Right out of high school, I got a job at a place whose motto was ‘Get it Right the First Time’. We were making fishing flies, so it was important to get it right the first time so that we could make a lot of them and ship them out within the expected timelines.
I think it’s a good thing to strive to be good at what we do. I also believe, however, that ‘Getting it right the first time’ is mostly a myth. It is the exception. If we get too obsessed in getting it right the first time, it is possible that we’ll miss out on some truly exceptional experiences in life. Like learning a new language, learning to swim, learning to drive, learning to bring a new recipe to life, learning to play a musical instrument and so on. Every new experience is a learning experience, we are likely to falter, and it is likely to take some time to grow into.
Consider the child who’s just learning to walk. Their motivation is not to get it right the first time. In fact, if this was their motivation, they would likely give up after the very first time they fall on their bum. But no, they fall, we wince, they chuckle, they get up, and again put one foot in front of the other. The same holds true for a child who’s learning a language. They don’t care whether or not they sound awkward. They pronounce the word, use it in the wrong context, get corrected, use the word again, and so on and so forth.
Running a business works in exactly the same way. There are things that you know now, that you did not know when you were starting out. There are errors that you have made in the course of running your business and growing into the business owner that you are today. There may be monies that you have lost, partnerships from which you have learnt much, partnerships that you probably wouldn’t get into again, transactions that were of great benefit to you, transactions that you probably wouldn’t engage in again, and so on.
I have learnt that it is important to see your business as a dynamic, growing, learning enterprise. Do not be afraid to err. Do not be afraid to not get it right the first time. I’m not advocating for getting into a lion’s den with reckless abandon; I am actually a strong advocate for wisdom in business. What I am saying though, is that we, as business owners, need not shy away from opportunities for growth, just because we can see that we won’t get it right the first time. Don’t be afraid to err in business. When you err, learn from it, adjust, and then go again. (Click to Tweet this Thought)
For many years, I thought of myself as a freelance writer, and that is exactly how I would introduce myself to people when we met. It wasn’t until recently that I started to see my business as a business. Seeing myself as a business owner has set me on a new course in which my mind is more open to seeing opportunities. Seeing this as a business has enabled me to define it more clearly. When I meet a business owner, I am able to clearly articulate what I can provide for their brand on their Social Media, YouTube channel, website and print media. I am able to see past the actual task of writing a post for them, to the greater value of helping them to better define their brand and target audience.
Now that I see my business as a business, I am better able to put systems in place, to ensure that the business runs and grows efficiently. Systems such as:
- Work hours (and what to do during these)
- Vacation days
- Set rates for services
- Target market
- Marketing budget
- Number of hours spent marketing
- Cost of Customer Acquisition
- Books of accounts
- Feedback channels for customers
- Business registration
- Agpo registration
- NSSF and NHIF registration
- and so on.
The more I see this as a business, the more opportunities there have been to grow it as a business, and the more I am able to clearly speak about it as a business.
I wholeheartedly believe in the now. I believe in being present. I believe in being where we are right now. While it is important to learn and grow from our past, there is no profit in spending time agonising about how we should have done things differently. Realize instead, that you have a right now, and right now is your opportunity to do things differently for your business and yourself, if that is what you are inclined to.
Right now is your opportunity to soar!
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