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GOLD! What was your biggest business and life lesson in 2014?

csalvato

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What was your biggest business lesson, and life lesson, of 2014? What did you learn in that year, above all things, that will change the way you approach your life in front of you.

Business: The term "cost of doing business" exists for a reason. It's always about learning how to spend less than you make...how to make $2 out of $1. Not $1 out of $0.

Life: It's important to let the right side of my brain do some thinking through meditation. I knew that when I didn't exercise regularly, I didn't function properly. In 2014 I learned that meditation is a key part of productivity, positivity and clarity in my life. It is something that is necessary for my success.

What have you learned?
 

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Formless

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Business: The customer has as much money as you have value.

Life: Morning routine, visualization 2x a day, elimination of distractions & CLEAR DEFINITION OF GOALS = Sustainable progress.
 

Avus

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ALWAYS stay humble. No matter how promising a venture's direction is going. I learned this the hard way. Not to say I was cocky, but I relied too much on other people and in the end the project I was working on for 1+ year died.
 

ChrisJHarrington

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Too many to list. I'll list one of each

Business: All the shit i learned from this forum. Look for ways to add value, not 'make money' - don't be intrinsically motivated. Also set deadlines on shit and scrap projects that aren't gaining traction after a long period of time.
Life:
 

ChrisJHarrington

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intrinsic motivation is good, extrinsic motivation is bad. According to the book Drive.
What is you're opinion about this?
Hmm, maybe we have different definitions.

When I said 'intrinsically motivated' i meant being motivated by my own wants and needs, rather than the wants and needs of others. Hope that helps clarify.
 

Marc B.

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I really have to pick just one?!
"If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal."

- Bruce Lee
 

Silverhawk851

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Business / Life:
Giving is better than taking. The one who can give the most, wins.
If you want to be a lion, you've got to go train with lions. Find the people who are where you want to be. Something amazing about getting around the right crowd.
Time will pass regardless, so maximize every moment.
Take the damn risk and jump, it will rarely affect you a year from now if you fail, and if you win, it'll change your life forever.
All growth happens outside your comfort zone.

Goals:
Don't focus on goals, focus on the daily systems that you get there. Goals reduce happiness, force you live in stress until you achieve your next milestone. Focusing on the process is easier. You can break down into daily goals and let them add up.
You can only get as far as your vision. Your mental vision. Always keep it clear and expand constantly by experiencing different cultures, environments, people, places.

...a few lessons from the hundreds learnt this year.
 
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csalvato

csalvato

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I really have to pick just one?!
Just the most important one. I learned something new every day last year...but I picked two of the ones that I really feel will be with me until I die. I tried to see which one was the biggest lesson. I think it helps to focus on that.
 

Iwokeup

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Biggest Business Lesson: Stop thinking about it and JUST DO IT. (and sneaky #2: it's all about CONTROL)

Biggest Life Lesson: It's There is untold abundance in the world. It can be yours (and your family's!) if your minds are big enough "to see the whole blanket."
 

Mattie

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2014 Brought many new perspectives for me. Perhaps it was I wanted to be a Babe Ruth right off the bat with my Novel. And M.J. kind of challenged that and perhaps the greatest gift he could ever gave me. The lesson in kindle and short reads is teaching what my audience likes and don't like. It's also challenged me to understand I can't give a crap about reviews or what people think of me. Whether he did that intentionally or not, I don't know. lol Anyway, a good lesson to have learned before I put the novel out there, and wouldn't have been prepared in how to handle reviews and naysayers.
 

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Andy Black

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Damn you Chris for making me choose only one!

Biggest business lesson
We are our own biggest enemies. Just get out of your own way and have a go.

Biggest life lesson
I don't truly know till I have done it myself. Until then it's academic.
 

Get Right

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Biggest Business lesson: You have to be in the right business vehicle to get where you want to go.

Biggest Life Lesson: Change your thinking, it will change your life.

