Before becoming a freelance writer, I was a sales manager and investment advisor (and before that I worked in a financial institution and a real estate office). I confess that I rarely enjoyed working as an employee but I did learn many valuable lessons that have since proven themselves over and over. Here are the 7 business lessons that transformed my business…
- Don’t put up with nonsense. Have the guts to say no. People will ask you to do more than you should. It could be illegal, unethical, or just plain ridiculous. Don’t do it. You need to look at yourself in the mirror every day and you’ll also end up doing 80% extra work for the worst 20% of your customers.
- It doesn’t matter what business you go into, it’s all about learning to sell. Perfect your skills. Although I’d heard this years ago, it took me a while to believe it. But now I realize exactly how true it is. Everything is sales and success is so closely tied to your ability to sell. Unfortunately, most people hate to sell and, as a result, businesses struggle.
- Believe in what you are selling. When you actually believe that the product or service you are selling will deliver the benefits you claim, it’s so much easier to sell… and you’ll close way more often.
- Working hard and working smart is for entrepreneurs. Employers say they want someone to work hard and work smart but they don’t. They want someone to do what they’re told. On the other hand, business clients don’t want someone to do what they’re told. (Well, most of them).
- People love initiative even if they don’t realize it. Take initiative, be proactive, take the first step. Few people do and the win goes to those who fearlessly move ahead and get things done.
- It’s all about relationships. Build them. Nurture them. This is definitely one area I have to work on a lot more. I love my clients but I rarely pay attention to those who aren’t my clients. My bad.
- Forget perfection. Just do it. Perfection is impossible to attain and striving for it is unintentional procrastination. Just make a plan, work on it, plug the holes as you go. There’s very little you can’t change mid-course and you’ll outpace your competition every single time.
[Photo credit: The Pug Father]