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How to Master the Art of Achieving Greatness Through Our Mistakes

To make mistakes is to be human. Don’t let your mistakes stop you from going further in your personal and professional life. Learn how to overcome them and grow even stronger.

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No-one wants to Feel like a Fool

Remember how it felt at school when you raised your hand to answer a question and got it right?

What a warm feeling and proud smile this brought to your face on hearing your teacher say “that’s correct, well done”.

Do you remember how it felt when you got the answer wrong?

The kids laughed and out the corner of your eye you noticed a classmate whisper something to the person next to him/her. You saw your teacher give a slight sigh then go on to the next person who knew the answer. You shrank into yourself feeling foolish, embarrassed and felt that little bit less confident.

We all have a natural tendency to want to be right, do well and be seen in a positive light.

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The Difficulty of Owning up to Our Mistakes

We are accustomed to having positive responses to getting things right and negative responses to being incorrect. Inevitably these negative judgements and reactions, (imposed by both ourselves and others), bring on a wave of difficult and uncomfortable reactions.

We feel embarrassed, ashamed, weak, unworthy, useless, stupid, insecure and inadequate. We also become anxious about the way others view us and fear losing perhaps our position, status, job or relationship.

It is then easy to understand why we do not rush to raise our hands in admitting to a mistake. We are also dealing with the stress and anxiety related to being responsible for someone or something, as well that very strong and unpleasant feeling of guilt if things go wrong.

Admitting you made a mistake can feel risky and damn well uncomfortable. It is not surprising then that we may want to avoid this at all costs.

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The Mistake Masters

So, with all of this in our midst how do we turn this around, so that we can positively and constructively deal with our mistakes, in a way, which empowers us and makes us more resilient, smarter and happier?

People who can recover and excel from their mistakes have a great ability to turn mistakes into experiences, which inform and inspire them to improve and grow.

These individuals possess personal characteristics such as:

  • The capacity to accept appropriate responsibility;
  • The ability to respond quickly to feedback;
  • Being able to focus and identify clear goals;
  • Being highly motivated and driven by situations to advance;
  • The ability to persist and not easily become discouraged;
  • Possessing a strong self- belief and a clear sense of self-identity;
  • Being reflective of themselves and circumstances;
  • Able to constructively regulate their emotions with effective responses in moving forwards.

Learn more: Defeating the Mental Health Crisis

Mistakes can Break us or Make us

If we can fully take on board the productive nature of mistakes, we can harness a huge potential to transform our lives.

We learn more from our mistakes than from our successes because we are propelled to consider what went wrong. We are drawn to a search for solutions, further knowledge and understanding, along with challenging us to do better. Most importantly, we are shown how to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

[bctt tweet=”Caroline Ribeiro-Nelson (Head of Free Choices UK) on making mistakes: Ultimately, we should view mistakes as strong and valuable #lifelessons.” username=”brand_minds”]

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Ten Steps to Making Your Mistakes Work for You Rather than Against You

1. Accept appropriate responsibility in the situation.

Acknowledging that you made a mistake reveals the fact that you are human. This is expressed in your vulnerability and authenticity.

When you hold yourself to account, you inspire trust and respect along with demonstrating strong leadership.

2. Do not allow mistakes to define who you are or what you are able to achieve.

You can cultivate your confidence and a clear sense of identity by recognising mistakes as separate temporary actions and by making a conscious effort to avoid negative judgements.

Establishing the ability to step back and realistically assess the situation will enable you to discover your wider possibilities.

3. Change the negative dialogue in your head

Don’t waste time and energy beating yourself up or seeking to lay blame.

Eliminate the idea that this is a weakness. This is ultimately self- defeating and sets up barriers to greater understanding and moving forward.

Recognise that life naturally involves making mistakes, which can be utilised to work to your benefit.

4. Focus on correcting the Mistake

Invest adequate time and attention, in reviewing the circumstances and steps, which relate to the mistake.

