Don’t Learn From Your Mistakes – Avoid Making Them


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Many business owners and entrepreneurs were part of my Rich Habits Study (51%).

The information they shared with me about their daily habits, I consider revolutionary and invaluable. Interestingly, many of the mistakes they made in growing their business were critical to their future success.

Business mistakes stand out like missing teeth. They are so obvious, after the fact. You wonder how you could have ever been so dumb. But making mistakes is part of being a successful business. In fact, every successful business has a mouth full of missing teeth.

These mistakes offer a learning experience that can never be reproduced in a classroom. Mistakes are the real-life business MBA.

Because business mistakes cost you time and money, avoiding them means you can spend your time and money on things that help grow your business.

Below are some of the common business mistakes the self-made millionaires in my study made and, hopefully, you won’t:

  1. Poor Quality
    High quality products or services are the cornerstone of every successful business. Quality keeps customers/clients coming back. Businesses that produce poor quality are perpetually in search for new customers/clients. New customer/client acquisition is a far more expensive proposition than than keeping the old ones satisfied and coming back. Businesses that produce poor quality are always just getting by. They eek out a living.
  2. Lack of Customer/Client Feedback
    The most successful businesses are in a constant search for customer/client feedback. This feedback is crucial as it provides important information on what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. Every business should ask for feedback on the products/services they provide. Ideally, this feedback is most valuable immediately following a product sale or a service provided. Timely customer/client feedback allows your business to make immediate course corrections to prevent loss of revenue.
  3. Over-Staffing
    Successful businesses hire reluctantly. They keep employee staffing levels at the bare minimum, even during growth phases. Instead, they rely on a core group of highly competent and proven staff members for 80% of sales and fill the 20% gap with seasonal employees, part-time employees or outside contractors.
  4. Procrastination
    Successful businesses adopt a “do it now” mindset. They don’t procrastinate on meeting customer/client needs. Procrastination results in a “put out the fire” response in meeting the needs of customers/clients. This “put out the fire” response results in poor quality, dissatisfied customers/clients, lost customers/clients and potential litigation, costing the business valuable time and money.
  5. Lack of Vision
    Successful businesses know exactly where they are going. They have a very clear vision of their destination. The construction crew they use to turn that vision into a reality, are goals. These company-wide goals are in writing. They are regularly monitored and revised to meet an ever changing business environment. Successful businesses understand that goals tied to their vision, help move them forward towards that vision.
  6. Failing to Keep Up With Your Competition
    Successful businesses are tuned in to their industry. They consistently read their industry periodicals or blogs for industry trends and opportunities. They adapt their business to industry changes. They are constantly in “self-improvement” mode; always improving/expanding their core products/services to match or exceed their competition. Successful businesses have their fingers on the pulse of their industry.
  7. Your Product/Service is a Commodity
    Successful businesses have a unique brand that is the result of providing value-added products or services or that fills some niche. They offer something unique that helps them stand out from the competition. When your product or service becomes a commodity, it shows up in the bottom line.
  8. Poor Marketing
    Successful businesses have a unique marketing strategy that helps them build their brand. They do not follow the heard in terms of marketing strategy. They create their own proprietary strategy through trial, error and brainstorming sessions with their staff and business partners.
  9. Not Understanding Customer/Client Wants and Needs
    Successful businesses know their customers/clients wants and needs. They then create products or services to meet those wants and needs.
  10. Failing to Meet Customer/Client Expectations
    Successful businesses exceed customer/client expectations. They always try to deliver on a promise. Customers/clients walk away satisfied because their expectations are either met or exceeded.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Mr. Corley,
    I read your materials all the time. I love the general overview in this post because the principles help me refocus and see where i need to improve. I even put it in my journal under How to run a business 101. I’m Thankful for your wisdom and application of it!!

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