Photo via Visualhunt
Since joining The Literary Prose last summer, I have learned much about myself, the business world, and what being an entrepreneur truly means. I wanted to gather my thoughts, information, ideas, etc. I have found most useful for me over these past months and share them.
Each and every day is a challenge
What challenges do you face?
There are many challenges when starting your small business. Some challenges are small and in the end inconsequential like what brand of printer paper you use or what type of desk works best for you. Some challenges have huge impacts; what services or products do we have that customers will buy, what team members you need to hire, what color should your logo be? Some challenges could affect your company but you have no idea what that effect will be until later; Apple or PC, Facebook or Twitter or both? Each and every day you and your company will face these challenges and it is how you face them that truly matters.
While I will not say that we here at The Literary Prose are perfect, each day we strive to better ourselves and the company. What I do to overcome our daily challenges, and what I’ve challenged myself to do is to read more every day. When faced with specific questions on marketing, branding, social media, writing, and any other daily challenges, you can learn all you want, and much more, by reading on those subjects.
Each day you learn something about yourself
Little changes add up to big differences
I don’t know if this is you, but when I first started I thought I either knew everything or Colleen, who had been in business for nearly 20 years, knew everything. That might seem irrational but that very reason was what made me so eager to start. I thought we’d be this huge company, earning six figures, in a matter of months. Was I being naive? Maybe, but being a small business, I learned real quick what I did not know.
Knowing what you know and what you don’t know, and the difference between the two can lead to greater insights into yourself and your company. Each one of us is proficient in many areas of life and business. For example, I went to college and earned a degree in music while playing saxophone. Focusing four years of my life on music provided me a unique insight into what I know and don’t know about music. I feel comfortable with much of the history of music but when it comes to composition, I am about as clueless as the average Joe.
This knowledge of knowing what I know and don’t know developed over time. I remember loving my theory and history classes. I remember my Music History professor saying one of my research papers were written at a graduate level. I remember reading about the composers of the pieces I played. This all culminates into me knowing what I know. If you know what you don’t know, for me composition, you can take what you’ve learned from other areas and apply them to what you don’t know. I know, just by looking at how I learned music history some ways to improve on my composition. I can read about the craft, I can practice composing, I can study other compositions, and I can look at the composer, not in a historical sense but in a more analytical sense.
Each day I learn more about what I know, what I do not know, and how I can apply my learning to other aspects of life.
Do you really know what you’re doing?
This happened to me over the past week. As you might know, we are in the middle of our teleseminar series “The Literary Prose Presents: It’s More Than Just Words.” Last week we wanted to write and publish an ad on Facebook and I took the task upon myself. I went to Facebook, started the process and was almost immediately stumped. What do most of us do when we are hit with a roadblock? We go to Google, and that is what I did, I went to Google and searched Facebook ads. What I found was astonishing. I was immediately overcome with billions; (I’m not exaggerating, when I checked there were about 1.7 billion web pages that matched that query) of possible solutions.
What I learned is there is so much information out there, as I was reading about the process I felt more and more lost. Each article solved one question I had but opened up two, three, or more paths of questioning. So what do you do in this situation? The hardest part of this is discovering what information is helpful and what is not.
Trial and error
Take the plunge
From those 1.7 billion web pages there are bound to be both relevant and irrelevant information on Facebook ads. What makes it more confusing is that some people swear by one method while others scold you for doing those same steps. What I have found is that trial and error is sometimes the best way to forge ahead. If you take into account two different methods you will probably see you are more knowledgeable on some of the steps than others. This is where knowing what you don’t know is important; if you don’t know how to code, don’t use the process that requires you to code.
Once you pick your process stick with it, learn what you did right and what you did wrong, and improve on it the next time. What I have found is that one method doesn’t work for everyone. I like to take many different thoughts on a subject and pick and choose what I like from each resource. I use Buffer blog to show me what size my Facebook picture should be, but I use Hubspot to choose what color I should use for text on that image. What I am trying to say is don’t be afraid to take the step off the cliff and see where it takes you. You will never know what works best for you until you try it.
What I’ve learned and what you should take away
The point I’m trying to make is that knowledge of yourself, your company, and other companies is important. There is no be all, end-all solution to any one problem. You must take your knowledge and apply it to each problem. If you do this and are conscious of what you are doing, you will evolve to better adapt to the challenges you and your company face every day.
Now on to you, the reader. What are some important lessons you’ve learned in business or life that you want to pass along to others?
Thanks for reading,