12 lessons from 12 years

I’ve been running a business for 12 years. These are the most important lessons I’ve learned.

  1. As a business owner, everything that goes wrong is your fault, but every success is either luck or because of someone else. Adopt this as the status quo for your mindset and you’ll be considered a great manager.
  2. Knowing what you want is 49% of success. Telling other people what you want is the other 49%. Before you do anything, figure out these two things.
  3. The other 2% is luck.
  4. Fear of judgement or failure is the single biggest reason that people never see success. They might know what they want, but their fear of judgement and telling other people is what holds them back.
  5. Hire people smarter than you. Your job as a business owner is not to be the best at content or email or marketing. It’s to hire the best at content or email or whatever it is you do. Growing other people and investing in them is a sure fire recipe for growth and wealth.
  6. There is no “right way”. There is no secret or hack or hidden underground method that will CRUSH it for you. I’ve found success copying people step-by-step and I’ve had success doing the exact opposite and I’ve had success doing things my way. The way that’s successful for you IS the way
  7. Spend 2 – 3 45 minute blocks a week talking to people who will hold you accountable. Tell them your goals and work on each other’s business together – this is worth more than the £120,000+ I’ve spent on coaches, programs, courses and consultants.
  8. Don’t have an attachment to any tool. In 5, 10, 15 years time, the most cutting edge advanced favourite tool you’re using now will be obsolete. Connecting part of your identity to defending a tool or platform is a waste of time.
  9. Don’t define your products or offers by what you have previously offered or “what you do”. Define them by who your customers and audience are. If you’re a copywriter and all your clients are women who run small businesses and who love stationary – sell them stationary.
  10. The biggest successes I’ve had are when something just felt right and felt effortless. My most viewed videos, biggest products, best selling services – I knew they’d work before I even pushed publish. The trick is that knowing you’ll have to release 99 mediocre or poor versions before.
  11. People are way more forgiving, understanding and patient than you might give them credit for. If you make a mistake, even something terrible, tell them openly and honestly and apologise. Most people won’t even realise you’ve done something wrong. They may even offer to help.
  12. 5% of your audience/customers are never ever ever going to be happy. DO NOT try to make them happy – you could give them gold and they’ll complain about the weight. Delete their contact info, thank them and move on.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.