Well – a couple of them, anyway.
Voila! Some pieces of hyper basic and widely understood business information, gently teased apart and improved.
- Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life = NO
I know that it’s the dream job (ie. No job) that the majority of us self-employed, business owner types are looking for – and it’s very tempting to believe – but it is kind of inaccurate.
Love what you do and you’ll be happier dealing with the crap stuff that enables you to do it.
= More on the money, I think.
Of course, when you have more money, you can pay the Crap Stuff experts (for whom, presumably, it is a dream job) to do it for you.
It doesn’t start like that. You have to do the work in order to fulfill your calling. Sorry.
I believe that you achieve success by being happy though. You have to be doing your dream job – and be happy in its operation – in order to be able to make the gains that are required and have any kind of longevity.
- Have a 10 second elevator pitch ready = NO
I have heard a LOT of elevator pitches. Now the problem with them might already be apparent from that first sentence.
I KNOW I have heard a lot of elevator pitches. They have the same tone, frequently have the same content and tell me nothing about you except an ability to curate and learn very small amounts of stuff about yourself.
I learnt little from my time as a stand-up comic (apart from I can’t drink alcohol and I don’t like being a stand up comic).
What I DID learn was the need to have a sort of information bank ready. Useful sentences and heckler put-downs. Stuff in reserve. Quite a bit of it.
You can then use bits of it so that it works within the appropriate context.
I would recommend having about 20 pieces of snappy data about yourself and your product – how you make people feel – the gift you give to the world – learnt and on the tip of your tongue.
Then, when you meet Ms Useful-Human in an elevator, you have what she needs to know ready. You can give a seemingly bespoke presentation to her based on her needs and yours as opposed to basing it on that paragraph you learnt 3 months before.
- Make a plan and work to it = NO
This is so close to being perfect that I am almost reluctant to correct it.
I do make a plan every day in which I divide up my hours into activity allowances.
So half an hour for emails and business “prose”, scheduled lunch break, doing the things that are most likely to result in an income, dealing with post and enquiries, working on commissions…
Since I’ve started using a pre-written timetable every single day, my productivity has gone through the roof. I am accountable. I have daily targets. I don’t forget to do things. I need it in order to work in the most effective way I can.
I work very hard and I get a lot of things done.
But if at 3pm I’m shattered (which happens quite often) I HAVE to take myself off for a ½ hour lie down. It isn’t written anywhere, it requires flexibility – but it has to happen.
At 3.30, I wake up refreshed and I can get back into it, harder faster and with even more precision than before. Or I have the whole day off and eat jellybeans.
I’m not saying you will need a siesta, but I am saying you will need flexibility in the plans you make.
- Use your connections = NO
Use your network. Not your connections.
I have a very wide and broad business network. They are people I have permission from to ask for help.
If you haven’t asked for permission from the person you want help from, they are NOT in your network. If you have ever had a chat with a friend who suddenly starts selling to you, you know how awkward being on the wrong end of a misunderstood relationship can be.
My advice is to ask all useful people you meet for permission to ask them for help regarding any random problem in the future. They will regard you in a different way. They may make money form your relationship. You are not going to try to sell to them. You have shown respect for them and their knowledge base.
They are then in your network. You can ask them again come the time whether it is still OK to drop a specific problem their way.
I have personal connections that tie me to lots of people. There are all sorts of reasons that money and friends should remain separate. Even more reasons why my beautiful business and famous ex-boyfriends should.
Stress prevents you functioning at your best. Some you can’t avoid, but some (like approaching an ex because he’s on TV all the time and is best friends with a particularly beautiful actor) you can.
Your business is precious. Treat it as such.
5. Customers know best = NO(!!! mwahahaha!!)
I sincerely know you all know what you are talking about and that you have excellent taste (you are here, after all!)
I will say though that if you ask people about design or about how to go forward or about a facet of your product you will get a lot of different answers.
They can’t all be acted upon and they can’t all be perfect for you.
If you don’t know…
- what your product looks like,
- what your brand stands for,
- what your next move is,
- why you next move should be that,
- the colour scheme that will work,
- the animal that best represents your brand,
- the charity closest to the heart of your brand,
- what your Christmas cards should say,
- why you use Fair-trade materials,
- what to say to your customers,
- WHO YOU ARE
…better than every single other person on planet earth, there’s a problem.
Regarding your business, you HAVE to know best. If you are shaky, do some more training or sketching or at very least research.
You don’t have to be an expert at everything, but you MUST be the world’s foremost expert in YOU.
I have a team of fantastic mentors and advisors. They never agree on bloody anything. That is why they are so great. They make me think from my own perspective and that of the soul of harriet bedford.
£21 – backcountry.com
£28 – bananarepublicfactory.gapfactory.com
£20 – pinkqueen.com
£1,475 – mytheresa.com
£160 – theoutnet.com
£81 – pyramidcollection.com
£40 – nike.com
£560 – ifchic.com