Let's Leave These Things in 2017
The longer you are in business, the more opportunities arise for conflict, disagreements and drama. These instances don’t make anyone a bad person, but it can negatively impact your personal brand aka your reputation or “street cred” as an entrepreneur. So here are some things that I am hoping we can leave in 2017:
Masquerading a wish as a goal. We all set goals (some start as our new year resolutions) but without some planning and intent behind them, it is only a wish (its not #goals...#issawish). Are you on track to achieve your goal to increase your profit margin by 15% or to drop those extra 15 lbs that are making you sluggish, sick and less productive? Set aside a full day at least twice a year for strategic planning and analysis for your personal and business goals. In between these “check-ups”, ask yourself and refer to your written down goals to stay accountable. If you know that you’re not great with keeping yourself accountable, then until you make it a point to do so, get an accountability buddy. This person must by a “keep it real” type of friend. You also have to take off your layer of emotion and be willing to be transparent and raw with your strength and weaknesses, so you can leverage your resources to make the necessary changes to grow. Ask yourself what is more important..comfort or growth?
Being resentful of family and friends that don’t support your business. This one has been a big deal for me personally to “get over” even after being in business for nearly 10 years but I want to tell you to “just keep it movin”. You are wasting valuable energy on focusing who “is not” vs “who is” and understanding who your true tribe aka target market is. Also, you may not be the issue--it could be them. They may be feeling “some typea way” because you seem fearless to them and they’re not there yet. All you can do is to be an example to them and hopefully they come around, but if they don’t---that’s okay too, because you have way too much to do to concern yourself with that.
Doing business without contracts. You guys. You need an agreement. It keeps you and them on the hook, accountable and on the same page. If you are collaborating on a project, rendering a service or going into a partnership, you absolutely positively need an agreement. Depending on the structure of your business (sole prop, LLC, etc) and what you have to lose, you may want the agreement to be drafted and reviewed by a lawyer like, Patrice Perkins of Creative Genius Law. This leads me to my next point..
Think twice before entering into a partnership business. I’ve seen it happen over and over. Most small business partnerships that I’ve seen end messy. Someone ends up feeling used or like the other person is not living up to their end of the bargain. This comes solely from not thinking and talking everything through. People partner up in haste not realizing that you may be starting this business together with different ideals and understanding each other’s work and communication styles. This is very similar to getting married and should be treated as such when considering to enter into a partnership business. In an effective partnership, everyone has clear-cut responsibilities and there is an airtight agreement with an exit strategy (as you should have for any business). Check out this article on Forbes.com that outlines 7 Things Every Partnership Needs to Address.
Not investing in your marketing efforts. I’m going to need folks to stop tagging 126 of their Facebook friends in a post that has nothing to do with them. This is NOT a marketing strategy (in fact, this is a form of spam!) and must be stopped. You have to set aside a marketing budget and that includes social media marketing. People are more inclined to share valuable content that they can relate to, so you have to do the work.
Do you have something to add? Have you experienced any of these situations or one of the offenders? Let me know your thoughts!