5 Lessons I Learned About Business the Hard Way

As an entrepreneur, there are dozens of lessons you will learn as you navigate the business world. I've learned many of them, but below are 5 lessons I learned the hard way that I hope I can spare you from.

Work Your Prime Time - There are morning people and there are night owls. No matter what their work may be, there are people who will tell you they do their best work in the wee hours of the night or during the dark of the night. You could spend countless arguing about which is right or what works best. The answer is to find out what works best for YOU. Find out what time of the day is your prime time and when you do don't spend it on things that don't need your very best. Save those things for the other times of day and bring 110 percent to the table during your prime time to be the most productive you can be.

Service before Price - Too many entrepreneurs focus more on price than service, especially during their beginnings. However, if you're looking to build up your customers put your focus on service. It's been my experience that customers come back because of great customer. They will actually pay more for the customer service experience. Treat customers well by offering them the information they ask for and by offering them service they can't get anywhere else. Customer service, not price, brings people back as well as getting word of mouth referrals.

There's No "I" in Teamwork - You've probably read it, heard it or been advised that you as an entrepreneur cannot do it all. You've probably heard this old adage already but teamwork is the path to achieving your goals. A team is strong and successful when every team member knows their specific role and works it. Not only do they do their part well but like a puzzle they fit together perfectly, supporting one another's roles in the team. Know your goals and seek out the team members that will help you achieve them. Before adding any one to your team make sure they will be an asset to the team.

Accept Negative Feedback - Negative feedback is a good thing. How else will you as an entrepreneur identify what is working for your business and what is not? Negative feedback is key to identifying weaknesses -- at a point where you can hopefully fix them. This means listening to your customers. Whether you are selling a product or service, negative feedback is your opportunity to find out where you need to do better and do it. This glimpse into your business is often one you are close to your business to see. Be grateful for it being brought up and make it a goal to improve on it.

Go With What You Know - Writers are often told to write what they know. This bit of wisdom applies well to the entrepreneur. While a number of prospects may shine with promises of money, if you don't have a solid understanding and knowledge of in the industry you're looking at it's probably going to prove to be a struggle for you. For the new entrepreneur you already have much to learn in getting up to speed in business; focus on your strong points and go with what you know.