Lessons learned in business
Welcome to the show everyone, thanks for joining me!
Todays date is March _24_, 2019
We’re on episode #6 of the Tasty Dangerous Podcast.
I hope your day is going great, I’m feeling pretty all right myself.
I’m pumped because we’re talking about Lessons learned in business.
I’ll be sharing some experiences I’ve had along the way and the lessons I’ve gained from these experiences.
Before I get into the planned show I want to share that for the last four days I’ve been trying to record this episode.
I’ve had a goal of a weekly upload and have been adamant about improving my efficiency.
This episode has been a lesson for business in it’s own ways and I’ll share briefly what I’ve learned.
Every day that I had time allocated to record this episode there was external elements that were preventing me from doing so.
Literally the first and second days were construction outside my building which made the audio unbearable.
The third day was a combination of air traffic… I’ve never heard so many airplanes in all the time I’ve recorded the podcast, spring break maybe.. IDK
And today it’s been a combination of dogs barking, ducks quacking and heavy traffic that makes it near impossible to get through a sentence without having to start over.
I’ve tried different times of day and night for the last 4 days and it’s been unbelievable how that’s gone.
To the point. A real world… real time example of a lesson in business is that sometimes there are external elements that are going to keep beating you down until you want to quit.
Don’t do it.
Remember why you started in the first place.
Another lesson I’ve been realizing is that getting started in business can typically mean you don’t have the resources that you need and therefor it will be more difficult. Problem solving is a plus, but for all the rest… grit will get you through.
I looked into actually driving out of the city and parking on a country road to record this episode, but the audio sounds significantly different if you record in a small metal box.
I also looked into reserving a library space, but they were all booked when I needed them.
So grit, gotta have it with business….now int the regularity planned show.
So to start things off… I’ll add that this episode was inspired by two quotes.
They build on one another and give added introspect to the difficulties of business.
The first quote is from Zig Ziglar and it goes like this.
“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”
The follow up to that and the quote that really caps it off is by Maria V. Snyder and it goes as follows.
“Trusting is hard, knowing who to trust is even harder.”
Even if you’re not a business owner or entrepreneur these quotes apply.
In a sense these quotes are really just describing relationships.
That’s what business is to me.
A relationship between two or more people and ideally a symbiotic one at that, unless you’re a complete prick with ill intent.
To that point, it’s a lesson to be learned
There are lots of business people out there and some that find it as their motivation and calling card to undermine, deceive and destroy others for their own personal gain.
There’s an old parable that goes “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Get to know and respect this saying and it’ll serve you well.
It can be very difficult to run a business, especially if you prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt.
There are those out there that will use it to their advantage.
So I guess the first lesson learned is this.
In business, as much as I’d like to trust others, there’s a fine line between being naive and being unnecessarily paranoid.
It’s that fine line you need to balance on.
However, in some respect, if you just go into it prepared that there will be a number of people that will take advantage, it’ll get easier to move on when it happens.
Keep building your network and maintain your focus.
Don’t allow the actions of a bad actor get in the way of your goals.
Something to consider…and bare with me, I’ll come back around to why this next bit applies.
If you do a basic search on CEO’s and their personality traits, you’ll find some interesting information.
Some of you I’m sure have heard this before, but for others… get ready for something a bit interesting.
There are a number of case studies that have been done, but from what I’ve seen, it would appear that on average 1 in 5 CEO’s has a much higher than average propensity towards psychopathic traits.
Other studies have found that CEOs are 3 times more likely to have psychopathic traits as the general population ie… non executive leadership
Obviously these studies are all subjective, but something to be aware of non the less.
In some respect having these traits is beneficial to building and running a business.
Take for example making the tough decision to lay off employees.
The company I use to work for and many like it have regular lay off cycles.
I watched year after year as large numbers of people were let go to make way for… lets say a better bottom line.
If your CEO lacks empathy, these layoff decision can be very cut and dry for them.
As opposed to the leader that views their employees as something other than just a number.
However, consider a number of the other traits commonly assigned.
Some of them are as extreme as being highly manipulative, lacking emotional intelligence, lying or being deceptive, narcissism and aggressiveness.
They aren’t interested in helping others, only themselves.
You’ll see that in business, there is a percentage of people that aren’t interested in building a relationship unless it makes sense for their bottom line.
This leads me to my next lesson…
Business isn’t for the feint of heart. You gotta have thick skin and be able to roll with the punches.
Don’t allow others actions to derail your goals or generate a jaded view of everyone.
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Although there are some less than desirable business partners… there are just as many or more who are looking to build genuine and meaningful relationships.
It’s these folks you’re best suited to connect and build with.
Another lesson I learned is if you are not willing to invest in yourself don’t expect others to invest in you.
What I mean by this is see the value in your work and be willing to put in the time and finances necessary.
For some of you this might mean training or courses.
For others it could be the cost of inventory or hiring help.
There’s a variety of ways to interpret investing in yourself.