Create ideas and clear plans on how you can constructively address and if possible, rectify the situation.

In order to reinforce your new experience share, implement and actively put it into practice, as soon as possible.

5. Seek & Accept Support

When you make a mistake, particularly a major one the last thing you want is to feel Isolated, helpless or like your back is against the wall.

Do not be afraid to ask for help, accept guidance and learn from others. Co-operation and openness with others enable you to build strong networks and effective resources.

6. Confront your fear of making mistakes

The greatest mistake we make is living in fear that we will make one.

John C. Maxwell

Develop your awareness around the fear of making a mistake. Fear can cause you to become stuck and hinder you from moving forward. It can also lead you to making rash or poorly considered choices through fear of missing out. Push through the discomfort.

Do not let fear stand in the way of learning, discovering new possibilities and greater growth.

7. Cultivate Emotional Intelligence

Invest in developing your understanding, awareness and control around your own and other people’s feelings and emotional response.

Practice strategies, such as Mindfulness, reflection, self-monitoring together with engaging through active listening and fostering empathy. This will enable you to be more considered, focused and in tune with yourself and the environment. In turn, this supports you to assess and make constructive choices.

8. Feed Your Motivation

In dealing with mistakes focus on aspects, which drive your interests, desires, beliefs and the needs of the situation. Use new information and your imagination to identify further options.

If you can fuel your motivation by finding the meaning in the situation and whenever possible having fun you will increase your chances of success.

9. Maintain Focus & Persistence

Building your skills in perseverance, as well as developing clear thought processes towards your goals increases the likelihood of positive outcomes.

Take time to develop logical and creative thinking, in continually trying out different approaches.

10. No Place to Save Face

Do yourself a favour and don’t be too proud, stubborn, superior or stupid to say that you’re sorry.

Being able to express regret or remorse is a strength, which helps you to connect more deeply with others.

Ultimately, we should view mistakes as strong and valuable life lessons.

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Avoid these 3 Mistakes when Buying a Franchise

Buying a franchise is often the first option of new entrepreneurs for many reasons: it is risk-limited and based on a proven success-formula.  

A quick look on the Franchise Europe website and you’ll find there are 13,500 franchise brands currently operating in Europe, in almost 20 industries and requiring investments between euro 1,200 and euro 1 million. It’s definitely plenty to choose from!

Let’s say you have already chosen your franchisor. Before starting the procedures for buying the franchise, take a step back and learn how you can ensure your business is off to a good start.

Here are 3 mistakes when buying a franchise and what you can do to avoid them:

Mistake #1

Not making market research

You wouldn’t buy your car without doing research about its security systems, safety ratings and additional costs, would you? Well, the franchise is also a serious investment and you should spare no effort to learn as much as you can about it so you can make an informed decision.

Point Franchise recommends you perform a market research which will provide you with answers to the following vital questions:

  • Is there a need for this business?

Does it respond to a current market demand? There’s no point in investing in a franchise whose products or services are no longer needed in the market.

  • Who is your target market?

Refine your target market criteria and look to focus solely on your intended demographic. Measure the size of your market so you can write financial forecasts. The goal of your market research is to void the temptation of addressing an audience of ‘everyone’ – everyone means catering to the needs of no one. So get specific and narrow the scope of your audience.

  • How will you appeal to your target market?

Perform market segmentation to split your audience into pots of opportunity based on a geographic, demographic and socio-economic perspective. It is vital you understand your potential customers’ lifestyles, beliefs and behaviours. Knowing your customers’ needs and pain points allows you to develop a targeted message that is delivered at the right time. This will ultimately result in higher response rates which equal more sales.

