4 Brutal Truths About Business I Learned The Hard Way

[Average read time: 3 minutes]

It feels like you just got punched square in the chin – knees buckle and down you go. This is the feeling I have experienced several times in life. You put all your sweat, tears, and waking hours into a product and the day finally comes when you take it to market. You have stars in your eyes and an eager bank account. And then, nothing. Customers aren’t buying.

Where did things go wrong? I know this product will add value to people, but is it too expensive? Is it priced too low? Is it me?

Don’t take it personal. Here’s what the market is trying to tell you:

A) Customers don’t give a shit about you or your product, unless it can add value to them. Potential customers don’t care how hard you work. The only thing that matters is that they believe your product will help them achieve the results they’re looking for. I’ll use my self-published books as an example. People read to be entertained or informed, so if someone doesn’t believe my children’s books will teach or entertain their kids, it’s over! What’s the solution? It’s simple – have a product that gives your target customer the results they want and ensure you communicate that effectively.

B) The market is the ultimate feedback machine. The market doesn’t care where you come from, who your parents are, or how much money you have. The market rewards the superior product and it is brutally honest about it. When I published my first book, Divorced Before 30, excluding friends and family, I sold about 3 copies in a month. Even though I didn’t begin writing for the money, the thought of only 3 people thinking my book was good enough to purchase really hurt. What did I do? I adjusted. I created a new cover and the next month, I sold 10 copies. Months later, I created a new cover again, and I sold nearly 40 copies in one month. Nothing else had changed, the content was exactly the same, but more people now believed this book could add value to them.

The market doesn't lie and it doesn't give a shit about hurting your feelings.Click To Tweet

C) Marketing is the entire game. You can have the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, what purpose did it serve? This took me a long time to learn. I believed for a long time that if I created a good product that adds value to people, customers would flock to it on their own. How could they, if they’re not exposed to it? Word-of-mouth is one of the best forms of marketing because people generally trust the recommendations of friends and family, but your network will only take you so far. At some point, you have to convince complete strangers to buy, and that is no easy task. Many people will disagree with this, but the fastest way to build trust with new customers is to give away your product. In the case of my children’s books, what good are they if kids aren’t enjoying them? I love giving away my books – that’s one more kid that enjoyed my books, and a grateful parent that enjoyed a more quiet commute home. The result is that one more family was exposed to my books and maybe, just maybe, they’ll be more likely to buy the next one.

D) You’re only as good as your last-at-bat. “What have you done for me lately?” No one cares what you did in college or last year. Customers want to know how you can help them today. It doesn’t matter if your first 10 products were a success, if your current offering is garbage, people won’t buy. Continue to improve your products, your service, yourself, and you’ll be more successful than ever.

If you add incredible value to people's lives, you won't have to worry about sales ever again.Click To Tweet

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