WRITTEN BY OMAR SHAHID |
Monday, December 31, 2018 ;
Anyone can set up a business.
It doesn’t always require much.
But not everyone can run a successful, strategic business.
One of the reasons is because not everyone has the passion and strength to endure hardship and failure.
Business is for the thick-skinned.
And that’s something we’ve definitely learnt in 2018.
This year has been one of great learnings.
People are sometimes afraid to make mistakes. But a mistake is often the best type of success, as long as you learn from it, and use it to improve.
Below we’ve listed some of the lessons we’ve learnt in 2018 – some are bigger than others, but all are nevertheless important.
1. Be Prepared for Quiet Patches
Business, like life, has its ups and downs.
That’s the nature of business.
You can’t always control the economy, consumer habits, market trends or when your competition decides to keep outbidding you on PPC, but you can control how you react to it.
We had some extremely slow patches in 2018.
But know that with persistence, remembering your purpose and remaining grateful, you will come out of it.
2. You Don't Know It All
It’s easy sometimes when you’re a business leader to sit in your ivory tower, looking down, trying to figure out everything yourself.
But things really shouldn’t be like that.
Life is ordered in hierarchies. There is always someone who knows more than you in something.
This is why teachers and mentors exist.
Perfection is only for God.
Over the past year, we’ve mixed in circles with some of the most successful business people in the country.
They’ve provided us invaluable advice, encouraged us and helped us develop a clearer roadmap.
There is honestly so much to learn.
But sometimes, it’s quite basic advice that proves the most useful. You come away thinking: I’m sure I could have thought of that.
But the truth is, you didn’t!
So keep meeting thought-leaders, successful entrepreneurs and visionaries – one piece of advice may change your entire year.
That doesn’t mean you take everything – part of wisdom is knowing what to take and what to leave, even if something does sound, on the surface, quite compelling.
3. Sometimes You Have to be Harsh to be Nice
When a child is out of line and you make them go to their room, it’s not done out of malice, but out of wanting the best for them.
Likewise, when it comes to staff, or in our case, Influencers, they sometimes don’t know what’s best for them.
They can get so caught up in growing followers, portraying a certain image or pursuing a certain lifestyle, that they’ll often choose options which are not only damaging to their careers, but also to themselves.
I personally have got quite a soft nature, but I’ve realised that speaking firmly, with conviction and clarity, always engenders respect from the other.
Don’t be afraid to put your foot down when you need to – you just need to know how to do it with the person you’re interacting with.
4. Ensure You Have Resource Spaces
One of the first things any business should do is work on its processes.
You’ll save yourself massive headaches later down the line.
One of the first processes you should implement, is creating resource spaces for your content and assets.
Whether it’s an Idea Log, a space to upload your videos, photos and articles, set this up immediately and ensure content is uploaded in proper folders as soon as it’s ready.
Over the past year, despite having resource spaces, in the thick of things, when you’re super busy, we’ve sometimes forgot to upload content, thinking it can be done later.
So do it right away!
5. Make Your Staff Feel Valued and Appreciated
This is one of the most important attributes of a leader.
Yes, your team must know when they’re underperforming.
But they also must know when they’re doing well.
The number one reason why staff leave jobs is because of a lack of proper leadership from their superiors – feeling valued, encouraged and feeling like there is progress in their careers is critical to retain staff.
Even if a team member is new to a job, and they’re making mistakes along the way, that’s not a problem, as long as their work ethic is there and they are showing signs of improvement.
Let them know where they can improve, but also tell them when they are improving.
6. Don't Order a Hot Chocolate in Critical Meetings!
The point is, be aware of how people are perceiving you.
You only get one chance at a first impression.
And in a world where image is as important as ever, you need to look, sound and act confident and competent.
Business is cutthroat and there are no place for amateurs.
So replace that hot chocolate with a latte 🙂
7. Think About Your Environment
While planning your grand plan to take over the world, don’t forget the minutiae.
Whether that’s thinking about what to wear when doing vox pops on the streets, giving someone a call instead of a text message to clarify the details of the task, or checking the audio of a recording you’ve done before you finish up filming.
There’s nothing worse than regret – and regretting something you pretty much had full control over is the worst feeling.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
2019, just like every other year, will be exciting, with new developments, new technologies, super creative ideas and new people/Influencers/entrepreneurs stepping into the scene.
But it will also come with its struggles – in business, personal matters and in society.
2019 has to be the year of more partnerships.
We are living in an increasingly divided world.
There are groups actively seeking to divide populations among ethnic and religious lines, and this means that whenever we can come together to support each other, we should.
2019 also has to be the year of more creativity.
So much content is being put out there every single day.
Over 100 million pieces of content on Instagram per day, and growing.
Many social media gurus, including Gary Vee, are also predicting that Instagram’s algorithms are going to affect a lot of brands and Influencers in 2019.
So how do you stand out?
Well, put simply, the best ideas will win.
Wishing a year of peace, togetherness and growth.
Happy New Year!