Have you ever found yourself looking at another store with envy? Or maybe the store owner? Some owners seem to have their operations down to an art form.
The way they run their business is almost lyrical. Or like being at the symphony and watching all the moving parts of an orchestra come together so beautifully under the guidance and direction of someone wielding a stick.
Envy is pointless. Instead, take the time to learn how to be just like that successful store owner. Like a conductor wielding a baton and keeping everything moving at just the right time and in just the right place.
How much can you achieve if you sit back and watch as the world changes around you? Perhaps waiting for the perfect moment before you take action.
Trust me, waiting for the sun, moon, and stars to align just right isn’t going to happen. Because things are always in flux, so just when you think that grand alignment is about to take place, something you hadn’t thought of will change.
So make a plan then act on it. What if you fail? If you learn a lesson from your failure, then it isn’t all bad. You want to learn. You’ll never learn if you stay in your safe zone, and likely never reach your full potential.
Understand that when you do take action the reaction isn’t always immediate. Taking action often means a lot of up-front work, so it’s understandable to want instant results.
And this is where a lot of people fail. They plan, they take the necessary action, and then when instant success isn’t realized they veer off on another tangent.
So let’s add give it time. Take action, then allow time to see results.
No, I’m not suggesting you take up scrapbooking and crochet. But scrapbooking may be a good analogy.
Most of us don’t start a business with everything we need to succeed. Tangible resources of any kind may be scarce. You might have sunk your last dime into your dream only to find you didn’t think of something. Something important. Something necessary. But now you don’t have the money to buy it.
Will you just throw up your hands and say game over? I hope not.
A smart, successful business owner will find a way. Like that scrapbooker, they may have to collect bits and pieces from here and there to complete their project. Build their business. But they’re crafty—not to mention creative—and they will find a way.
Be Obsessed with Cash Flow
Revenue is awesome. Really awesome. Do you know what’s even better? Profit. Don’t take your eyes off that ball because a lack of cash flow is ranked as the number one reason why businesses fail.
If you’re hit with an unexpected expense that’s wipes out your bank account, things can get ugly.
Without cash, you can’t run a business. You can’t pay your employees—even if your only employee is you. You can’t purchase supplies—or stock. You’re a store owner. Where will you be without stock to fill your store?
Build up a significant cash reserve. Obsess over your account balance. And when you snag your first big sale or client, don’t have a party with your profits. Put them away, watch them grow, because there will come a time when you need them.
Be an Optimist
Frankly, I don’t think anyone starts up an eCommerce business, or any type of business for that matter, without being something of an optimist.
Optimism is a great quality for a store owner. If you had it to start with, don’t let it burn out. You’re going to face obstacles and defeat a time or ten along the way. Accept that and move on.
Dwell on the obstacle you managed to push out of the way and the times you won. If you’re pessimistic, there’s a good chance you’ll fail at number one above, which is take action. You’ll never see the potentials and successes, you’ll only see the risks and the failures.
Optimism is powerful, so don’t hold it back. Instead of being hindered like the pessimistic person is, your positive outlook feeds your success. Have an endgame in mind, a vision of your long-term business goals achieved. Optimism will help get you there.
This should be self-explanatory, but let’s flesh it out.
Here’s a really interesting quote I found.
“Work like there is someone working twenty-four hours a day to take it all away from you.”Mark Cuban
Imagine that for a moment. How hard would you work if you knew someone was diligently trying to rob you of your success? Assuming you’re not a quitter, you are just going to work all the harder to make sure they don’t succeed. That’s the way you need to work every day. Head down, nose to the grindstone.
When all your friends and family are out having fun and you know you still have a list of things to accomplish, where are you? Out on the boat? Nope.
You know there really is someone out there trying to steal your business from you. Your competition. Don’t give them an inch—you know what will happen.
Be a Good Listener
Sometimes the best ideas happen when we brainstorm with someone. Or we realize where we went wrong when customers offer feedback. Maybe an employee who actually works on the line has a suggestion to make a process run more efficiently.
Are you listening? Or do you think you already know it all? You don’t. Everyone has a different perspective and taking all those different angles into account and then implementing them can add limitless value.
And you know what? When people realize you listen to what they say, that you care about what they say, you create loyalty. Chances are you want loyal employees and loyal customers.
You took action. You were optimistic and proactive. You had the cash flow and you’re certainly working your butt off. But it all went wrong.
Your failure was spectacular.
That’s sucks and you deserve to host a pity party for yourself, you really do. But suck it up, buttercup. Get all those negative emotions dealt with and move on. Wallowing in your failure will impede progress. It’s like quicksand, sucking you in.
Above, we talked about taking action. Remember that action is taken with the knowledge of a chance of failure. But you want to learn and grow and unfortunately learning and growing often happens when we make mistakes or things go wrong.
If you fail, try to deconstruct what happened. What went wrong? How did it go wrong? If you were to try something again, what should you do differently? Yes, this is going to take the optimism we’ve already talked about. Maybe even more than you had before.
Learning from mistakes and failures are powerful lessons learned. Recognize the value you gained from the experience. Success usually comes at a cost.