Mistake #2

Not researching the franchisor

Now that you’ve done your market research, it’s time you put the spotlight on your chosen franchisor. Take your time to conduct your own investigation on the franchisor, be objective and try to learn as much as you can about it.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself via Franchise.org:

  • Does the franchisor have adequate staff, resources and trained personnel to meet its commitment to you?
  • Is the franchisor profitable?  
  • How long has the franchisor been in business?
  • Is their business being supported by continuing royalties or is it coming mostly from initial franchise fees?  
  • Has the franchise been growing? Are new locations being added on a regular basis? How many locations closed in the last year? Why did they close?  
  • Does the franchisor have a litigation history?
  • Does the franchisor have an active research and development department that introduces new products and services?

Mistake #3

Not fully understanding the status of a franchisee

What is your status as a franchisee?

The legal relationship between a franchisor and franchisee is primarily a contractual one based on the franchise agreement the parties enter into as two independent business people.

As a franchisee, you are in control of your business, but you are not independent:

  • You must offer only approved products and services;
  • You are expected to operate the franchise in strict compliance with system operating standards;
  • You must advertise and promote the franchise according to the guidelines provided by the franchisor.

So there’s no room for adventures and going for uncharted territories. You are expected to trust your franchisors and walk the same paths.

Have you ever considered buying a franchise?

Stop Making these 5 Email Marketing Mistakes

83% of B2B companies use newsletters as part of their content marketing program (imaginepub.com) and 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes (hubspot.com).

As these statistics show, email marketing is an important part of B2B marketing strategies.

Are you happy with your email marketing results?

Is it possible your efforts are not paying off as expected because there are mistakes in your email marketing strategy?

5 email marketing mistakes you need to stop making now:

1. Not using responsive design:

via GIPHY

[bctt tweet=”80% of users delete emails that are not optimised for mobile devices via @Mapp_Digital” username=”brand_mins”]

It’s 2018. Your clients spend 4 hours on average connected to their smartphones searching the internet, posting on social media, sending Whatsapp messages and reading their emails.

Yes, 55% of all emails are opened on smartphones (source: litmus).

The days of pinch and zoom are long gone: if your website is responsive, your email should be too.

2. Not segmenting your email list

via GIPHY

[bctt tweet=”Segmented campaigns had 14% higher open rate and 100% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns via @mailchimp” username=”brand_minds”]

Your clients are not created equal. They have different reasons for signing-up to your newsletter, which means you cannot send the same message to all of them.

Your audience expects personalised messages and we are not talking about addressing them by name. They want to receive email messages that show your company is aware of their interests. So break your email list into various segments and send your recipients messages that illustrate your company is thinking of them.

Here is how you can segment your audience:

  • by Zip code;
  • by job title;
  • by Signup date;
  • by interests;
  • by subscriber activity.

Segmented email campaigns are more relevant to your audience and relevant campaigns get better results.

3. Sending too much promotional content

via GIPHY

No one likes a show-off. Your audience opens your email message expecting to find an answer to the question What’s in it for me? So build your email marketing strategy by highlighting how your products or services help your recipients achieve their goals.

Offer valuable content (ebooks, industry insights, statistics report, how-to videos etc.) and develop a trust-based relationship with your prospects or clients.

[bctt tweet=”86% of consumers would like to receive monthly promotional emails from companies they do business with via @HubSpot” username=”brand_minds”]

Of course they expect to receive promotional content, but not on a daily basis. You need to find the right balance between company-centred content and customer-centred content. Start by using the Pareto law: 80% non-promotional content + 20% promotional content.

Expert’s recommendation

Do you want to turn your leads into paying customers?

Here’s what Cosmin Daraban, marketing expert says you must do:

Follow up immediately with the same offer that made them subscribe to your newsletter. People tend to forget quickly – don’t let them. Match the timing of your message with your qualified lead intention, using auto-responders, segmenting and advanced rules.

Experiment and find out what works for your company.

