While I tend to spend more time writing about the positive actions you can take to grow the value of you and your business, sometimes it is worth talking about the things NOT to do. And for anyone who has run a business for any length of time, there will be a long list of things in that category.
When we interviewed Dick Smith in our series The Bottom Line, he made the compelling comment that he made lots of mistakes, but he never made the same mistake twice. He believed this was one of the keys to his success.
Those words have stuck with me as I assess my past business performance and try and avoid any pitfalls I have already seen before. I have found it takes a conscious effort to identify those mistakes and ensure you don’t fall into the same trap.
Here are some key ways to identify and avoid past mistakes in your business:
1. Keep a record of mistakes – a journal, email list, or learnings book. It will only take a few minutes to jot down your thoughts on what went wrong, but the very process of writing it down makes it real and makes you remember.
2. Take a minute more than usual when making big decisions – not because you don’t know which way to go, but to run it through your mental database of experience – does the situation seem familiar in any way? Is there anything you should do differently this time.
3. Don’t assume this time will be different – if it did not work before or you got burned, don’t believe it will be different this time – most likely if it did not work before, it won’t again.
Value your mistakes – they are the only thing that will move you forward. Part of that value is making sure you have strategies in place so it won’t happen again. Because that will ensure your business keeps growing and so do you.
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