Well, we all have our weaknesses and no matter how careful, we’re prone to making some mistakes in life. Here I lay before you some of the lessons I’ve learnt from my mistakes and how I corrected myself to grow past them.
Trusting the wrong people in life
Businessmen’s noted qualities are their sharp minds and extreme care they take before placing their trust on someone. One of my biggest drawbacks was that I tended to trust the words of everyone whom I met with on a daily basis. I always intended the best for everyone around me and thought the same of others. It was not long before the realization dawned on me that there are a lot of people who are just trying to mess up your life, take advantage of the trust you put in them, extort your hard earned money or even worst, just waste tons of your time over their selfish pursuits. For me to understand this clearly, it took at least 2-3 experiences, loss of thousands of dollars and equally wasted time, energy and peace of mind.
I’m well past those experiences, so I’ve built a better attitude and mindset to people, drawing lines where they’re supposed to be. At work, before I sign or even think of any business deal, I have an internal team to debate over the pros and cons to arrive at a conclusion. A rejection of the matter on table means we stop talking about it and waste no further time on it. An acceptance would get the deal pitched to my Attorney and Board of Advisors. This process has saved me a tremendous amount of time and money.
Maintaining unproductive employees at work
I expected people to perform well at work and helped them based on their personal and financial conditions. Not a bad thing, is it? Yet my 99% of my experience had been that they just took advantage of me and screwed up my life in return.
If an employee who has worked for you for 10 months could not prove his skills yet, nothing is going to change for him in another 3months, so you’re not helping anyone by giving them that extra time. If you feel that you’ve spotted a wrong person among your employees – someone under-performing or doing illegal activities, do yourself a favor by getting rid of them immediately.
Giving explanations for saying NO
I get a lot of requests, mostly from sales people, for meeting up over a coffee or lunch. Now, if I do not have the slightest interest in what they’re up for, I try not to waste their time. But I thought it necessary to give an explanation on why I could not make it. This was not making it easy at all, until I finally realized that explanations weren’t necessary in most cases.
I have to thank my business coach Ben Dominitz for teaching me the great lesson that being nice and courteous is a sign of good human being, yet it might not help all the time while running a business. Also, a lot of ‘please’ and ‘sorry’ do not belong inside an office, when asking employees to work on something that is part of their job.
Use the word “No” where ever necessary to avoid long-term issues in business and personal life.
Not expressing displeasure
Of all my weaknesses, this was the craziest. I found it difficult to voice my opinions straight when people brought up something wrong or displeasing, both in business and personal life. I tended to keep silence over things that I disliked, in order to avoid conflicts. But of course, I was not helping anyone in doing so.
Over time, I have thrown too much of diplomacy out of the window. If someone tells me things that do not feel right, I openly tell them that they’re wrong. I agree to disagree and make my point solidly, though not offensively. The important thing for me is that the other person knows that I do not approve of what he told me.