In the business world, there are countless stories about success but also of failure. During your school years, you probably read or heard the famous story about the inventor of the first commercially successful light bulb and so many other inventions, Thomas Edison. Though there is a wide variance as to how many actual thousands of experiments or theories Edison researched to find the exact right materials for electric lighting, he also read everything possible about what other people had tried. This way he didn’t have to waste time on what didn’t work and further provided clues at to what may work. He didn’t want to waste time and reinvent the mistakes of others. Edison did the same with the alkaline storage battery. He conducted thousands of experiments to discover the best solution and is famously quoted to have said: Results! …I have gotten lots of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work! Edison was known to work on six or seven different inventions simultaneously. He never gave up. This is a man who understood his life’s work, business, and ultimately, built great wealth. Edison’s multiple genius efforts have become a mainstay of modern society. Often, somewhat taken for granted today as they have become so much a part of daily living.
Look at nearly any product and due to the rapid, accelerated pace of knowledge and technology today you will see innovation, change and improvements not only to the product or service but in your daily life and business activities. Again, much of which we take for granted.
- Computers. The first computers were big and bulky. Today, computers fit in our hands with more speed and capacity than ever thought possible a few decades ago. The first Texas Instruments computers used punch cards and were utilized for specific tasks. Today, computers connect us all.
- Phones. Motorola created the first mobile phone. It was called “the brick” due to how heavy it was. It was produced and sold between 1983 – 1994. The original phones cost nearly $4,000, had only a half hour of talk time and took 10 hours to fully charge. There were businesses that specialized in installing a phone inside your car. Today, more and more people are disconnecting from their home, office or land line phone and using only a highly functional, lightweight smartphone and/or wearing computers on their wrists.
The point here is none of this would be possible without people being:
- willing to dream
- take a calculated risk
- make mistakes along the way towards success.
That’s what makes the world a better place. That’s what you can do in your business with focused thought, strategy and ingenuity.
Understand your business to build wealth.
How do ideas go from a mere thought to a profitable product or service?
Look at what people, or more specifically, your target audience of potential customers, want or need. It requires vision. Knowing what will fit into people’s lives. It’s about looking at what isn’t right and making it right. It’s about taking something that is good and making it better, more marketable. Branding it in a way people can identify with and become advocates by endorsing its use.
How many times have you seen, or perhaps even used, a product that was the first of its kind in your personal or your business life?
You like the product or service but after a period of time a competitor comes along with an even better version within the same product or service category. The original innovation may eventually fade away as new options become available.
Because the competition says: We can make it better.
It’s about seeing the mistakes, however small or large, and to capitalize upon them by understanding the business better than others. That’s how wealth is built in business.
Business mistakes, or failed experiments as was the example in Edison’s day, are a valuable tool towards success. If it were not for mistakes, in many instances, there would be no progress. If products and services are developed but never change, society would at some level become stagnant. Today we live in a world full of change at a highly accelerated rate; faster than any other time in history. As business people, we need to understand the business we are in to maintain the pace necessary for continued success and profit margins. Otherwise, you and your company will be left behind.
If you are wanting to grow your business and build wealth, then you cannot allow the business to simply coast along each day and hope the revenues keep coming in. Hope isn’t a success strategy in business. You need to be out there every day bringing business in no matter how much business you already have. Never stop prospecting! Put yourself out there just a bit further than what you consider to be your comfort zone.
Take chances in business. In fact, you must take chances. Calculated risks. Not everything will go as planned. You will make mistakes.
Look at those mistakes and say to yourself: I see where this went wrong. Let’s do it again. Only this time… Or, say to yourself: This just isn’t worth doing. Will never do this again. It doesn’t fit with the business.
Build wealth (however you define wealth) by understanding your business mistakes.
A business mistake can come in all different forms, shapes, sizes and ways. For example, you buy a piece of equipment for business and it doesn’t do what you thought it would do. It was a mistake. When you purchase the next piece of equipment you will know more of what you want. Or perhaps you are expanding the business and hiring more people. Yet as time goes on people aren’t producing sales as expected. They don’t like to prospect for new business and haven’t closed a significant number of deals. Instead, individuals seem to sell you on a list of excuses as to why sales goals can’t be made. When you go to hire the next sales team member you will be more aware during the hiring process – what is said/not said, what you really need from someone to fill a specific sales role in the company and how to improve the interview process so you get the right person to do the job. This will be of benefit to you but also your company, other employees and more importantly, your customers.
No matter what area of your business, there will be mistakes. Whether it’s in production, in the office with employees, a piece of equipment or a vehicle, in customer service or other area of your business, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t make the big mistake that may put the company out of business. When mistakes are made, capitalize on them for future success. Mistakes help you to understand your business better.
The good news is if you really want to understand your business mistakes and continue to build your wealth, there’s a shortcut you can take:
- Watch what other companies do.
- What mistakes do other companies make?
- How do other companies sell their products?
- How do other companies position themselves within the marketplace?
- How do other companies “brand” themselves?
- How do other companies package their marketing materials or their products/services?
- How do other companies have their websites designed?
- How do other companies utilize social media?
- And so much more you can question and observe…
You can learn a lot about business and how to improve your business by looking at other companies and their mistakes – or successes. This includes the employment ads and employee reviews listed online at the various job sites.
- Always keep your eyes wide open during your business day.
- Be constantly aware.
- Don’t be upset or discouraged when something happens that doesn’t go right. Understand why it didn’t go right or as planned.
- Make necessary changes. Eliminate what needs to be eliminated. Move forward.
- Don’t try too many new things all at the same time. Otherwise, you may not have a clear picture of the results. What worked? What didn’t work?
- Make certain you are moving forward at a secure, smart, steady pace with your business.
- Protect what you have; but don’t oppose something new.
- Always be looking for the answer to whatever question you may have.
- Always be asking: What’s next? – and looking for what may be next on the horizon.
- Always be taking that next step with your business, no matter how small or large the step may be. Every step counts towards success.
- Always attempt to understand your co-workers, your employees and customers.
- Be aware of any communication or other mistakes you may make with those you work with. Correct when possible. You can’t talk to every individual in the same way and have effective communication at work. Some people are more visual; others more auditory; still some are both. This can only enhance work productivity and environment. If something at work doesn’t go as planned always at least consider the level of communication and how effective it was/wasn’t.
The word, mistake, doesn’t always lead to a negative business outcome. Just as with Thomas Edison and so many others, mistakes can be the beginning of something new. Always be looking for more success and more profit with less stress.
Remember: Understand your business to build wealth; whether it’s a mistake or a triumph.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States across a wide range of industries, to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business people trust Howard’s vast business knowledge, intuitive insight and objective perspective to solve business problems and issues. Get MORE from your business. Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.
Connect with Howard on LinkedIn.
Follow Howard on Twitter.
Published as a guest post on the Nimble CRM blog.