BTW - great post @csalvato
 

Bila

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Business : - Learn very quickly and move on to the next challenge
Personal : - Dont settle ...ever...take the hard road to be with the right people ( friends, partner ) have high standards ( regarding character not shallow things ) and stick to them.
 

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This wasn't learned in 2014 (but a few years prior) but it has changed my world:


Business: When you find yourself pissed off at someone for something they did, you can either spend your time/energy continuing to be pissed or you can put in place a protocol to ensure that you never find yourself in the same situation that allowed someone to do that to you again. You can't control people, you can only control you & how you manage/respond to people. It's accepting your role in the situation & by taking responsibility, you set yourself up for better methods/protocols/policies.

Personal: See "business" above.
 

ChrisJHarrington

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This wasn't learned in 2014 (but a few years prior) but it has changed my world:


Business: When you find yourself pissed off at someone for something they did, you can either spend your time/energy continuing to be pissed or you can put in place a protocol to ensure that you never find yourself in the same situation that allowed someone to do that to you again. You can't control people, you can only control you & how you manage/respond to people.
"You can't control the weather, but you can control how you react to it"
 

OscarDeuce

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Integrity matters. I hired a contractor to assist with an important product. Along the way, I heard from an acquaintance that had done some work for the contractor I was going to hire that he had not been paid by them for the work he did. I rationalized away what should have been a big red flag by thinking "that doesn't affect me, after all I'm paying them, not being paid by them" and hired them anyway.

Well, not seeing their obvious (in 20/20 hindsight) lack of integrity as the red flag it was cost me $20,000 in direct costs and possibly 7 figures in lost opportunity costs. The work product they did deliver was totally unfit for purpose, and they did not deliver most of what they were tasked with (perhaps because they didn't pay their suppliers?). So, tuition paid and lesson learned - integrity matters, and if I again find even the slightest hint that it is lacking in a person or company I'm considering doing business with, even if I don't see right away how it affects me directly, I'll run the other way.

Cheers,
O-2
 
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csalvato

csalvato

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Integrity matters. I hired a contractor to assist with an important product. Along the way, I heard from an acquaintance that had done some work for the contractor I was going to hire that he had not been paid by them for the work he did. I rationalized away what should have been a big red flag by thinking "that doesn't affect me, after all I'm paying them, not being paid by them" and hired them anyway.

Well, not seeing their obvious (in 20/20 hindsight) lack of integrity as the red flag it was cost me $20,000 in direct costs and possibly 7 figures in lost opportunity costs. The work product they did deliver was totally unfit for purpose, and they did not deliver most of what they were tasked with (perhaps because they didn't pay their suppliers?). So, tuition paid and lesson learned - integrity matters, and if I again find even the slightest hint that it is lacking in a person or company I'm considering doing business with, even if I don't see right away how it affects me directly, I'll run the other way.

Cheers,
O-2
Best advice I have personally taken from this thread. This was a lesson I learned this year too.

Rep+
 

Andy Black

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wade1mil

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Business: You can read or theorize all you want, but learning doesn't start until you're doing.
Personal: Every person has a different perception of the world, and nobody's is wrong.
 
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Journey2Million$

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(1) I learned that i'm not going to get very far unless I stop wasting time and I become much more productive. This absolutely means no hobbies, no videogames, no pets, no side interests, no reading about political issues or watching science documentaries. I need to stop doing almost everything that has nothing to do with increasing my income. I need to stop all the web surfing that about unnecessary topics. I need to ruthlessly eliminate all time-wasting habits and activities so I can massively accelerate my business progress. Becoming highly successful requires an all-out effort and there's no other way to do it. This is the #1 lesson.

(2) I need a really good business strategy. I decided on one strategy which seemed good, but I still need to think about alternative strategies in case there's something better. I don't want to commit myself to a huge new project and find out it was not such a good idea.

(3) I need to work on my art skills really hard core to be as good of an artist as I always wanted to be.

