Biggest Business Failures

4 of my Biggest Business Failures this Year

Biggest Business FailuresIt has been a terrific year indeed! A year that I achieved far beyond my expectations. I started this year on a rather sad note due to the sudden death of my one and only sister, so for the first few months I operated low-key which gave me the impression this year going to be one of fewer achievements but thank God it turned out differently. For me it has been a fantastic year!!!

Ok I know failure is a dreaded topic. Who likes to talk about his or her failures or failing experiences? Parents whip their kids badly for performing poorly in class; so such kids grow up to become adults who would rather hide their failures than talk about them.

Although, I titled the post “4 Biggest Failure” these is nothing called failure; I just learnt a better way to do stuff. My hope is that this post will motivate you to rise above any set-back come next year. I also want to appreciate Thomas Edison whose legacy still speaks for him to date.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas Edison

4 of my Biggest Business Failures….

1. Failed Interswitch Plugin Project

This is one story I hate to share because it just explains how inaction can kill one’s dream or a chance at fame.

After the 2011 SME Toolkit conference where I spoke on Social Media, a member of the audience made a statement that we (ICT guys) are too expensive for SMEs….. to cut the story short CFA Leverage was founded to provide affordable Internet marketing and SEO services to small business owners. After creating the platform on the wordpress framework, payment was (still is) an issue so we contacted Interswitch and created a plugin that will power their payment platform on our website and everything worked just fine.

They tested all that we had done and approved it by taking us live. Our plan was to make this plugin available for Nigerians but for some silly reason we got busy until a few months later some UK-based programmer created a similar plugin for an undisclosed Nigerian and took it public immediately (Sean is a more experience wordpress programmer). I was happy and sad at the same time because someone has just executed our plan but hey he has made it possible for people to use Interswitch on my favorite framework.

Nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged. – Thomas Edison

Lesson: Make hay while the sun shines.

My team & I have learnt to always be consistent with our actions and to follow through because all we needed was to do a bit of coding and the plugin will be ready for any Nigerian to make use of. Now, it is on record that a non-Nigerian made this happen for us.

Do you have plans and projects for the new year? Then I say to you take consistent action!

2. Poor Follow-up and Communication

Be careful for what you wish for because you might just get it.

I have always wished and worked hard to get traffic to our websites (Dozens) and we did tremendously well in this regards this year. Now do you know what usually follows an increase in traffic? More opportunities to do business with people…..

So up to the 3rd quarter of the year I was doing it all alone and I was succumbing to work pressure (something I dislike). I want to admit before everyone that I goofed on several occasions; some requests and emails went unanswered for days and sad to say some were never answered.

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I will show you a failure. – Thomas Edison

Lesson: Get help when you can longer manage the workload alone.

I thought it did not matter but now I have realized how much more I would have achieved if I had someone helping me out.

Action taken: Increased the number of team members to 5. Our goal going forward is to attend to an email or request for proposal within 24 hours.

3. Inability to Properly Monetize my Online Influence

Contrary to what people think I am not making money online yet. Ok, let me explain I make money by leveraging the Internet; so people come to me requesting for our services or consulting – in the Internet marketing world this is cool but it is not regarded as making money online.

If you want to be regarded as someone who makes money online then you’ve got to create a program, develop a product or service, sell on your website or sell advertisement etc. Does this make sense at all? Well I plan to continue making money offline and next year I want to make real money online.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. – Thomas Edison

 

Here are some Steps I intend to take to achieve this:

  • Hire a more successful Internet marketing Coach (We all need a Coach – so hire me today to be your Coach).
  • Promote the Shop Area of this Website (Have you checked I out? Click here)
  • Increase the number of high quality content published across the Internet (Content creation is necessary to make a headway online)
  • Develop info products and services related to digital media and Internet marketing (this is one goal I plan to achieve with the Internet marketing coach I will be hiring)
  • Become an affiliate of the reliable products and services I use (Something I should be doing but just that I don’t like taking my followers for granted, so I promise to promote nothing but high quality stuff.)

I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world. – Thomas Edison

Lessons: Success should not never let you rest on your oars; as Jim Rohn would say;

The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.

4. Ignoring Sites Downtime Warnings

If you are too busy to take care of the little things, those little things you ignored for so long might rise up to become big things. This is exactly what happened to me: for a few weeks I have been receiving warnings from Google calendar informing me that our sites are going down often. Most of the time I ignored the warning and guess what has happened to us? There has been a sharp drop in the number of visitors and requests. We usually have a minimum of one request a day which drastically reduced due to the frequent downtime and also the Christmas holidays.

google calendar downtime warnings

If you look closely at the image above, you would see that I ignored well over a 100 warnings in Dec. alone. Crazy huh? I bet I was 🙂 All, I needed to do was devote a few hours and this will be resolved – it took my host upgrading a few stuff and cleaning up some malware to resolve this.

Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison

Lesson: Delegate! Delegate!! Delegate!!!

We are now a team of 5, so why won’t I delegate more now? Every single warning would be thoroughly looked into going forward. Stop taking things for granted.

Don’t be afraid to fail or share your failures because the experience is what matters most. Remember, there is no such thing as failure. I love the way John Maxwell puts it Failing Forward – have you read that book?

As we match into the new year, remember that;

Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. – Thomas A. Edison

You can make the coming year the best ever and this is exactly my prayers for you and your family. Happy new year!!!

I love to you hear your thoughts on this. Any advice for me and others who failed this year? As always thank you for your support all these years.

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