It’s your dream dreamers, dream on.
Some of you know that I am the owner of Optic Ninja Media and enjoy creating content on the regular.
A recent project, and one that I’m extremely excited about, is a music video with a local R & B performer
Shout out Paige Ellis, an up and comer with loads of potential.
What I did on this project might not make much sense to many, I’ll elaborate briefly.
Essentially it all comes back to investing in yourself.
It’s always interesting when I talk to friends about my projects who aren’t in the videography industry.
Whenever I work on something that they might perceive as fun or exciting one of the questions that’s asked is how much did they pay you.
The exciting stuff I enjoy creating content for can be difficult to get paid gigs for.
This is especially true if you don’t have a portfolio that illustrate this work.
You could have 20 wedding videos, but if you’re trying to get a gig for a race car commercial, you might be hard pressed to find a client that’s interested in working with you.
The decision to make the music video was specific to develop my portfolio, but also in the sense that I was excited for the experience to produce and direct a music video with a storyline.
Both myself and Paige contributed and invested in ourselves to make it happen.
It was as far from a money grab as any project could be.
This video is going to be release shortly and I can already say that undoubtedly it is exactly what I had hoped for.
It challenged me in a number of ways and I would have never grown and developed as I have had I not invested in myself, both time wise and financially.
In fact, I learned more than I anticipated on this project and am excited to apply what I learned on the next video.
So again, invest in yourself… this leads me to the next lesson learned.
That lesson, have fun.
If you’re having fun it’s a lot easier to work the long hours and take the hits that come with being in business.
Having fun is what will help you get through the moments when you’re struggling with difficult clients or the inevitable problems that always pop up.
If you’re not having fun you can imagine how much more difficult it would be to continue putting in the time and effort required.
So yea… that simple.
Moving on, the next lesson is don’t be selfish.
Sure, all of our parents taught us this growing up…. if they didn’t… they’re probably horrible people. Kidding…. but not really.
What I mean by this is don’t be afraid to hand off business to others in your network, especially if you’re spread thin or unavailable.
To some of you who are established or were born into a business that was already functioning this may not seem like a big deal.
However, those of you who are clawing your way up from the bottom know exactly what I’m talking about.
Contracts can be tough to come by.
To just give them away to others leaves you vulnerable in that a client may just go to them the next time they need something done.
To this, refer back to the very first thing I discussed which is trust.
If you’re doing your part and building a good network of people you can trust… then it should be possible for a few considerations to sink in.
One, the idea that if you help others then in the future the favor just might come back around.
However, as Gary Vaynerchuk once said… “Tough to be let down when you don’t expect shit.”
Real talk. Do it because you want to help others and that’s it. Simple.
That said, there have been a number of occasions when I’ve passed on an opportunity and sent it to someone in my network only for positivity in some way shape or form to find it’s way back to me due to these actions.
Blessing are real folks.
Another idea is this, your network is an extended team.
Help them develop and grow and your entire team gets stronger.
Great, so that’s really it.
Don’t be selfish when it comes to contracts or business in general and it can help grown and develop your network and extended team.
Building on this previous lesson, the next one is let your work speak for itself.
If you do good work and are a valuable asset to others, you’ll get more work.
Put in the time and effort to create a meaning product and it’ll speak for you.
Theres a saying that the best marketing is word of mouth.
I believe this 100%
I’ve met many business owners who don’t spend a dollar on marketing and are completely slammed with work.
They like what they do and it shows.
Value is in the eye of the beholder and this is especially true with clients.
Ensure that the product you put your brand on is something that you stand by and back.
If you do this, the clients and work will follow.
Soooo, yea… do good work.
Fears are typically unrealistic manifestations that need to be destroyed with fire.
If you allow them, fears will take a hold on you and prevent you from taking action.
It’s really easy to overthink things in terms of “what if” scenarios.
Try a little exercise and you’ll see what I mean… relax, I am not saying to go and do a bunch of push ups…. I’m saying try this..
Start off with any idea you have… then take that idea and throw a what if scenario at it.. and then keep building on that “what if” idea.
It can be fuuuuun.
Take for example a scenario such as this.
You’re a business owner who is planning to open a shop on a busy street with a lot of potential customers.
You have a somewhat rational fear of what happens if you can’t supply all your customers.
Then throw another what if…. like what if when customers find out you’re unable to supply them they get agitate and start arguing
how will you handle the argument?
Then your nearest competitor sees the argument and joins in taking the side of your lost client.
Then that clients friends show up and they start arguing.
At this point there is a large crowd gathered and the tension is rising rapidly.
In the middle the of the argument someone bumps into someone else and spills their beverage and this infuriates them.
They push the other person who then slips on the spilled beverage and then falls into a table filled with fireworks.
This person also happened to be smoking a cigarette and this ignites the fireworks which begin exploding in all direction…. It was a firefight.
