Every year I take an assessment and see what I need to dismiss to move forward and what I need to focus on to soar. But before I do that, I look at my life and business and see what were the lessons I learned. I believe if you don’t learn from junk in your past, you’ll just keep on repeating the cycle.
So, here are the lessons learned in a nutshell:
1. Loyalty has no price tag. There is no substitute for trustworthiness. If you have ever been betrayed or “played,” you know that having someone in your corner is priceless. Just like you can’t buy love, you can’t buy loyalty. If you have a loyal employee, friend or business associate, do whatever you can to keep them. Don’t trade the shiny-new for the ol’ trusty-blue.
2. Parasites or Leeches are worst than “haters.” I can deal with folks that purposely try to ignore you, talk about you, can’t stand you and even folks who go out of their way to try and make life miserable for you. At least they are open about it and you know to manage their offense. It’s the folks that drain you that I can’t deal with. Folks that take up all your time and try to suck up all your energy, try to steal your ideas and talent because they think that you’re their friend – those are the folks I’m running away from in 2013 and forever.
3. Listen to your Gut, For Real. If you ain’t feeling right about a situation or you get a check in your spirit that the person is a loser or a taker – grab your hat and go. You don’t have to wait until lightening strikes before you decide to go inside from the rain. Noticing the red flags and listening to my intuition is probably the biggest thing I really have to monitor more.
4. All that Glitters, is probably fake. One of the things about me, I love to believe the best in everyone. That’s a good thing. It makes for a very positive life – because typically I encourage and inspire people to be their best. But, if a person is not who they say they are – no amount of encouragement or inspiration can make them who they are not or ever will be. If someone has to carefully script everything all the time – to the point of looking too slick – know that person is probably hiding something.
5. Difficult Clients Are Not My “ideal” clients. It’s OK to walk away from bad-fit clients. Yeah, I learned this lesson the hard way. I preach about attracting your ideal client but what happens when you attract the “crazy” client that didn’t look crazy in the beginning. Do you still keep trying to work with them? No. Walk away. When you are not in a state of peace, you are blocking your real ideal clients to come forth.
6. Beware of Online Folks, period. Fire Fast, Hire Slow. Take your time to hire employees, vendors and other contractors. Interview them. Check their references. Follow them online. Do a thorough investigation on Google and have conversations with them multiple times before you commit. And when there are issues that cross the line or what I call “deal breakers” – FIRE them, fast.
7. Dump distractions. You can’t be everything to everybody. There is power in saying NO. The more clarity and confidence you have in your life and business, the less you are swayed off course by the shiny new object. Just because it sounds good, doesn’t mean it’s good for YOU. Know your lane and stick to it – that’s where you’ll find success.
8. Don’t let anyone “hijack” your brand. Protect yourself. Oh, my goodness. It’s often said that imitation is the biggest form of flattery. True. But when folks try to be in your circle so they can “highjack” your brand, that’s dangerous. Have copyrights and legal documentation for everything. Never hand over your entire “system” to anyone without a legal document.
9. Hating a task is not necessary when you can delegate or automate. There are things that I hate to do but they have to be done. I have found that by voicing that “hate” to my colleagues, they came to the rescue and showed me way to delegate and automate task by using technology. Wow. Amazing. See, sometimes it’s good to vent – you’ll get solutions.
10. People who worry and fret about fees and costs, are cheap. Don’t deal with them because they will never understand your value and how much excellence is worth. Price is secondary to value given. I hate when I decide I want to buy something, the sales person is going on and on about the price, or the packages and such. I know what I want, just give it to me. Say your price – quit beating around the bush! Say it and shut up. If the person is ready to buy – they’ll buy. If not, they’ll keep shopping. So, when I demonstrate value for services and provide results, know that I’m not going to haggle about price either. If you’re ready, let’s do business. Bottom line. I’m fair. My fees are fair and that’s that. If you want Walmart, then go to Walmart. People either buy your brand or they don’t. It’s that simple.
11. Technology is my friend. As a baby-boomer, I am finally comfortable with technology. I nolonger let it scare me, bully me or intimidate me. I am not a “geek” but I can hold my own – and I’m feeling pretty darn techy. Empowering. I got social media swag. I know how to work it – and love coaching others. But only if they have a marketing mindset and realize that this is not a sprint but a marathon approach. Internet and social media marketing takes time to work.
12. Embrace the bad, grow from it. Embrace the good, profit from it. That’s pretty much sums up my year. Through it all, I keep a sense of humor – and enjoy life. I always say, “If you’re not having fun, why do it?” There is joy from doing what you love – and getting rewarded for it.
What about you? What have your learned this year you’d like to share? As my friend Valorie Burton discusses in her book, “What’s Really Holding You Back?” As Shelita Williams says, we are meant to REIGN – in every area!
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Shine Bright Like a Diamond -rihanna