PP 045: Lessons Learned are Lessons Earned
In this episode, I share a few of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned during my entrepreneurial journey..@thekimsutton talks about the lesson's she had learned both the easy and hard way as an entrepreneur. Tune in at http://thekimsutton.wpengine.com/pp045/ #PositiveProductivityPodcast #LifesLessons #EntrepreneurClick To Tweet
Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity. Before I jump into today’s episode, I need to give a huge shout out to my awesome graphic designer, Kenneth Morgan, because he is the reason why today’s episode is even happening.
To give you a quick little back-story on that. Last night we were dealing with some issues on the current project that we’re trying to launch and if I said that we’ve run into a couple challenges, that would be an understatement. I’m not going to disclose much about that project right now, but let’s just say what was supposed to be a small financial investment isn’t as small as we thought, so we’ve had to put this project temporarily on hold. During the course of the conversation, I said something about how lessons learned our lessons earned. We got a good chuckle over it and I told Kenneth that I would have to make that a podcast episode. So here it is. Kenneth, thank you for your inspiration.
Throughout my time as an entrepreneur, there have been many lessons that I’ve learned both the easy way and the hard way. I’m going to start with the easy way first. I considered the easy way to be where I saw after the learning materials, I listened to podcast, I read books, I signed up for courses, I spoke to people. These were interactions where I knew I had lessons to be learned and knowledge to be found and I was actively seeking it.
Now the hard lessons are usually the ones that you didn’t really intend to happen. For example, when I had my online retail store, a distributor, a large distributor of the craft products that I was selling contacted me because they wanted me to work with them. Now they were located not too far away from where I was living, so when I ordered any materials from them, I would usually have it within a day. Well, let me tell you, I was young and I made a big mistake. I started coming to their website and picking anything that I thought my customers might want and listing it on my website. I didn’t really think about the fact that I had to order a minimum of 25 of some of these products and that a customer might only purchase one. There were customers who went through my online store and picked one out of 50 or a hundred of these different products that I didn’t even have in my inventory yet, so then I had to go in order packages of 25, 50, and sometimes 100, which eliminated any profit that I could’ve possibly seen. That was lesson earned number one.
Another lesson earned was to always interest paid ads to the experts. I gave Google Adwords a shot when I had my online store and I had no idea what I was doing. I selected my key words without knowing what I was going after, how to define them. I didn’t know I should put quotes around certain words to make them more exclusive and I spent a ton of money without even meaning to, and by ton I mean I accidentally spent $800 in one day and at most I was probably only trying to spend $5.
Now, if you’ve been listening to the positive productivity podcast for awhile, you know that I’m a digital marketing strategist, so this is now something that I do for my clients, but back in the days of having my online retail store, I didn’t know a thing about Google Adwords. Facebook and I were not friends yet. I don’t even know if twitter was around, so I did certainly not know what I was doing. As time has passed and I’ve transitioned out of the craft store and into the Sutton Companies, which is where I currently am. Thankfully the lessons learned in those good lessons have far outnumbered the lessons earned and the bad lessons, but there’s still a few very, very valuable lessons that I’d like to share with you. Number one, always make sure that your client contracts are set up, established and signed by the client before you start work. You want to make sure that your terms are clearly defined. You want to make sure that they know what your working hours are. You want to be sure that they know when they can expect their product or service to be delivered.
For those of you who are in service based businesses, I’d also like to encourage you to establish a retainer based model or a project based model for your business. What this means is that you are getting paid prior to your services being delivered. I’ve had more than a few times that clients have walked away without paying the money that they owed, and while I established my business without wanting to ask for prepayment, I’ve had to change this policy to protect myself, my family, and my business.
I’d love to give you all an opportunity to share with me and our listeners some of the greatest lessons that you’ve learned on your entrepreneurial journey. So if wouldn’t mind, please visit the website at TheKimSutton.com/PP045 and leave in the comments, the greatest lessons that you’ve learned while running your business. Until the next episode, I hope you have a positive and productive day.