4. Not using attracting subject lines

via GIPHY

[bctt tweet=”68% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line via @invesp” username=”brand_minds”]

Some entrepreneurs or professionals receive up to 50 email messages a day. They are not going to open all of them because it is time consuming and most are not even relevant. So they decide which emails to open by scanning the subject line. Don’t use:

  • Generic subject lines: {your company’s name} Newsletter, Weekly Newsletter, Daily News etc.;
  • All caps and punctuation abuse: !!!!
  • Words that show exaggerations: Urgent, Exclusive, Revolutionary etc.

When writing your email’s subject line follow these guidelines:

  • include the topic of what you’re going to talk about;
  • use a human voice;
  • use emojis (maximum 2);
  • include relevant details.

5. Sending too many email messages

via GIPHY

[bctt tweet=”78% of consumers unsubscribe from emails because brands were sending too many emails via @HubSpot” username=”brand_minds”]

Too many entrepreneurs spend their working hours reacting to an overflowing email inbox. In our article 5 time management tips & tricks for entrepreneurs we talk about how checking your email inbox should be a task like any other.

Respect your clients’ time and don’t send them too many email messages.

Allow them to choose how often they want to receive your emails.

Top 10 Mistakes Marketers Make When Hiring Agencies

    1. Not choosing the right time to outsource. Timing is essential,just like every other business decision one makes. It has to be chosen carefully and with a lot of attention. When confronted with the idea of outsourcing a service or some competencies, the company’s representative must take in account first if its the right time to make that certain decision at that time,for the company, and, at the same time, what concluded to that decision.

      2. Spending too much time deciding if to make the move or not.  While it is very important to make sure the timing is right spending too much time going back and forth on the decision wouldn’t do you any good. You must be decisive and confident on your choices.

      3. Outsourcing the wrong activity / activities. If you hire someone outside of the office, you should give them the things they can do best. Always choose the best specialists or companies you can afford. Creating a company brand and marketing goals should be done inside your office, so make sure you discuss your culture code, style and requirements with the outsourced marketing partners before kicking off the project.

      4. Having unrealistic ROI expectations. When you entrust the marketing or communication activities of your company, you should set some realistic expectations. One of the biggest mistakes of many companies is that they think outsourcing all their problems will solve them at once and there will be no need for them to participate in marketing decisions, activities and so on. Do not forget that brand awareness, a firm customer base and long-term faithful relationship with customers take time. Results don’t appear over night,it takes a lot of effort both at an external,but also internal level to reach your goals.

      5. Forgetting that PR doesn’t sell per se. When looking for a PR partner outside your company make sure you first of all understand that PR doesn’t equal immediate sales. And no professional PR specialist will promise you that. That being said, a successful PR strategy will definitely affect your sales success indirectly through 3 factors: brand awareness & recall, credibility, as a secret marketing weapon.

      6. Not doing the right research before the pitch. One of the most important steps is doing your research about the agencies you are interested in. A simple Google /Linkedin / Facebook search will not help you in taking the best decision of which agencies to call on the pitch or for a presentation. Instead try looking at their portfolio, at the case studies, at the awards the won, the services they provide, etc. Talk to their current clients. Read their reviews and their blog. See if the media was interested in them or not. Does their language vibe with you? Do their clients remind you of your company? Do they have documented results similar to the ones you want?

      7. Asking more than 5 agencies in the pitch /presentation.  If you know what you want from your agency, and you should, you don’t need more than 5 agencies briefed. You save both their time and yours and you are closer to choosing the right partner for your business. A good research will help you make the right choices.

      8. Falling for shiny presentations. Make sure the very creative and crazy ideas presented to you, as beautiful and as interesting as they may sound or look like, are backed up by facts. The company or specialist you are hiring must be able to create and implement what presented to you. And most of all, bring results.

      9. Letting the price be the main criteria. Choosing the most expensive agency doesn’t guarantee you the best results, but basing your decision firstly on the amount of money you pay for the collaboration will prove to be a bad call. Cheap will be cheap no matter how you look around it.

