When I saw Seth Godin's post on lessons learned from his biggest business mistake, it made me smile. First, because his biggest mistake is a whopper and the lesson learned is something everyone can benefit from.
The second reason is much more personal. For about a year I wrote a non-bylined column for the Chicago Tribune on exactly that topic.I've been feeling very nostalgic about the newspaper business.
Each week I would interview small business owners who shared the lessons learned from their biggest mistake..
There were recurring themes.
Some their biggest mistake was thinking that an employee ( retail) would care about their store the same way they did.
Others shared they were uncomfortable with billing clients. Instead of asking for a portion of the fees up front or halfway through, many waited until he project was complete to send the bill and then felt vulnerable when at the end of the project the client insisted on negotiating the fee.
One of the more common mistakes was trying to do everything themselves-- including reading contracts and writing personnel agreements.
Here is Seth's mistake.
My biggest mistake (at least in terms of income avoided) was not believing in the world wide web in 1994.
My biggest mistake: Was believing in the world wide web in 1995.
We so believed in the power of the world wide web that we took our eye of the ball of our traditional business. We thought people would embrace and adapt to the online world a lot faster than they did.
It was and still is a painful mistake.
What I learned is timing is everything, patience is a virtue, and even though people say they hate to go to the grocery store it doesn't mean they would be happier if they didn't have to go.
So what is your biggest business mistake and what did you learn from it?