10 Business Mistakes I’m Lucky To Have Made
It’s easy to think that we have it all figured out.
But sometimes the best things that happen to us are the mistakes we make.
It’s a reminder of just how out of control the world really is. I look at myself as a Type-A person. Someone that likes to be in control.
But the more I go through life the more I realize that there is little that is controllable. It’s almost better to sit back and let the world just move along while you weave yourself into little slots that work.
And whatever happens, just roll with it.
With that in mind, here are some of the mistakes I’ve made that have turned out to be really lucky.
1. Failed Social Network Business
My first business started in college. I wanted to create a social network for the hunting industry. Not a bad idea, but very poorly executed. I wouldn’t even call it a business because it never brought in much money.
Then I thought a redesign was needed and I paid money to a developer I knew who then disappeared along with my down payment.
So I guess there were multiple mistakes made…
But after the site failed I moved onto blogging and that changed my life for the positive. Lessons learned…
2. Brought On A Big Client
Some time ago I got enticed by a big client. They promised to really help to grow our business. But that brought along some big challenges. Too much demand on what we were capable of. Not paying on time. All kinds of bad things. Eventually we agreed to stop providing blog posts and have since grown at a better pace.
I knew it probably wasn’t the best idea, but still I was enticed by the prospect. It provided a great learning lesson and it did strain the company in good ways. That situation didn’t work out, but we were able to push ourselves to grow in ways that allowed us to take on bigger clients in the future.
3. Copy And Pasted A Blog Post
When I first launched that hunting social network the site had a blog. And for my first post I found a great article, copied and pasted it on my blog. I just wanted to share a great article. I even copied the author’s name.
The author reached out and was very angry. We got on the phone and I explained my situation. We’re still friendly today and talk once in awhile.
That mistake taught me a lesson about blogging and led to a good business friendship.
4. Taking Out A Loan
For that hunting website I took out a loan. I thought that was what businesses needed to do. I didn’t blow through the money all that fast, but eventually it went down to nothing.
Big mistake. I was in debt and had an entry-level job.
To pay it off I started freelance blogging for businesses. That taught me about blogging and led to the creation of Ghost Blog Writers. All because I was forced to figure out a way to make money on the side to pay off a loan.
5. Quitting My Job
Once the blogging thing started showing some promise I decided to quit my full-time job. That seemed like a big mistake to family and friends. They thought I was crazy to give up a good job. They even had me second guessing things and that persisted for a long time. Even a little still today.
But looking back, it was something I had to do and it’s worked out pretty well.
6. Not Letting A Team Member Go Soon Enough
As a boss, it’s easy to want to keep people on board for longer than they should be. You don’t want to admit that you made a mistake in hiring them. You don’t want to feel like they are letting you down. That’s how I felt a few years ago with someone. They kept making mistakes. I should have let them go.
And eventually I did and it was fine. But right before they left they shared a payment tip with me and it’s saved me and our contractors money. I wouldn’t have figured that out had I let them go sooner.
7. Limiting Our Brand Name
Ghost Blog Writers limits us to blogging. At least it seems that way on the surface. But I haven’t changed it. I don’t know that I will. By not changing it we’ve been able to build the brand awareness and recognition.
I look at Southwest Airlines as an example. That’s a limiting name, but these days people don’t care. They don’t think that Southwest only flies in the southwestern US.
Your brand represents what you do. The name doesn’t represent the brand.
8. Insisting On Doing New Things Myself
Maybe I’m bullheaded, but I like doing new things myself when it comes to Ghost Blog Writers. If someone suggests something I’ll often practice it myself to figure things out. It’s usually a mistake because it wastes time and money. I should let the experts do what they do best and eventually I do.
But practicing new things and learning about them gives me a better understanding and I think that helps with the business in the long run.
We used to offer a blogging option with a really bad price. Well, it was great for clients, but we basically lost money. I just missed the mistake. But once I caught it I really dove into the pricing model and was able to not just correct the mistake, but really understand how our company worked. The mistake made me recognize what was going on faster than I would have if things would have kept on being pretty good.
10. Working With A Bad Partner
It was a bad situation from the beginning. But through the process I learned more about the finances of Ghost Blog Writers. I really dove into the details of everything that goes into making a blog process. The partner kept pushing for this information and even though I should have never worked with the person I was able to learn more about our business and that made it worthwhile.
I’m not saying that you should go out and make mistakes. You don’t necessarily want to look for mistakes. But when things happen don’t get too worked up. Figure out how you can adapt. Figure out how you can use the situation to your advantage. Things don’t always work out. In fact, they often don’t. Those that adapt and embrace the serendipity in life often succeed.