, I have noticed a pattern I saw in myself.
You’ve probably experienced by now that there were moments of fear, insecurity and worry. Maybe you made some decisions that if you could take them back you would. I haven’t met a business owner that was successful that doesn’t look back and think to ask themselves hard questions.
Good Things Come Out of Adversity
It’s true, good things come out of adversity if you can keep a level head and a positive mindset. My first business ten years ago was a local online community website. It was a GREAT experience. As I shared events around town from council meetings to school board meetings, sales and special events at local businesses and happenings in the chamber; people started feeding me things that were going on. It was amazing!
But a few years later I made one of those life altering decisions that I thought was a really good move but turned out not to be.
If you’re an entrepreneur for any length of time you’ve been there and done that!
I turned this highly profitable community website into an online newspaper. I got a partner that I thought would help me, and we went off and did it.
Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be what I expected so eighteen months later I sold it to my partner.
That turned out to be a great decision!
Over the four years I had been dong the community website and online newspaper I had been building some websites for local companies. I was making some really nice money from it and I was good at it so I decided to do it full-time!
Soon after I hired a business coach and learned about systems and processes and how to put them in place for my business. I learned that if you don’t handle marketing, sales, production, customer service and administration right you will end up on a world of hurt or in a world of extreme blessing.
Over a three year period I learned what to do more by failure than by any successes. In gross, the company made $1.5 million in revenues. I had a lot to learn and some ups and downs. Believe me when I tell you that my learning came through the challenging times, not the easy profitable ones.
I had to learn what I didn’t know. What were the things I had to overcome?
- Technology is always changing and the need for constant research is always pressing verses the demands of production
- I had to learn over ten years how to become a business owner and not an employee inside my own company
- I had to learn every facet about business possible including:
- How to understand and develop my vision, mission, strategies, goals and objectives
- How to really learn about marketing, sales, production, customer service and administration
- I had to learn how to deal with personalities and conflict
- How to run lean there is no money and when there is plentiful money
- How to analyze reports and learn from those reports how to make my business better
Don’t be afraid of the down times, the challenging times, the questioning times; adversity is your friend! If you learn from it, it will make your business amazing. Don’t shy away from something because it’s hard. Only shy away from something because it doesn’t make sense in your mission or the risk to benefit ration isn’t there, or your gut tells you to do it.
Sometimes the only way to learn these things is to go through the tough times and learn from them.
Pay Attention to Your Feelings
Sometimes as business owners we get so busy doing that we stop paying attention to the things that really matter. Your mental and emotional health is critical to your success and yet we tend to ignore, suppress, and tell ourselves different stories than the ones that are the truth. We try to protect ourselves, reassure ourselves, and give ourselves a reason to go on another day. Don’t do this! Don’t ignore the reality happening around you.
You cannot fix what you do not acknowledge is a problem.
I learned that how you feel about yourself will determine a lot of things:
- The good or bad choices you will make
- The people you will surround yourself with
- The stories you will tell yourself to validate your feelings
- What happens to your wallet
- How your family is affected as they go through it with you
- If you’re not careful, you will make a bad decision worse.
When you start feeling pressure and the squeeze is on, don’t ignore how you feel and what is going through your mind. You have to stay level headed! You cannot afford to get to high or too low at any given moment. You have to see how things really are so that you can plan, anticipate and be ready for what is still ahead.
Your success depends upon it!!!
How Did My Failures Setup My Success
Not being afraid of failure is critical if you’re going to succeed. I know I keep saying that, but it’s so true. If you’re going to make it you have to come to grips with this reality.
I am making more money than I have in my entire life. It has been ten years in the making.
What is the root to my current success?
- I took a deep inventory of the last four years. The logical and emotional. Isn’t it amazing what you learn when you get real with yourself and figure out where you need to improve in both your life and in your business?
- I have complete clarity and focus. I know who I am and what I bring to the table. Everyone is different but for many that can take some time to sort through. An open, honest mind combined with experience will help you gain clarity and focus which will help you execute.
- I have tried a lot of different things both online and offline. Some things work and other things didn’t. I was committed to some things and other things I really wasn’t. Nonetheless, I have a lot of unique and different experiences.
