You want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Andrew Carnegie, Benjamin Franklin, or Rachel Hollis and are ready to assume whatever name they call themselves: entrepreneur, solopreneur, or girl boss. You’ve dreamt of owning your own business, and you are prepared to fail-forward to make the dream become a reality.
You’re going to make mistakes, and that’s okay, as long as something good comes from the failure. The education you earn in the process will propel your current situation into future success.
As long as your marketing is good enough, you can make money before you’ve ever built a thing. Have a good strategy and develop any business you can make:
- Product strategy
- Service strategy
- Pricing strategy
The right product that solves people’s pain points with the right service promises, at the right price, has the recipe for success.
Pay First, Build It Later
Don’t build a thing until after people have agreed to pay you. It’s called proof of concept in an entrepreneur's economy. You have evidence that your idea is a moneymaker because people have given you their hard-earned money for your plan. After they’ve paid you, you build what you’ve promised.
It’s okay if it doesn’t work perfectly in the first go-round. It’s the beta-test, even if you aren’t calling it that. You’re learning as you go, and people are paying you for your education. You’ll have more knowledge for the second group of customers, and you’ll increase the price for your effort and what you’ve learned.
What doesn’t work is okay because all entrepreneurs learn as they go.
Your idea is your baby, your pet project, so you aren’t afraid to hustle. You’ll put in an absurd number of hours while making your concept profitable. You’ll hustle until it works, and when it starts to turn a stable profit, you’ll hire extra people to help with business growth and responsibilities.
If your idea goes well, maybe you’ll copyright the idea or sell it to a large company and become a millionaire. If the idea turns out to not be scalable, you are forced to make a tough decision. Be happy with having enough or pivot into a new business idea.
But what happens to the people who are caught up in your process? You’ve been so busy hustling and grinding, building your dream, and haven’t considered what it means to other people if it doesn’t work. Have you considered the people who are caught up in the process if it fails?
Customer service is both the same as we have always known it, and it is different too. It is still essential to deliver well and put the customer first, but there’s something about this fail-forward culture that asks for grace.
What happens when you can’t deliver on your promises by the deadline? What kind of customer service is that?
It is a good growth experience to take calculated risks. Risks usually carry with them a high reward when they pay off. If they don’t pay off, you may end up having your butt handed to you by customers who think they deserve what you promised.
You learn constantly, and other people are paying you to learn. You are prompted, spurred on, even, to deliver goods or services you promised. This is your dream, after all. And, you get to search, research, and reapply your knowledge and raise your prices on successive product rollouts.
People have paid you money for the promises you’ve made. Some of them want you to deliver on time. If you can’t deliver the goods, you may need to admit to your customer that you cannot deliver as promised. Maybe you’ll need to hire someone else to help you make good on your word.
I don’t begrudge a single entrepreneur who is doing the best job possible to improve his or her position in life. I am one of you. I’ve not been paid for hard work on occasion. Many times, I’ve put in a lot of extra work hours to make good on my word because I’ve staked my reputation on the promise to perform and deliver a product I’m proud of.
Being both an entrepreneur and a consumer, I’ve got to say, there’s a time you need to respect the other person enough to say you can’t deliver. There comes a time when you need to fess up, own that you’re a student, and come to an amicable solution.
Whatever you do, when you fail forward, don’t f&*! your customers up too much.
Mind Cafe in Your Inbox
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