Often we perceive our idea of failure as such a negative thing, rather than a learning opportunity or a stepping stone to bigger and better things. We allow the fear of being ridiculed and mocked by our peers to prevent us from openly sharing our failures, mishaps and experiences.
I’ve spent almost a year debating whether to share some personal truths with you or like most of us, keep it to myself. I was so incredibly inspired by a blog that Chris Brogan wrote recently where he shared some personal challenges he battled with depression.
Business can be an isolating and lonely world and one that I’m sure many of us encounter daily, so I’ve decided to openly share my business challenges with you so that you can find something valuable to learn from, empathize with and realise that you are not alone in this. What I’ve discovered over time, is that many of us in fact have the same challenges, we just seem to keep it to ourselves and then feel the enormous burden of depression and isolation when faced with enormous difficulties.
Towards the end of last year I almost lost my business. As most of you know I’m an online enthusiast and the online presence architect. I love everything about technology, the internet and social media. It has changed my life in ways that are indescribable. Up until that challenging moment, I was doing exceptionally well. My business was growing and I was happy, I got an opportunity to work with an extraordinary entertainer, who taught me a lot about being on camera and on the radio and still continue to do so.
Within a very short period of time I became overworked, over tired and my health was affected. I wanted to take on someone to help me in my business but I avoided taking on an intern as I had previously experienced the downside of this when working on a large account where several mistakes were made. So I tried to do it all by myself which was a recipe for impending disaster.
I started struggling to cope with life, with the enormity of my work, as well as the growing radio and television side of my business. My target market became confused, and unsure because I took my eye off the ball. As a result, I lost a lot of business as clients thought that I’d given up my online presence business to work primarily for another company.
The whole experience taught me 3 main things which I hope you will find helpful on your business journey. It taught me about Purpose, Goals, Valueing and Pricing.
A specific lesson, that became poignant for me is that it’s so important to always go back to your main focus and your reason or purpose for starting your business. Essentially ask yourself the question, “Why do I do what I do?”
Goals And Values
Secondly, check that anything you take on in business, is in alignment with your goals and values and ticks those boxes, that way, you are less likely to become overwhelmed with clients who frustrate you and dare I say, perhaps get rid of such clients.
Thirdly, Valuing & Pricing
There is a whole arena of material out there on this subject. How do I value myself? How do other’s value me? These are questions that can lead you on a merry go round at times and one that can cause you to question your abilities and your strengths, causing some serious confidence issues.
Most businesses start off by under pricing their worth in order to gain more business. We have all done this. I did that myself and found that I ended up working much harder and longer than most people.
What I learnt from this experience is that people are unaware of how much work goes on behind the scenes, so initially you need to demonstrate to your clients the benefits of what it takes to get to the results and final products they want to achieve.
When you price your products and services at a premium rate, you will find it is less stressful than starting at the lower end and then increasing your prices later on as this can have a negative impact. It is better to have special offers and promotions and go down temporarily in price than to raise your prices from low to very high. There will always be someone who will pay you your value and what you are truly worth. Pricing can also determine the types of clients that you attract and want to work with. Often I have found, in my experience, that it is the clients who are looking for the cheapest option who become the most challenging to deal with.
When starting out, base your initial costing on the inclusion of one or two support staff, you will need this when your business starts to expand at a rate of knots.
Read my next blog on how I almost committed business suicide
I hope this was helpful to you and I look forward to some feedback and please share this article on Facebook, Twitter, GPLus or LinkedIn.