25 Lessons Learned Building A MILLION Dollar my blog Business Twenty five lessons learned building a million dollar business on my blog. Are you ready gents? Let’s get into it. Lesson #1: No man is an island. So when I got started ten years ago I tried to do everything on my own. Understand when you’re on a journey there are always people out there that want to support you. Some are just going to simply say keep going, great job. They’ll be an ear to talk to.
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Don’t feel like you got to be alone on an island. Human beings are social beings. I found that some of the best people to talk with were my competitors. People viewed as my competitors Aaron Moreno, Jose over at Teaching men’s fashion. These guys have become some of my great friends because we are doing the same thing and we enjoy coming together. Hence, why I created that whole conference Menfluential. Lesson learned #2: Build real relationships. Now I’m not talking about just going out and networking, getting to know someone’s first name. No. Actually get to know them as human beings. Spend time with them. I find that the relationships I built with my business partners who I sometimes started off as competitors I like to be around them, and I draw energy and strength just simply being in their presence.
You can do this also with your teammates. If you own a company you get to know your employees super well. But also get to know those above you, your mentors. I remember this one guy, Chris Ducker. I reached out to him. Loved what he was doing at Virtual Staff Finder, which is basically it’s a company over in the Philippines and it would help you find the perfect VA to work in your company. Then he told me about this other business he was starting called Youpreneur. I’m like boom. I’ll be one your first customers. Youpreneur had a conference. I bought ticket to London and he’s putting out a book Youpreneur which I want you guys to go check out. I’m going to link to it down in the description but this a mentor of mine and this guy taught me all about how to systemize.
Lesson learned #3: What you spend your time on is what you prioritize. A lot of people say they’re busy. I don’t have time for this. I don’t have time for that. How about instead of saying you don’t have time. Just simply say it’s not important. The thing is if you don’t start to measure where you’re spending your time, you don’t know how you’re spending it and then when you do that you’re going to be face with the reality of I’m making this choice and I’m basically saying no to this which takes me to the next lesson learned. Learn to say no and say no a lot more often. Lesson learned #5: Most things do not matter. Now the guys over at 37signals they talk about how there’s a lot of noise out there. What they mean by that is that you hear all this information coming your way but understand a very small percentage of it is actually useful. You’ve probably also heard the Pareto principle.
That 20% of your effort yield you 80% of the return. But what’s interesting is that it goes even deeper and you can do that 80-20 thing again in that 20%. So actually 4% of your effort yields 64% of your return. Your goal should be able to identify what is that 4% so you can focus on that and get the huge return on investment. Lesson #6: Don’t believe your own lies. We lie a lot especially to ourselves. We say that we’re going to be able to make that deadline. We’re going to be able to get that project out the door. Stop lying to yourself and be a realist. Lesson learned #7: Listen to people. But listen more closely to those you respect. I get a lot of suggestions, a lot of criticism, a lot of feedback but the people I really listen to are those that I respect.
Make sure that you’re open to constructive criticism but be careful of who you listen to. Lesson learned #8: Make your own decisions because you have to live with them. Understand that I put out a lot of information but most importantly what I put out is my thought process. I tried to explain to you guys why I think this. So when you asked me to make a decision on your part I can simply tell you what to do. But I don’t have to live with it. Guys, make your own decisions. Lesson #9: You reap what you sow. There’s a reason why I keep this style blog positive. We don’t need the drama. Yes, I could get negative on certain companies, certain people. I’m not going to do that because that’s not what my company is about.
Lesson learned #10: People may forget what you did, maybe forget what you said but they will never forget the way you made them feel. Now I’m talking about your employees. You treat them with respect. Your customers you treat them with respect. Other people in your industry even your competitors treat them with respect. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if it was me, what would I like? Treat everyone with respect and it becomes pretty darn easy. Now this next lesson learned is going to surprise some of you guys but I think you should treat your employee better than you treat your customers. But the key to this statement is you should treat your customers really well. These are the people that are going to stand by you to build your business. They’re going to deal with your ups and downs. They’re going to be around for years. Now these next two lessons learned I’m going to bring them into one point.