These fireworks begin to systematically ignite all the stores along the street while all the customers are running away screaming how bad of a business owner you are for allowing such a tragedy to happen.
As the smoke settles… you’re left standing in front of a pile of smoldering rubble.
Countless lives have been lost and there are no sales to show for it.
Do you see how fears can become unrealistic manifestations?
Yes, this was exaggerated…. just a little bit…. to make a point.
It’s really easy to build and build and build until you’re left with nothing.
Don’t do this.
It can actually go in both directions also.
You can get visions on grandeur in terms of success, which can really be debilitating.
If you go into a business venture with gross over estimations of growth and outlook potential, it wont take long for you to get extremely discouraged.
To wrap this session up, I’m just gonna rapid fire a few more lessons learned and call it day.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Truly… get yourself to understand consistency is what get’s you to the finish line and the daily little victories are what makes that happen.
Prevent yourself from having massively inflated visions of graders and it’ll help you maintain your sanity when it seems nothing is going your way.
Short and sweet… that’s it.
Another lesson and something I’ve discussed in blogs and podcasts is this.
Comfort zone is a myth.
Don’t let yourself fall into the trap that it’s good to feel comfortable.
I mean, it does feel nice to be comfortable, but in terms of business or personal development… the comfort zone is your death sentence.
If you’re not uncomfortable it’s very likely you’re not in a position of growth.
In todays business that is a death warrant and one that is quickly served.
Moving on, another lesson…
The world doesn’t care about your problems and complaining won’t solve them
Learn to identify if you find yourself in a conversation that’s really just about complaining.
Whether you brought it on yourself or others in the conversations insight this ridiculousness… quit it.
Knock it off… it does nothing, but creates negative vibes dude.
Maintain a positive outlook, keep your eye on your goals and get after it.
Let your actions speak and accept that there are things in life you cant change, but you can manage.
Negotiation is everything. Get in the habit of negotiating deals.
Something I love about many places I’ve traveled is that bartering and negotiation is part of the culture.
In the states if you’re to walk into a store and start trying to negotiate prices, aside from a car or very select items, the sales reps will likely look at you like you’re crazy.
The price listed is the price you get.
However, in business, contracts can be and should be negotiated.
A good friend of mine shared how they almost never sign the first contract a client gives them.
If a client values your services and skills, they’ll compromise.
Typically that initial contract is weighted heavily on their side and they know it.
Don’t be afraid to call out the areas that are unacceptable to you.
This leads me to the next lesson…
Don’t be afraid to walk from a potential client… or even fire a client if they are unreasonable.
This is something that takes time to figure out and a bit of tact, but it is something you should practice.
Many… many years ago when I was starting to interview for corporate positions I had a mentor tell me this.
When you’re in the interview, you should also be interviewing the potential employer.
If you don’t have specific questions you need answered in terms of how the company fits you, then you’re not doing your part as a potential employee.
This is true with running your own business.
Vet your clients and don’t be afraid to turn some down or fire those that are more trouble than they‘re worth.
Ok… three last thoughts and I’m outta here.
1 – Sacrifice.
Most folks don’t understand what truly needs to be sacrificed in order to achieve higher ambitions in life.
Time, comfort and finances…. all things that in some way shape or form need to be sacrificed to achieve that ambition of excellence.
Some may try selling you the dream of luxury, comfort and freedom, but literarily that’s all they’re doing is selling you an idea.
Buy into that idea and not only are you out of pocket, but your outta your mind!
Hustle, grind, consistency and patience… then do it all over again.
There is no such thing as having made it.
You’re only making it or not… shout out Casey Neistat.
A year or two ago I saw a vlog where he discussed this notion and it changed my perspective on business.
Number 2 – Time is valuable, there are 1440 minutes in a day… each one is as important as the last.
Don’t let people waste your time.
It’s the only resource you cant get any more of.
Choose your company wisely and match your actions appropriately with your desired outcome of goals.
Number 3 – To some it’s called failure to others it’s a lesson learned.
Learn to start seeing these aspects of life as lessons learned and truly take the lesson and apply it.
This is the foundation of not only self improvement, but also business development.
We’ve covered a lot in todays episode.
learn to trust and who to trust
invest in yourself
create quality work
manage your fears
negotiate more & complain less
Sacrifice & time management
Just some of the things that I’ve learned along the way.
Mindset is everything. Manage it and you’ll manage your life.
Well that does it folks, I hope you enjoyed todays episode and feel like you got something out of it.
Be sure to hit up tastydangerous.comfor the show notes.
While you’re there, check out the blog section.
I’ve got a lot planned moving forward and it would be great to hear your feedback.
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So if you have something you’d like me to speak on or write about, let me know!
Also, if you’re a fellow creator, let’s connect! It would be great to see how I could help you out.
Until next time….
Keep living that Tasty Dangerous Lifestyle!
***Tasty Dangerous…. Lifestyle Development focused on Mindset, Creativity, Adventure and Business.
All things tasty, some more dangerous than others.