(4) I need to do some new things in business to make a level of income that I've never made before. I need to seriously start implementing more marketing methods that I haven't tried before and greatly develop my marketing knowledge and skills. I'm going to expand my comfort zone and experiment with doing new things.

(5) I need to use more logical, concrete, methodical analysis when I work on figuring out how I can increase sales and why the top businesses are selling more than me.

(6) I'm gonna spend less time listening to general advice about success and spend more time learning about my own business field and other business knowledge.

(7) Lately I've been focusing on finding out what kind of things you need to do to grow a big business. I'm going to keep doing that. I've been writing down notes on how a variety of businesses grew big. For some reason it's been very unclear to me in the past how to grow a big business and make 7 figures per year, but I'm gradually getting a better idea.

(8) I need to use affirmations, visualization, and goal setting more often to keep myself motivated and on-track, so I won't slack off.

(9) I'm going to be more of a daredevil like Richard Branson and just go for things I've been afraid to do. I've already started doing this in the past couple of months.
 
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csalvato

csalvato

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(6) I'm gonna spend less time listening to general advice about success and spend more time learning about my own business field and other business knowledge.
One lesson I learned LAST year was to not take advice from anyone who is NOT just a few steps further along your path.

People too far down the road forgot what it's like to be where you are, and people behind you often don't know how to help. The guy who just passed your mile stone 10 minutes ago will know EXACTLY how to get to the next step for you.
 

The Grind

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Business: The amount of work, effort, focus, drive, uncertainty, risks you have to endure to start and build a business while working a full time job with no support is incredibly high, I don't blame anyone for not getting rich and just sticking to the 9-5. That's not to rationalize not doing it, just another lesson towards why you shouldn't judge the homeless guy on the corner with a tin cup.

Life: Life is extremely short, if you don't have a high sense of urgency and take your progress, your DAILY PROGRESS extremely seriously, you will wake up 5 years later being exactly where you are right now.
 

Esquire

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Okay ... here are six things I "learned" in 2014:


1. There is an important difference between an "unmet need" ... and an "unmet need people are willing to reach in their pockets and pay for."

Just because people are bitching about it ... does not mean they are prepared to pay for it.

The sooner you figure out which need is which ... the better. Satisfying "unmet needs" ... is not enough.


2. There is an important difference between a "unmet need" and a "perceived need."

Just because your target audience has an unmet need ... does not mean they realize it. It's your responsibility to make sure that they do.


3. Do not assume your service or product is intuitive ... even if the people using it are probably saavy enough to figure it out.

It is your responsibility ... to make absolutely certain ... that every user understands what's available to them ... how your features translate into benefits ... and how to make best use of those features.

In other words ... you can't just hand them a paintbrush and a canvas and expect a Picasso. Assume ignorance. Help them paint by the numbers.


4. It is far easier to extract key concessions early in the process (when you can leverage their curiosity) ... than it is to extract concessions after their curiosities have been satisfied.


5. When entering a field with established competitors ... assume that (their) "good enough" ... may (in fact) be good enough ... especially if their version of "good enough" is already in the hands of your target audience ... and paid for.

Assume that (your) being "better" ... or even the "best" ... is not enough -- assume that (your) being the "best" is the metaphorical cover charge just for a chance to compete.

Your ability to market and differentiate the finished product is what matters most.


6. Test in a pond before launching in the Ocean.

I spent an entire year ... in a limited geographic market. 99% of my potential customers had no idea I existed ... and that was all by design.

I spent a very long time refining and perfecting my site. Learned some hard lessons along the way. Even burnt a few bridges.

But the mistakes that I made were made in a small market. And I got tremendous feedback from my users.

Had I rushed into the Ocean on Day One ... it would have been a woeful disaster. But instead I took my time ... and stayed focused on the big picture.

Now ... I'm feeling pretty damn good ... and am getting my marketing plan in place.

By the time my competition takes notice and perceives me as a threat ... it will be too late.


My two cents.
 
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