Last week we talked about the importance of taking responsibility in your life, and specifically, in your online business. It will be worth your 5 minutes to read through that article and honestly evaluate how you are doing when it comes to taking responsibility.
Responsibility gives you control over the ultimate outcome of most everything in your business. Which is nice. But, what’s even better, is that taking responsibility will help you make friends and money. And that’s really where the bottom line is in business.
Responsibility Will Make You Friends
Think about how you feel when you make a mistake. You feel bad. And, you want as few people as possible to know about it. You do what you can to fix it as quickly as possible.
When something goes wrong in your business – a mistake, an oversight, a mishandling, whatever – you are the one who needs to take responsibility. It’s your business.
At first look, this may not seem fair or right. Letting the person who has directly caused the error off the hook encourages him to do an inadequate job in the future, doesn’t it? Not if you handle it right.
The Small Mistakes
Remember the guy from my last article who announced in an email to everyone “my secretary messed up?” The responsible way to handle something like that – an easy to correct mistake without long-term consequences – is to simply correct it without assigning any blame.
Acknowledging the mistake with the person who made it, and taking the steps to correct it (or allowing him to do so if appropriate), is all that’s needed most times. It benefits no one to publicly call the person out who made the error.
The Bigger Mistakes
If it’s a larger scale mistake, that actually inconveniences or upsets your clients in some way, you still have to own it. You’re remembering it’s your business, right?
So the email that goes out, or the phone call that’s made, needs to say “I messed up.” Take responsibility as the business owner, and then work with the source of the error to see how the team can make sure it doesn’t happen again.
These approaches will make you friends because of what I previously said ~ people don’t like to make mistakes, and they’re happy to have them quietly resolved. And, they will see you as a great example of a strong leader, a good person, and someone they want to work with or for. We all like people with integrity.
Responsibility Will Make You Money
In a lot of ways, this goes hand-in-hand with making friends. If you have a reputation for taking responsibility for your business and everything that happens in it, and people like you because of that, you are going to make money. Because you are the kind of person people want to work for and with. You are going to attract the top people into your business.
Own Your Actions
If you’ve been around online business for awhile, you’re probably familiar with this scenario. A marketer announces a huge product launch. The “early bird” price on the product is good for 3 days only, and then it’s gone forever.
After the great price has supposedly expired, you get another email about how all of the hungry buyers “crashed the server,” and millions were therefore unable to purchase. So, the “gone forever” price is back – but only for two more days!
Seriously? None of these millionaire marketers have figured out what system to use that won’t “crash the server?!” Yet for a couple of years, nearly every launch I watched experienced this devastation.
I haven’t seen this excuse used in a long time. Probably because people just aren’t buying it anymore, literally. In the age of relationship marketing, your customers want you to be real with them. And that’s what taking responsibility is about.
If you’ve decided to extend the “early bird” price because you haven’t made enough sales, or you’ve made so many you want to keep it going, just say so. Take responsibility for that decision.
Your market likes honesty. I got an email the other day from the creator of a product I own. He had been making some upgrades to the product and pushed the wrong button, which caused some of his customers’ work they had done in the system to get messed up. And that’s exactly what the email said. There was no blaming it on technology or his “team.” If he releases another product I could use, I’ll buy it without hesitation. Because I know he takes responsibility for his business.
Own Your Team’s Actions
If you want to have a profitable business, you are going to have a team. You can’t do it all by yourself. Lots of work can and should be outsourced. You need employees, contractors, partners and/or joint ventures.
But outsource does not equal out of sight. You bear the ultimate responsibility for seeing that everything is going right. You will make mistakes. So will others on your team. Own them all. Never leave yourself open to saying “My _________ didn’t get it done right.” Taking responsibility will show your team and your market that you are human and that you are a confident leader. They will like you, and want to buy your good stuff!