      10. Not listening to your gut feeling. After years and years of experience, the instinct is very good and calibrated. We believe is very important to always have it with you and use it,when necessary.

      The greatest mistakes a brand can make online

      Waiting too long to launch a product / service.

      Like in a relationship, so it happens in business: the perfect timing is essential. In the desire to be sure everything is perfect, most entrepreneurs or business owners wait too long, therefore missing the right opportunity to launch the business, the service or the product. It’s important not to forget to trust your guts and just go for it.

      “Some people are waiting for some magic audience size “1,000 subscribers” or maybe “10,000 visitors” or whatever your number might be. Some people just can’t find the time to blog or podcast or make videos AND to build a product at the same time. It’s tough. Some people simply talk themselves out of creating a product because they’re afraid no one will buy it. They don’t want to fail after putting in so much time creating content. Whatever the reason, this is a fatal trap. If you’re building a business, you need to address the biggest risk head-on. The biggest risk you’ll face as a business is in creating something no one will pay for,” wrote Corbett Barr for fizzle.co.

      Not checking and double checking before posting

      Still, one must be very careful before sending the message into the world. Each post on social media should be treated with a lot of attention and care, otherwise it may do more harm than good. Often we see big grammar mistakes, pictures that are not doing any favor to the brand, wrong comments or even worse. Even they are taken down afterwards, it might be too late.

      Fabricating pieces of news or information

      For each brand the trust must be earned. People don’t like to be lied to or be mislead, therefore you must make sure that every piece of information you share with your target is 100 % true. Today, every piece of content is very easily checked by anyone. If you do make a mistake, make sure to apologize for it. Everybody can make mistakes, the important thing is to own it and act accordingly. Your target will understand and respect you. Don’t hide and act like nothing happened or erase the post.

      The lack of patience.

      Brands are not built overnight. Building an online brand takes patience. It’s something that’s built brick by brick with every tweet, every blog post, and every podcast episode. It’s built with every client one step at a time. One of the biggest mistakes business owners do is thinking that a brand can be build in only 2-3 months online and complaining after this short period of time that they aren’t seeing any traction. In reality, building a brand takes years of hard work, experience, people and investment, so make sure you think of all those aspects prior to starting on this road.

      Not being consistent.

      You can’t build an online brand without consistently putting a message out there. A social media following is gained in time, after a lot of work on strategy and implementation, an e-commerce business takes months of work prior to launch and after launch, until the first signs of success occur. Time and dedicated teams that are working towards the same purpose, following a strategy based on true insights. Constant content must be sent on regular basis to all the social media platforms of your brand, PR, marketing & sales efforts are also needed. Constant, insightful, creative and powerful messages, perfectly targeted to your interest group or groups. “If you’re having difficulty being consistent with your content creation as you build an online brand, try automating your social media needs and creating an editorial calendar for your site. The more organized you can be the better,” said Amanda Abella, writer and author of “Make Money Your Honey”.

      Not putting customer experience first

      Customer experience is one of the most important factors in your business, especially today in the world on the Internet and social media frenzy. Since your social interactions are public for everyone to see, your reactivity defines your brand and shows customers how much you care. The more you interact with them and show them your interest in them, the better. Don’t be shy on giving special discounts or mentions on your social media accounts to the people that are loyal to you and choose your brand on a regular basis.

      Not really listening to their consumers

      And believing that you and your team always know better. It;s important not to forget that from the unhappy consumers or the ones that choose not to buy your product / service in favor of another one, you can learn the most. They are the unbiased ones and their opinion should be treasured. Don’t just pay lip service to your customers. You don’t have all the answers, they do. There’s a reason why “the customer is always right,” because without customers you don’t have a business.

      Focusing mostly on acquisition

      It takes a lot more effort to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one, so you may want to keep your customers happy.  Offer help, give away freebies, or conduct regular surveys to make sure their needs are met.

      Here are some of the biggest mistakes in social media, according to Forbes.

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