Entrepreneur Magazine: Track your “lessons learned”

Track “lessons learned.”

As you grow your business, some ideas will work–and some will fail miserably.

Many who came before us failed before they found success.  RH Macy failed at 7 stores before he founded Macy’s.

Einstein was expelled from school.  Edison had more than 1000 failures.

What they had in common, at a minimum,  is that they learned from their mistakes and were persistent.

Create a Lessons Learned Sheet to record the institutional knowledge you collect on projects, new forms, new processes, etc.  Did a marketing idea tank?  A meeting with a prospect go astray?  Record the situation in detail on paper or in a database–as well as your analysis of why it didn’t work–and share the information with team to get their feedback, too.

Now if you want to stop learning most of your lessons after failures or mistakes, create Lessons Learned reports after successes, too.  This way, you’ll have a record of what you did that worked and next time you do the same thing, you’ll take what you did to the next level.

Nothing worse to stymie success than being complacent too long!

 

Before you create your business operations and marketing plan for the next year, take out some blank Lessons Learned reports and look at your wins and failures of the past year.  Be in peace with what happened — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and move into this year with a clearer head and heart.   What’s the recovery slogan?  “Take what you like and leave the rest”.

 

Resources:

A version of this tip first appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine in a story called “How To Clean UP Your Business”.  Read the whole article at: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219477

 

Free Template:  One of the best places to start to create a lessons learned process is to work with me (this is one of the many templates I provide my clients).  But if you’re not doing that yet, check out Microsoft’s template as a good version to start with can be found there  Here are the link to the site (you’ll have to log in)  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/results.aspx?qu=lessons+learned&origin=TC001144319

 

Article: 50 Famous People Who Failed At their First Attempt at Success.

http://www.budbilanich.com/50-famous-people-who-failed-at-their-first-attempt-at-career-success/

 

Learn more about how Elevating Your Business  can help you grow your firm at http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com

Updated 2015, Elevating Your Business

How To Clean Up Your Business (Entrepreneur Magazine, May 2011)

6. Collecting (all) customers.
Maria Marsala, a business coach in Poulsbo, Wash., finds that many of her clients waste time and energy serving the wrong customers. She encourages them to define their “ideal” customer–the person or entity that will pay a fair price for their product or service, value their business, return and buy from them again and generate referrals. The greatest marketing investment and effort should be devoted to finding and courting those ideals, she says. Marsala initially marketed her coaching services to all small-business owners. She decided to define her niche in the business-to-business world serving established business owners who didn’t balk at her fees. Then she created an opportunity to sell to a different audience by developing a series of CDs for startup or more cash-strapped business owners.

Read more tips on this topic at http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219477