Saturday, April 18, 2009

Learning What 'Not' to Do So You Can Be Successful

There are two ways to learn in your pursuit of business success:

1) Do something so you can learn WHAT TO DO.

2) Do something so you can learn WHAT NOT TO DO.

Both are equally valuable, especially in the success of your business.

I don't know why most business people I meet do not want to go through point #2 (what not to do) and always pursue doing the perfect thing only. I would rather fail 5 times in a year and learn what not to do then taking 5 years to learn what actually does work and not know what doesn't work.

Let me give you a monetized example:

1) Say you are trying to sell a new service; pool openings/closings. You run ads in the local paper after researching that this is producing the highest return. After a year you are getting about 5 sales per week making $50/sale ($250/week). After 5 years you work this up to 20 sales per week but had to lower the price to $40 so now you are making ($800/wk). Consistent. There is no employee overhead. You are happy.

2) Say you tried to run ads in your local advertiser. Only received 2 calls per week. You ran ads in local newspaper and got 5 sales per week. But what you learned by doing this is that the numbers are not enough to offset the cost of advertising. So you learn your lesson (what not to do). You try free online advertising, search engine optimization, flyers, and finally after making the same money #1 is making you decided to try lawn signs. You put out 50 of them and the cost is $300. From that you find that there is so many calls coming in you cannot handle the work yourself. You farm out the work and turn full-time to marketing this business. Now you are making thousands sitting around all day all because you tried, failed, tried, paritally succeeded and finally tried and hit it out of the park. And what's better, you begin to refine the signs and produce ever more response.

I myself have failed and watched others fail so much that I should be an expert by now at what I do. And I am. But only because I failed along the way and learned from those failures what everyone else did not.

Don't be afraid to succeed through failure. Some of the greatest business people in history understood this and were never afraid to learn from "what not to do".

No comments: