5 Success Traits You Have to Learn the Hard Way

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We all know the saying “Hindsight is 20/20” and it’s just as true in business as it is in life. We’ve all gotten burned along the way, but it’s not only how we “react” to life’s lemons that counts, it’s how we use them to transform ourselves – for better or for worse.

We can let negative experiences bring us down or hold us back, or we can swallow our pride and learn from the valuable lesson and say to ourselves, “I’ll never do that again.”

I find it a waste of time to get hung up on what didn’t go right. It’s better to acknowledge what didn’t work, make a decision not to repeat it and forge ahead, one foot in front of the other with your dignity intact.

The difference between successful people and others is the restraint to not make the same mistakes over and over again. Once they learned their valuable lesson the hard way, they never go back to repeating the same mistake.

Here are 5 things I feel MUST be learned before you can achieve true success in your business…

1. Mistakenly thinking you can please everyone.

It’s not realistic to deliver something to everybody. From a customer base, it’s not a successful tactic to try to service too broad of an audience. You figure out what you’re good at and you work ahead, even if it means losing a client.

If you’re doing something over and over again that has not been successful or isn’t bringing in a solid return on your investment, scrap it and concentrate on what IS working. You can’t be married to products or services that your customers aren’t buying.

2. Returning to what hasn’t worked.

Entrepreneurs have to know when it’s time to pivot. The failure to pivot when conditions are ripe for a change is akin to insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over.

Whether it’s in business, relationships or life, you can’t continue doing the same thing and expect different results. If what you desire is something different, something has to change.

3. Losing focus on the big picture.

You don’t want to lose focus on the big picture. Otherwise, you’re like a sailboat in the middle of the ocean without a compass, floating wherever the wind takes you.

When people fail to set a big picture, they mindlessly wander through business and in life because they don’t know where they’re going. Where’s the fun in that?

4. Trying to change other people.

Instead of trying to get employees to conform to my way of thinking or trying to change them, I recruit people that have likeminded goals, who buy into the bigger picture.

With employees, you certainly have different visions, but you can effectively say, “We no longer have the same vision,” and if it’s no longer the right fit, it may be more conducive to part ways.

It’s more productive to build a team of people with positive attitudes, who are all working toward a common purpose than to have staff that are going in different directions, some of whom may be skewing yours.

5. Failing to perform due diligence.

When you fail to perform your due diligence, you’re making some assumptions and you’re not validating those with the best set of data. Things fall through the cracks, things get misunderstood. Things aren’t exactly as they were presented to you, or as they appeared to you.

While there’s no such thing as the “perfect set of data,” when you conduct your due diligence, you’re in the best position to make informed decisions, so long as you don’t let the data paralyze your decision-making abilities.

We all make mistakes…even the most successful entrepreneurs and leadership coaches. But, what the successful people do better than unsuccessful people is recognize what led to their mistakes and they make a conscious decision not to repeat them.

In the capacity of an entrepreneur, spouse, parent, and friend, it is your task to recognize your mistakes and stop repeating them.

As a serial entrepreneur and business coach, I’d be glad to share the valuable business lessons I have learned with you to help shorten your learning curve.

If you need a sounding board to discuss your business and funding options, don’t hesitate to give me a call.