It’s funny, when you reach a certain level of success, people assume you had an easy ride. I can tell you – it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Starting from my first venture as a 12-year old entrepreneur selling baseball cards via mail order – to where I am today – I’ve made more mistakes than I can count.
Now, what I’m not going to do is give you the same overdone quotes all motivations speakers do about making mistakes. Things like “well. Thomas Edison found 2,000 ways how NOT to create a light bulb”… or whatever that quote is.
Let’s just get real and cut the BS, shall we? Here are 19 real-world mistakes I’ve made over the years… and hopefully you can now avoid them too. Enjoy:
- Not raising my prices sooner. It took me almost 3 years to get up the nerve to charge more than $50 for a product. And the results with my very first product at $199 brought in $20,000 in 24 hours back in 2003.
- Infrequent emails. I used to only email once a month. Big mistake. You should contact your list at least once a week.
- Doing everything myself. Hiring Demetria over 10 years ago was the best decision I’ve made. You can’t do it all by yourself.
- Free event. I once did a big live in-person event and made it free. All it did was attract people who were not serious about their success.
- Hiring a film crew without checking their references. They sucked.
- Not listening to my wife. She’s one of the smartest people I know… I should have brought her input into my business sooner.
- Traveling too much. I love speaking and while it helped my business, I can never get those days back with my family. It’s now been almost 2 years since I’ve traveled to speak at an event – and I’ve never been more content.
- Stopped selling. For about a year, I stopped selling new products – and my revenue dipped. Duh!
- Hung out with wrong people. You have to surround yourself with not only smart, motivated people.. but people with a good soul.
- Created generic product. Every product or program must have a good hook.
- Held onto grudges. One guy really screwed me over and I let the anger consume me for almost a year. When I let it go, I felt so much better.
- Didn’t test enough. In an effort to get out quickly, I put out a software program with a bug… and it wasn’t pretty.
- Tried to be too creative. Tried products that veered to far away from what was already proven. Instead, it’s much smarter to follow what’s already working – but just improve it.
- Expensive overhead. For three years, I had an office space that was way too big, expesive and unnecessary. It only subtracted from my profits.
- Went against nature. I’m naturally a “starter” but tried to be more of a project manager. Bad idea. Now I focus on my creative strengths and bring on people who are “finishers”.
- Working with sociopaths. Internet marketing.. ’nuff said.
- Not list-building. It’s about doing something to expand your reach, day in and day out – and I forgot that rule.
- No application process. I did a big-ticket mastermind years ago, and didn’t have an application process. Some of the members should not have been in there.
- Drank my own kool-aid. I started to think, “hey I’m Ryan Lee and everything I do is awesome”. Ummm,… I was really, really wrong on that one.
Really, I’m just scratching the surface.
Life and business has it’s fair share of ups and downs. And as an entrepreneur, taking some risks is inherent. It’s simply a part of the game.
And look, we all screw up and make mistakes. It WILL happen.
When you do make a mistake – you can get upset for a few minutes and then you must move on. But what you can’t do is lock yourself in a dark room for a month hysterically crying. And then never try again.
The real key to success is learning from your mistakes and NOT repeating it. Then, keep moving your feet.
And don’t let any setbacks stop you from achieving your dreams. Ever.
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