Your lack of knowledge in any of the three areas of yourself, your customers, and the competition will hold you back forever
Knowledge and experience partly define our reality and personality; genes do the rest. For this reason, gaining more and new knowledge, and seeking out novel experiences are sure-fire ways to achieve growth and move steps ahead our current status.
I constantly seek to expand my experiences of the world through traveling and visiting new places, attending events where I’m sure to meet new people with different perspectives to life and business than mine. This way, my reality is always a work in progress.
The thing about meeting new people who share your struggle and those who don’t is that through them you meet other new people who in turn introduce you to others, and the ripple effect is almost endless.
Once I met a guy donning a google developer shirt. Being the first time I ll hear about such things, I probed for answers about everything google developer group, and he invited me for one of their programs at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua university in Katsina, Northwest Nigeria, which I partook in. That guy, Ahmad Yazid, Katsina GDG leader introduced me to another GDG guy from Minna, North-central Nigeria; Ahmad Bature whom I later added to my whatsapp group. Ahmad Bature posted on the group that a new magazine, the airmingle which I now write for, needed a columnist. I reached out to the publisher and a potential mutually beneficial relationship was triggered.
That’s one instance out of the many I’ve had in the past couple of years.
Like, I wrote in an earlier article, nothing has altered the direction of my life more than the books I read. Next to books are the people-teachers, partners, advisers, and clients- I met at different stages of my adult and working life. Formal training comes third.
While consistently taking the right steps towards growing your business, the knowledge of these three areas is what will set you up for success. A blind spot in any of them means you’ll constantly fall short of achieving your goals; even if you do achieve any goals you set, you would have achieved the wrong goals.
Build your self-knowledge
Self-awareness gives you the tools to take charge of your life, career, and business. With it you’re aware of the opportunities and ideas you can tackle base on your strengths and the areas you must avoid or seek help in base on your weaknesses. You control your emotions and direct your energies towards your best bits. You achieve more as result, and you do so even quicker.
Know your customers
One peculiar error business people make is assuming that everyone thinks the same way as they do. Thereby pursuing ideas and initiatives that appeal to them in gross disregard to the needs and wants of the intending users. This lead them to spend an awful lot of time and resources developing products and services whose market size makes profitability hard or near impossible. As a result of the many books we’ve studied, we tend to want to treat our customers as though they’re an intellectual lot, failing in the process to take their feelings and urges into consideration.
The role of the entrepreneur demands that he provides products and services the consumer wants, the more the consumer wants those products and services the better. Thus, the more of the customer we know the better positioned we’re to fulfilling their needs.
Empathy comes to the rescue. Putting yourself in the place of the customers provides tons of insight into what they want. Or you simply ask. Data also reveals an awful lot about the customer. So use it.
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Know your competition
We can always benchmark our current practices against those of the competition to identify what they’re doing well and what they’re not and the areas where we need to improve. Fear of the competition is counterproductive, embracing it, rather, is the way forward.
Learning about yourself, your customers, and the competition are all ongoing efforts that’ll take you time to master. You’ll get even better results when you imbibe them into the culture of your business.
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