Volume 113: 25 Lessons from 25 Years, Part Two

Back in May, I decided to do a 3-part series to celebrate O&A turning 25 Years Old. So, today, we’re going to continue celebrating with the next ten lessons in our list of the Top 25 Lessons I’ve Learned Owning My Own Business for 25 Years.

Picking up where we left off, in no particular order:

#20: You’re Going to Make Mistakes, Own Them

None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. The key is to own those mistakes and learn from them when you do. You’re going to get beat sometimes, make sure you don’t get beat the same way twice.

The revenue has grown, and the challenges with

#19: When You Find Yourself in a Hole, Stop Digging

Lesson #19 is similar to Lesson #20. When you’ve made a mistake, the worst thing you can do is try to obfuscate or deny it.

Own your mistakes- you’re only going to dig yourself a deeper hole by pushing responsibility off. Learn from them and move forward.

#18: Great Change is Gradual

When we have a good idea or a vision for where we want to go in our personal lives or in our companies, it can be frustrating when that change doesn’t come as quickly as we’d like it. Wouldn’t it be easier if we could just wake up one morning, totally ripped, without ever having gone to the gym?

Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t work like that, and change takes time. Be patient, or as I like to say “burn some calories” to get there.

#17: Learn When to Let Go and Delegate

#16: Trust Your Team

These two go together.

You can’t do everything, even though a lot of us want to try. If you own a company or have worked your way up to a senior management position, there’s this common thread of people that have trouble letting go of tasks and responsibilities. I certainly struggle with it in my own company.

But you hired the team around you because you saw something in them. So, trust them to do their jobs, and that they can handle what you hired them for. If you were wrong, and they can’t, better to know that quickly and be able to make a change than to coddle them.

#15: Your First Loyalty is Always to Yourself and Your Family

#14: Take Care of Your Health

#13: Take Time Off

These three lessons are all intertwined. Ultimately, your first loyalty MUST be to yourself and your own family. While we know we should have loyalty for the people around us and the company, ultimately, we’re working so that we can supply our family with the comfort and security necessary to be happy and healthy.

As such, no job is worth risking or giving up your health for. You only get one life and one body; you must take care of it. You can’t help anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.

And finally, a great way to do that is to take time off. Most of us get some level of vacation time, make sure you use it! Spend the time relaxing, whether you do that at home or you travel somewhere else. We all have to unwind and recharge sometimes. It’ll make you happier, and you’ll do better work after, too.

#12: Sometimes, Your Best Option is to Walk Away

#11: No Client Starts as a Perfect Client

These two lessons are a paradox when we link them together.

We’ve all dealt with a client, customer, or maybe an employee, that gave us a lot of trouble. When this happens, you have two options: you can walk away, or try to work with them.

In some cases, you’re going to try #11 before moving onto #12, but let’s talk about these.

Some people, maybe because they’re young, have had negative outcomes from other companies, or they’ve never worked with a company that operated like yours before, are going to act in a way that is inconsistent with what makes a good professional relationship.

If there’s a simple reason like one of these three for the behavior, then you can often address it by being open and honest and setting thorough expectations for each side of the partnership.

Sometimes, the reason is more complex, or the person doesn’t want to build a partnership, in which case, it’s okay to walk away sometimes.

Yes, you might miss the revenue from that customer in the short term, but what is the opportunity cost for the time you’re wasting waiting on a non-responsive customer or client or trying to train an employee that doesn’t want to be trained.

You’re good at what you do, and you’ll find other customers, clients, or employees that are willing to partner with you. So, it’s okay to walk away sometimes.

This is a good stopping place for Part Two. Thank you all for celebrating Oberg and Associates, LLC’s 25-Year Anniversary with us, and we’ll see you in three weeks when we conclude this series with the last ten lessons that make up my Top 25 Lessons Learned in 25 Years!

Stay Strong!

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