I had a session with one of my business mentors. It was not what I expected, but looking back at the session now, I feel happy that I endured the long talk. On my own, I thought I have been doing fine and I was calling for celebration. It was shocking to discover that upon evaluating my progress report, my mentor did not mix words to reprimand me that I was loosing focus! (Can you imagine that, my friends have been congratulating me!)
He insisted that we go over some of the lectures he had given me before now. I felt stupid, but I could not argue with him. You may wonder why! Simple, that he knows better than me. What is the proof? The results he is having in his entrepreneurship ventures (I crave for the same success he is having). Since I promised to always share with you my success secrets, I will go over the vital points I think you can benefit from.
For those who are in a hurry to go here is the list of the 5 vital points:
- Be an Opportunity Seeker not a Security Seeker.
- Give Customers what they want, not what you think they need.
- Focus on results not daily routine.
- Be mindful of Long-Term Profitability not one time sales.
- Don’t trade your long-term vision for a tempting one time jackpot.
Okay, let’s get the full gist of how the session went. Each of the points were used by my mentor to review my performance so far. You don’t need to hold your breath wondering what my score was. I scored 20% in the review. You will need to score yourself or get someone to score you based on those points. Here we go;
Opportunity Seeker not Security Seeker – I was rebuked for always thinking of security instead of opportunity. He didn’t thinking twice before using the most obvious evidence. He used my constant reference to “I don’t want to get spanked by brother Google” as a sign of a wrong business mindset! (He has been reading my posts!) Entrepreneurs who focus on security instead of seeking opportunity to expand do not make steady progress. He pointed out that John Chow had a terrible face-off with Google, but he survived it and must have added to his knowledge. So, Google should not be the determinant of my online business adventures. After pondering over this, I had to agree quietly that I will do better if I stop thinking about the possibility of losing my PageRank. In reality, even if I get spanked, I can always, learn from my mistake and make better progress.
What Customers want, not what I know – I thought I was serving my visitors what I know is best for them. His question was, “Who made you the dictator?” He pointed out that it is my supreme responsibility as a sincere entrepreneur to find out what my customers want. It is not my business to dictate to them, what they need to satisfy their real or perceived need! I must confess; this one is tough.
The result is what matters not keeping to daily routine – My report on my daily schedule earned me the greatest rebuke. He was furious that I had made myself into a programmed robot that keeps doing the same thing daily. He demanded that I stop the foolishness and get creative even at the risk of making mistake. At this point, I was really sad, but I could not argue. He knows better than me, and he has just made a valid point.
Long-term Profitability not One Time Rip-Off – I made a little income that I was proud to present as evidence that I have been diligent in business. Well, did it earn his approval? No, it earned another scolding. He pointed out that the social cost of the income was too expensive. I traded a RELATIONSHIP for a one time SALE! That is against one of the fundamental principle of successful entrepreneurship. You must always treasure CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP above one time or short-term profit. He insisted that I should have granted the discount asked for by the customer thereby strengthening the existing business relationship. (Well, I actually lost the customer to a competitor after that sale. I thought I was being firm with my business policy. My mentor insisted it was a foolish decision I made.)
Long-term Vision not Short-term Result – Well, the only point that earned me a pat on the pack was my ability to retain my INTEGRITY. He was happy that I have not defaulted in that one. He reminded me that long term vision should be my focus. If I focus on long term result, I will not be easily tempted to do shoddy business or ruin my reputation by engaging in transactions that I will later be ashamed of. Many entrepreneurs who have gotten involved in scam missed this point. They wanted INSTANT RESULT instead of following their long term vision of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Well, that is it. Do I dread the session of review with my mentors, yes. Eighty percent of them are too strict and insist on living by tested and tried business principles. Does that mean I will no longer go to them for advice and periodic reporting, no, I will continue to go because I am where I am today, not because I am smart, but because, I receive a lot of help from those that know better than me. Everyone need a MENTOR!
I hope this little post will encourage and impact you positively. If you do not have a mentor, please go get one today. If you already have one, share with us, tips you got from your report-sessions with your mentors. A comment from you keeps the discussion flowing and interesting. Cheers.