We got management is not leadership and leadership and management are both needed in a company to succeed. Focus on the right thing. That’s good management. But leadership is something different. It’s not the strategic placement of people in a company. A great leader is someone that inspires because they never ask anyone to do something that they would not do themselves if they could. Initially you are that one person and then bring in somebody who can actually have a dual role with you. Lesson learned #14: Identify which key skill you are weakest in and make sure to create a system so that you could solve this weak link issue. So let’s say you’re really bad at sales. You can do it because you have to do it. But professional could come in and yes they would take 25% of whatever they sell but they’re going to do it so much better than you, you need to find that person and get that slot filled ASAP. Lesson learned #15: You have to become comfortable making decisions with no guarantee of success.
When you tell people this most people are like no I’d rather go get that guaranteed paycheck. But there’s no guarantee. You’re actually going to get that paycheck. I found that calculated risk that I take based off of what I believe is out there or well worth it to me. Now lesson learned #16 is that you will fail a lot and that scares a lot of people; the rejection, falling down, being told no, starting and putting all this work. This is what makes it okay is that I can try again. I can start over. And when you realize most entrepreneurs is that we know that we try to fail fast and we try to find that idea, something that works and then go with it. Now this next lesson learned is about fear and I know a lot of you guys have it. Guess what. Every entrepreneur that isn’t crazy is scared. Yes.
You will always be scared of these risks you’re taking. That’s normal and that’s fine but don’t let the fear stop you from taking action. And that takes me to my next lesson learned start now. Imperfect action today is always better than perfect action a year from now. Find what’s going to work. Fail quickly and then keep going forward. Next stop, own you business. Don’t let it own you. This is the only life that you’ve got. You want to make sure that you spend time with the people that you love that you care about. The way I view a business is it should be like a high end watch. Yeah.
You have to shake it once in a while. You have to wind it up but it should run okay without you for a certain amount of time. So set things up in a way so that you can systemize so that you can break free of your business. Now these next three lessons learned I’m going to bring them together. The first thing I want to talk about is to have working hours. Have set hours that you start and you end your workday every single day and you need to stick with it. I’ve got this office here. It’s half a mile from my house. The reason I do this I want to place where I come and then when I leave I take nothing home with me. Because like any project out there you will expand the timing it takes to do something into the time that you have. I think the 35 hour workweek is an amazing workweek if you can get down even down to 30. Because what you’re going to do is you’re going to cut out all the fat and you’re going to focus in on what’s going to give you a high return.
Next stop. Make sure to pay yourself first. So many entrepreneurs, so many business owners they think that they’re martyrs. That they’re going to sacrifice personal income, all of their personal wealth. They’re going to put it right back into the company. The problem with this though is you need to pay yourself. You need to actually give yourself that ability to go take that vacation. Next stop. Never stop learning. You maybe 23 years old, right out of college. Well guess what. You have a lifetime of learning in front of you.
At the end of the day, do not rest on your learning. If you want to continue to be relevant, to be the top of your game, you have to learn every single day. So this lesson learned to get the point across I think I need to share it in the form of a story. I’m in a high level coaching program in Chicago. I’m in a room of 50 other business owners and everyone in this room is much more successful than me. And we go around and we started talking about what do you want to improve in your life over the next three years. Almost 75% of the people in that room said I need to improve my health. I need to start eating better. You know health is so important and you lose sight of that when you’re out there trying to have success. Don’t forget to take care of your body. Next stop. Have fun.
I’m trying to have a lot more fun with the business. I’m going to try to make these posts more enjoyable. I’m going to get the different subjects, and at the end of the day I want to create something that enjoy creating cause this is my life. All right, gents, now it’s your turn. I want to hear from you down the comments. Let me know which one of these lessons learned did you love, would you like to see me expand on, should actually been a post in and of itself. Guys, go check out this book right here. Rise of the Youpreneur by my friend Chris Ducker, an amazing book. Don’t forget if you grab this book send me an email, Carl@my blog. When I have it available, I’ll send you the post footage from Menfluential conference. This is the only way you can get it and I think it’s worth your time.
It’s worth you spending a little bit of money to get something that could possibly change your life. That’s it guys. Take care. I’ll see you in the next post and that’s it. Take care. Bye.
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