two things smart business people know

Today I’d like to talk about something that occurred to me while I listening to a keynote speech at the WJA Women in the Know Conference. While sitting on a fateful mauve velvet seat, I re-imagined Jess LC for 2011. Though I don’t want to give too much away, I will say that I plan to design and launch non-jewelry products this year.

But I have no idea how to design, produce, and sell these new products.

And that doesn’t phase me one bit. In fact, it excites me.

This led me to a realization about business that I think a lot of new business owners (and would-be business owners) don’t understand about successful entrepreneurs. There are really two things strong business leaders know without a doubt:As I’ve listened and worked with more and more start-up business owners, I am finding that there is tons of stress and worry focused on the fact that they don’t know how to start a business.

But the truth is, this is normal for every business owner, and every person on the planet for that matter.

No one on Earth was born with an innate knowledge about marketing, business plans, production schedules, credit lines, and venture capital. We were all born with essentially no information. But over time, we learn through trial and error (hence the first understanding listed above) and through finding information (that’s the second understanding).

What separates the great business owners from the not-so-great ones is the simple fact that they aren’t intimidated by the process of making mistakes and figuring stuff out. They have a deep confidence that they can overcome mistakes and are able to seek out advice and unknown information.

So really, there is no difference between Joe Schmoe and a prosperous business owner. The business person is simply not intimidated by mistakes and trusts their ability to problem solve in their business.

Though there is a lot to be said about talent playing a huge role in many fields like art and science, business is usually a process of “learning as you go” and sheer determination.

So the next time you see an inspiring product launch or business model, remember that that the person behind the scenes made a bunch of mistakes along the way and figured things out as he or she went along.

And that is something we all can do.

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  1. yes. yes. AND yes. i’m going through some trial and error with products and how to structure my business right now, and these were just the words i needed to hear this morning! thanks, jess! you’re so sage. 😉

  2. A great class to take is FastTrac through the Kauffman Foundation. It’s based in Kansas City, but they have classes all over the U.S. and online. It’s for entrepreneurs, starting a company, growing a company, etc. It connects you with knowledgable people in your community that can help you figure out may of your business questions. I took the FastTrac NewVenture class and it was amazing.

  3. Gina

    Well said!

    I have made my share of mistakes and this post is a great reminder that it is OK and that everyone makes mistakes.

  4. I’m planning for 2011 to be a year of taking more chances and not dismissing creative ideas because they seem daunting or confusing. There are a few things I wish I’d moved forward on last year so this year it’s all or nothing! Thanks for the reminder (and the assurance that mistakes don’t mean it’s all over!) Can’t wait to see what these new products are… perhaps something I could market to my clients??

  5. Jess

    @ Maggie Rose: Haha, I’m gonna keep everything on the down low for the moment… no hints as to what direction I want to head in. But rest assured I can’t wait to let you and everyone else in on the secret!!

  6. CB

    AGREE! It’s true that natural talent plays a role, but without the confident attitude you describe, it won’t go as far (or as quickly). This post is about success, in general! I know this was true for me as a teacher. In the beginning, I simply imagined that I knew what I was doing and forced myself to have a “fake it till you make it” attitude (which can be surprisingly effective with students, haha!). Since I was willing to take risks and accept/learn from my mistakes, it helped me to grow at a much faster pace.

    I am very curious about these other products you plan to design and launch! Cool!!

  7. This is lovely. I was just reading something today that said just jump in and figure it out as you go instead of planning forever and waiting for the “right time.” Just jumping in and figuring it out as you go can bring amazing results. Love it.

  8. rose

    perfectly said. i need to write these two down in my business journal. in bold. and underline 😉

  9. have you been sitting outside by bedroom window at night, listening to my thoughts as i toil away until the wee hours of the morning??! 🙂 this was right on time–thanks for the reminder, jess. rome wasn’t built in a day, and everyone’s path is different. i’m having to learn to be easier on myself.

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