- I have committed to growing my business by helping people learn who they are, what business they are really in, and what problems they solve.
- I have spent ten years learning what to do and more importantly what not to do.
- I am around the right people who will champion me, believe in me, and will tell me the hard truths not because they are trying to get anything out of me but because they care.
One of the biggest lessons I learned is that no one can build a business by themselves. Business is demanding, hard and challenging. You need good people in your life that will listen and then offer good advice. You need people in your life who have gone ahead of you. They have been there and done that and as a result they can see things you cannot.
It’s not good when you are the most experienced person you know!
If I had not failed a few times, my business would not be positioned for the growth it is today. There is no way four years ago I could help people the way I can today, which is what I’m really wired to do.
But I could not do it without twenty years of:
- Learning who I am and what makes me tick
- Mastering fundraising and sales
- Learning how to create processes and systems
- Learning how to recognize the right people that need to be in my life
- Thinking and learning more purposefully and intentionally about my business
- Going through adversity and proving to myself that I can overcome it and do it no matter what the obstacles are in front of me
- People in my life who cared enough to challenge me and push me to be better every single day
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that success doesn’t come just because you start a business or you just because you do it. I hear that kind of talk everywhere and I’m here to tell you its non-sense.
Success finds you when:
- You’re ready for it
- You can handle it
- You’ve learned who you really are
- You’re ready to make a positive contribution to the world without thinking about yourself.
That means you have to go through some stuff in life and business and get comfortable with yourself.
So let’s define success.
Many define success as the outward appearance of things like:
- Expensive entertainment venues
- And other status symbols
Those things may represent the outward appearance of success
But real success is:
- The perseverance and endurance to continue on in the face of adversity.
- Not accepting who you are; but the constant pursuit of who you could become.
- When you’re able to set aside your ideas and listen to the ideas of others and incorporate them where it’s appropriate.
- Is not what you receive; it’s what you give that leaves a lasting contribution to those you are blessed to help.
In the last year not only have we been blessed to see real, substantial growth in our business; I have got to do things that I couldn’t have imagined two years ago. I’m living my dream now and I’m still nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m in hot pursuit.
You may feel like you have been struggling for years and years. You’ve made some really bad decisions and you’ve suffered the consequences of those decision. Your checkbook may be empty and you may be questioning yourself and asking why are you doing this? People may have turned on you and hurt you deeply? You may have lost more than you ever feel you could gain?
My failures have taught me these things are not true! It may feel like it for a time, but feelings and reality can be very different things.
My failures taught me to not feel pity or get caught in the trap of feeling sorry for myself!
Put your pants back on. The sun has come back up just like it always has and it’s a new day. It’s time that you realize you can live your dreams if you just put your failures in context.
There is only one reason for failure in my opinion: To teach us how to succeed!
If I can do it, I know you can as well!
However, there comes a time when we all need some help. Maybe you’re not where you want to be in your business?
If you’re in web design, web development, social media or graphic design I completely get you. If you want to grow your business I get you even more!!!
I have created a unique program that is designed how to teach you more about yourself and your business. It’s perfect for freelance web designers, small companies and those that want to achieve results.
In this program I will work with you one-on-one to show you all the things I’ve learned through my failures that have transformed my businesses and helped me start living my dreams.
Here is what a few people going through my program are saying:
“I’ve been working with Don for 2 solid months now, and in the short period I’ve had the privilege to work with him, the improvement to my organization has already been substantial. His approach of taking you to water but allowing you to decide if you’ll drink is not only effective but enlightening, every week we’ve worked together. I’ve been able to take specific tactics and tools shown to me by Don, directly improving my marketing, sales, production and administration. I can’t wait to see what month 3, 4 and 5 bring! Don – thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your mentorship with us.” ~Yolanda Teuber Toober Group
“Don has been instrumental in helping me to see my business as my clients see it and helping me focus on the problems that I can solve for my clients, not the products or services that I sell.” ~ Jon Martin, social media expert and trainer
“I highly recommend following Don Purdum. He has provided me with business coaching on the fly several times over the past couple of years, and his guidance is always spot on. This guy knows how to do it right!” ~ Leslie Thompson
If you want to learn more.? Visit the Begin Here page and discover how I can help you!