The Biggest Mistake a Gift Business Can Make
Everyone in business — regardless of the industry or whether it was 1919 or 2019 — makes mistakes.
Someone once said that “The biggest mistake a small business can make is to think like a small business.”
That is indeed a mistake. Unless we think big, we will always continue to remain small. But personally, I don’t think it is the biggest mistake that a business can make.
To me, the biggest mistake, any of us as business owners can make is to: Fail to take advantage of what we spent time and money learning.
Let me explain.
Each year, some of you spend a lot of money plus your valuable time attending trade shows and conventions.
You returned home with pages of notes, lots of pictures, and a multitude of ideas. What did you do with them?
The biggest mistake you can make is to put them in a drawer or stow them away in the back of your brain along with all the ideas you have read and heard through the years.
Ideas are meant to be used. To be massaged so that they fit your own individual situation and part of the country.
Not all of us have the same kind of business with the same kinds of customers. Ideas that work for someone in California may not work the same way for someone in New York. They may not even work the same way for someone in the opposite end of your state.
For example, I live in the middle of the world’s largest Ponderosa pine forest in Flagstaff, Arizona near the Grand Canyon where casual is the rule. Ideas and even gift types that are popular in more metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson, which has a whole different lifestyle, climate, and scenery, don’t always work the same way up here.
But that doesn’t mean that an idea can’t be massaged and made to work in a different way in my neck of the woods.
Ever since I attended my first gift basket convention many, many years ago in Sacramento, California, I have collected notes and ideas from all over the country. Some of them could be easily implemented as presented while others wouldn’t work at all or had to be changed to make them work for me.
So take advantage of everything you learn whether at a convention, on a webinar, or in our magazine. They may not work exactly as presented but can be the beginning of an idea that you massage to make your very own.
Failure to do exactly that is — to me — the biggest mistake a small business of any kind can make.
Until next time.
Your friend and mentor,
This quote from Henry Ford is one of my favorites.
“Whether you think you CAN, or whether you think you CAN’T — you’re probably right.”
I love that saying, because it basically means that YOU play an active role in creating your own future…
…and if you’re not experiencing the results that you want in your life and business, it’s just as simple as changing the way that you think & feel about whatever that may be.
Well, I think that’s pretty empowering!
And it also brings up this question: Which one are YOU? I mean — are you a “think you can” or “think you can’t” person?
It’s true, but more importantly — How does that statement make you FEEL?
a. Does it make you feel like you’re having a panic attack, and maybe think something like “Other people can do that, but there’s no way I can possibly have a year-round profitable business, because I’m (too old / too young / too inexperienced / insert your best excuse here).
b. Or instead — do you experience a sense of relief, and feel like if THEY could create a year-round business, and generate profits each and every year — that YOU could learn to do the same thing too.
Well — I hope you’re thinking along the lines of “b” — and are ready to take matters in your own hands this year to FINALLY create the online income that you deserve.
I truly hope so.
Because I have been doing it for over 26 years — starting with the very first year that I started my business. So I know that you can, too.
You are the person in total control of your life. Now, having said that, I’m going to say something that seems to contradict that statement.
It’s true that outside events affect how we feel and what we do. There are times when we have to do something that we don’t want to do. There are times that there is no way that our dreams and thoughts can make a difference in what happens to us today. An example is those who were enslaved and John McCain when he was a prisoner of war.
But it’s how we deal with those events and how we think about them that makes the difference in our individual lives. We can let them drag us down and destroy any chances that we may have of eventually overcoming them or we can let them empower us for the future.
If having no money to start a business is a fact of life, we can decide that it will never happen. Or we can read and learn everything we can about running a business while saving enough to begin on a small scale. Even on a small scale, the knowledge that we acquired while waiting and dreaming can make the difference between failure and success.
All of our thoughts have to be put into action or that is all they are — just thoughts. My own business was once just a thought — an idea. But when I took the next step and actually took action on that idea, a business was born.
Our thoughts are really our sub-conscious mind and is built on everything that we learned and experienced from the time we were very young.
My mother, who was raised in poverty, taught me as a child that I could do and be whatever I wanted to do and be. No money. No problem. We make do with what we have. She made me a beautiful wool coat from my dad’s old navy blues. My first-grade class was having a school play and I needed a long dress to be in it. She made a beautiful one from one of her dresses. No library for books and no money to buy them. She helped my church create a lending library for both kids and adults. And I dreamed as I read everything from Pilgrims Progress to Nancy Drew.
So I was lucky. I thought. I dreamed. I planned. And when the time came, with the inspiration of having positive thoughts instilled in me from the beginning, I made those dreams come true. I could have married at the age of sixteen and been drained of energy by constant struggles as many of my friends in our low-income area were.
But that wasn’t my dream. I went to college. I married someone who was educated and had the same goals and values as I did. I married someone who also encouraged me to be and become who I wanted to be.
Not everyone is that lucky. Negative thoughts become the norm and affects everything that happens to us. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Sometimes we reach the point where we have to re-program that sub-conscious mind. That isn’t always easy. Replacing those old “I can’t do it” thoughts with “Yes, you can” will take work. There will be times that you will doubt yourself.
First, you have to believe in YOURSELF and that might require a lot of trust and bravery on your part. Next, you have to practice believing in yourself constantly.
What you do every single day matters.
One of the reasons that I am writing this article is that I have been working with someone very dear to me as she is going through a very tough and demanding personal situation. I have seen how her thoughts have jumped from negative to positive and back again — and how those thoughts have affected her days and her nights.
She has told me that being able to talk about it with me as she tries to process the situation and what happened, as well as writing her thoughts in a journal, has helped the most. She is taking action. Exercising and eating differently is helping her lose weight and rebuild her self-esteem. Becoming a positive instead of a negative person is helping her sleep and perform better at her job.
Sometimes our thoughts become overwhelming as they whirl around in our head fighting with each other. This is when it can be beneficial to talk to someone that we can trust and who will encourage us and help us get back on the path of “Yes, I can!”
Regardless of what your situation may be today, it can be different tomorrow. The results may be gradual. They won’t come overnight. But dreaming and planning with positive “I can do it” thoughts instead of those negative “I can’t” ones can and will result in a brighter future and life and even a business if that is what you want.