I want to share some valuable lessons learned over the past 6 years that I have been CEO of Pulse Media Solutions.
All designers, programmers, analysts, optimizers and ... well everyone has made mistakes with projects. It’s called being human, the best part is we learn from those mistakes and that makes us better at what we do.
In this article I will discuss some of the common mistakes I made, including stories.
#1: MAKING PROCESS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PROJECT
We all have a certain process that we like to stick with when we start a new project. We feel as though it’s the best way to stay organized and make sure that you don’t forget anything. A process is good, but you can’t let the project hinder the project itself or keep people that need to help from helping.
I have personally had a few issues with this exact thing while working on projects. I might have to work with other companies that need to work on the same project but I don’t want them touching what I’m working on because it’s not done. I want to finish my part in the order I always do and then they can have it. The client wanted us to both work on it simultaneously and get it done faster. Well this led to “duking” it out over the phone with the other company and finally contact the client for a final time advising them the project was no longer going to be completed by our company and a refund would be issued.
I learned from this that even though my process might work for me, there is more than 1 way to accomplish the same end results so being flexible is a good thing.
#2: GIVE VISUAL EXAMPLES
When working on your projects with clients you realize quickly that they came to you because you are the expert and they need you to make it look and function properly. With that understanding in mind, they usually have no idea how things work or why they work, they just know in the end that it works. Clients will better understand how something is suppose to be if you show it to them instead of just explaining it to them. You can talk until your are blue in the face and the client might say he understands but in reality he would rather see it than hear it.
#3: ONLY CARING ABOUT THE MONEY
Sure every business wants to make more money, employees want to be paid more and the checking accounts could always use some padding for a rainy day. Whether you are a business owner, free lancer or employee you have to understand that it can’t always be focused on the money. Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice to provide better service at a less than desirable return on investment.
A client will have more incentive to provide a good word about you or your business along with stay a happy client if you give them more value than they pay for. Give them a reason to continue working with you and to send you more work. For example, you might lost $200 on Client A but from that you gained Client B, C and D.
The quality of service should be the highest priority whether you are a business owner, free lancer or employee. Providing Grade A high quality work will ensure you continue receiving payment and growing that checking account balance.
TRUE VALUE OF MAKING MISTAKES
We all wish that we had not made mistakes because they usually cost us embarrassment, money and or time. You have to be able to learn from those mistakes and ensure that you don’t make them again otherwise you are a ticking time bomb for failure. I have learned some very expensive lessons, but I promise they won’t happen again. I have lost hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on the same single project, but I learned from it and in the end am happy that it happened when it did.
I wish I could have gone back in time with my proprietary time warp device, but my flux capacitor is only outputting 1.11 gigawatts and we all know that isn’t sufficient for time travel.
Anyway, the summary is that you should learn from your mistakes and ensure you don’t make the same mistake twice. A mistake only happens once, after that it's a different issue.