Not everything is going to go your way.
The true measure of success if how you react and what you do with what you’ve learnt from the experience.
As a founder, owner, key staff member or genuinely ambitious person, you tend to put a lot of pressure on yourself to make sure everything is perfect; that you can keep 100% of the people happy 100% of the time but as per the old adage, we know that’s not possible and even trying isn’t advisable. So, what should we do instead?
Here are the 5 things that I think we can all take too personally along the way, plus my advice for getting over the negative feelings about them and on the way to success!
1. You will lose customers
Losing a customer at some point is inevitable. I remember the first customer I ever lost in my first business – I felt like the world was going to end. I should just pack it in and ‘get a real job’. So glad I hadn’t (mainly because I’m totally unemployable now ).
Luckily, people seem to love our product at Yena so we’ve got a low churn rate, but even in the early stages I remembered taking the loss of those few £s from people I generally knew quite well, personally.
How do you deal with it? 🤔
Appreciate that everyone has their own lives, their own budgets, their own priorities and agendas. The might be saving for a house, having a child, trying a new product, changing their strategy, closing their business, or any other number of reasons.
Do consider a duty of care as people leave though as 1) It’ll help you retain people who might be considering leaving but didn’t know about the best bit in your product and 2) Help them return later on when things are better and they recall the great experience you gave them! 🙌
2. You will get back negative feedback on your ideas
People will naysay what you have in your head. The reason: They can’t picture it like you do.
There is always a (good) argument to be made for listening to advice, of course, but in reality the reason you’ve come up with your ideas is because you’re closer to the problem than anyone else is and so consulting people further from the issue isn’t necessarily helpful (tip: Find those in the same situation as you and find out how many of them there are – this is your market size)
When you get negative feedback, it’s ok. Sometimes not all ideas are good ones; you’re just a step closer to the best idea you’ve ever had.
Sometimes though you just need to go and do it anyway. Then tell them told ya so later on (or better still, let them come back and admit they were wrong while you’re working hard)!
3. You will have competitors
(Apparently I look like Ed Norton? )
If you start something, even in a niche without competitors, if you do it well enough and see some success start to happen you will get competitors.
This is generally a good thing for two reasons:
- It validates your product/market – if you’re the only one addressing an issue, is it a big enough issue?
- It helps increase your marketing efforts – e.g. It’s easier for Uber to win in a market of “which taxi app should I use?” than a market of “what’s a taxi app?” as then you’re looking at market share, not having to force the adoption of new trends & habits (which is much harder).
4. You will have haters
From the moment you start to make moves, to the moment you start to see success, and beyond, you’ll have ‘haters’ – people who talk about you, or to you, in negative ways, naysaying what you’re doing and how it’ll all come tumbling down eventually.
Well, it’s true what they say, success is the best form of revenge. It’s rather grin-inducing when someone who used to say those things sends you an email asking for a job…
Stay humble, keep your head down, get working, make an impact, do good. 👊
The sad reality is that those putting you down are generally doing it because of their own insecurities and would love to be doing what you’re doing themselves.
5. You will put too much pressure on yourself
As I often talk about – ambition is a blessing and a curse.
You will put pressure on yourself that is, a lot of the time, unrealistic and then be unhappy with yourself at the end of the day for not achieving those things.
However, it’s important to stay self aware. Count the number of hours you’ve actually physically and mentally worked that day – often more than a 9-5. Try not to compare with external forces or people though, but instead stay comfortable and confident in the fact that you are on the way and sometimes slow days happen. It’s cool. Just keep on keeping on and you’ll get there!
There’s 7.5bn+ people on the planet – just because your neighbour/mum/one investor friend/second ever client told you it wouldn’t work out, it doesn’t mean it’s true.
The moral of the story? Don’t take it personally. Business is business. You’ll win some, you’ll lose some. But you’ll make it.