When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five.
Today I'm going to rant. Sorry. I started my practice 10 years ago. And every day, I receive multiple "Get Rich Quick" schemes in my inbox.
"Just do this (spend money) and gold coins will fall from the sky." A large part of the digital marketing universe is leading on growing businesses with crazy incremental upsells that make me want to scream when I look at them.
And unfortunately, it's catching too many businesspeople in its cross-hairs.
They're quickly getting burned out, constantly feeling confused, doubting themselves, and secretly wondering if maybe they don't have what it takes to live their dream of a successful business.
The Truth: You have the power. You have the knowledge. You have the ability.
Here are the three things you need to know how to run a successful business:
1. Work Hard — I'm not saying that you have to kill yourself. But you do have to work harder than you ever did in a corporate job. This is YOUR company — you have to put in the hours and focus to get things done. No goofing around — no surfing, no taking the day off, no long lunches with friends — you should be focusing on your prospects, clients, and product.
2. Be Consistent — Too many people try something and then they get distracted. It doesn't work at first and then they give up. I've been writing articles for 8 years and have 750+ articles to my name. I've been attending a professional business group for over 10 years and I almost never miss a meeting (even though I have an hour's commute and it starts at 7 AM). If you have a good idea or innovative strategy, keep at it — people will notice.
3. Stay away from the "Get Rich Quick" people — if they are so foolproof and powerful, why are those people using them to become multi-millionaires? I love the photo, law, or insurance 'experts' who can help you make seven figures in your first year. If they're so good at what they do — why aren't they still practicing what they preach and raking in the big bucks? Because they failed at photography, law, or insurance and now hawk antiquated systems to novice professionals.
Don't fall for it.
A great Quora answer from Justine Musk (Elon Musk's ex-wife) on what it takes to become a billionaire: "Shift your focus away from what you want and get deeply, intensely curious about what the world wants and needs. Ask yourself what it is that you have the potential to bring to the world that is so unique and compelling and helpful that no computer could replace it, no one could outsource it, no one could steal your product and make it better and then club you into oblivion (not literally). Then develop that potential."
"The world doesn't throw a billion dollars at a person because the person wants it or works so hard they feel they deserve it. (The world does not care what you want or deserve.)"
She is so spot on — too many people try to dream their way into success and forget if people will really want or need it. Once in awhile, someone will develop a new idea which attracts buyers, but most of the time (95%), no one really cares.
Read the entire Quora answer here.
The venn diagram above is one I present to clients to help them navigate their businesses and careers. 'The World Needs It' and 'You Are Paid For It' are very important parts of this model. Enjoy!
P.S. I've tried to shy away from any reader comments that might focus more on her divorce settlement and pay attention to her advice. Stick to the facts.