Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Top 10 Things I Learned in 10 Years

Well, it’s true! I survived my 50th birthday. Here is a tidbit of trivia for you. Did you know that 3L Publishing turned 10-years old at the same time I turned 50? Yes, I’ve now been in business 10 years. I’ve learned a lot about entrepreneurship in those years. I’ve enjoyed some great successes, some abysmal failures, and some important lessons. So in honor of what I’ve learned and to impart this “amazing” wisdom LOL, here is the “Top 10 Things I Learned in 10 Years”.

1.     Whether in business or your personal life, always trust your gut. It never fails you. Now if you ignore your gut then you have to take responsibility for it, too. I’ve ignored my gut a couple of times and regretted it later.
2.     Try and keep your cash flow in real-time. Once you get in the arrears on your cash flow it’s very, very difficult to bring it back current. So as money comes in try and keep your bills and payments current.
3.     Try not to sweat the daily realities. Yes, this one is easier said than done, but I have found that business can literally with one phone call or one “yes” change overnight. One day your pipeline is empty and the next day it can be full.
4.     Be firm, be clear and stand your ground. Clear policies and holding the line actually make doing business easier. Much like children need consistency and structure, so do clients and customers. Once the boundaries are established most people tend to respect those areas.
5.     Always require a deposit and make sure no work is done until that money has been sent. The worst lesson in this regard is investing time and work into something and then not being paid appropriately.
6.     On the reverse, always require final payment before providing the final work. This policy prevents clients from walking away and leaving you empty-handed while they’ve got your work anyway.
7.     Always pay yourself first. I used to make sure everybody else was paid while I suffered and wasn’t paid appropriately. Well, reality is that without me no one has business, because I am the rainmaker. So pay yourself first and then pay the others.
8.     Persist and don’t give up. Many times I’ve wanted to walk away and return to corporate and the security of a steady paycheck. But I always remind myself that I wasn’t happy working for someone else. So, to stay in business 10 years meant I had to persist and market and sell and never give up.
9.     Always focus on the positive and let someone else think about the negative. Don’t get caught up in the negative thinking. Law of Attraction: you attract what you think the most about. So do your very best to keep a positive mindset.
10.  Even on your worst day, get up, and get on with it. Don’t get sucked into frustration. Just “keep on keeping on” and soon it will smooth out.

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