In year four of my entrepreneurial journey, I learned one of my toughest lessons to date: no one cares about your business as much as you do.
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Taking ownership as an entrepreneur
I’d heard this before, I’d just never experienced something this damaging as a result.
The experience made me step back and second guess everything.
What else have we delegated that might not be being done properly?
And worse than this thought swimming around in my mind, for me, second-guessing things doesn’t mean a quick comparison of pro’s and con’s, rather hours – sometimes days of doubt.
Lesson learned – the hard way
It all started when we decided to switch merchant providers back in May 2016.
We had done a significant amount of research and we were feeling good about it, and when it came time to buckle down and make the actual switch, we asked for support.
Without thinking too much of it – since making the actual switch was going to be a pretty manual process – we delegated it and brought our focus back to our own projects and tasks.
A couple of days later I received an email from one of our community members: they had been re-billed for their Podcasters’ Paradise annual subscription – and it was not their due date.
After apologizing to the member, refunding the overcharge, and jumping into the system to some research, I came to realize that their “next payment due” date was off, which is what had triggered the early payment.
This seemed pretty strange to me since this isn’t a field you can manually change to be sooner than whatever the rules are for the subscription attached to it.
My first mistake: I wrote it off as a fluke and didn’t once take a step back to think this might have had something to do with our merchant provider switch.
Crazy old Infusionsoft…
Later that day, I received another email: the same thing happened to someone else.
Okay, this is getting ridiculous – what the heck is going on?
After some more research, I came to find out that this same exact thing had happened to dozens upon dozens of contacts: their “next payment due” date was off.
I tried to find similarities in the contact records – were they all annual subscriptions? Did they all have a form of payment in common?
I couldn’t seem to find a common thread, and so I thought to myself, “As long as I can get ahold of someone at Infusionsoft, they can help us identify and fix the problem.”
After even more research, and not much help from Infusionsoft, I started to uncover that the problem was bigger than I originally thought: not only were dozens upon dozens of contact’s “next payment date” off, but our PayPal connection was lost – meaning, the connection between anyone who had joined our community via PayPal and our system was completely cut off.
I felt sick to my stomach.
I started imagining all the other things that might be wrong, but that we didn’t know about yet.
This is about the time that I had a lightbulb moment: when I brought up an account from a customer who had joined via PayPal, I noticed that the new merchant provider was selected. I knew that in these situations the the merchant provider was supposed to be PayPal, and that once you change it from PayPal to something else, there is no going back.
On one hand, it was a careless mistake. Had proper research been conducting – or had I been the one making the switch – we would have known not to change the merchant provider on PayPal orders.
On the other hand, all the skewed “next payment dates” and the unexplainable things that would happen as a result – those were all things not even the highest level of support at Infusionsoft could explain.
For the next 6 weeks, I would experience learning one of my toughest lessons to date: no one cares about your business as much as you do.
My biggest takeaway
It is no one else’s fault, problem, issue or concern that something you’ve worked SO hard to create didn’t turn out the way you had hoped.
On your entrepreneurial journey, excuses cannot exist. You must take ownership of your actions (or inactions) and the results they create.
You better believe that deep down inside I wanted to blame someone else for what had happened, but it was also deep down that I knew no one was to blame but myself.
This was my responsibility.
Is that scary to take full ownership of your actions (or inactions) and the results they create?
Absolutely, but you might remember us calling on Stephen Covey in Season 4 Episode 1: he says, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
An unintended lesson learned
Although my biggest lesson learned through this whole experience is that no one cares about your business as much as you do, and therefore you must learn to take ownership and responsibility for your actions (or inactions), I also had some other, unintended lessons learned.
One of them is that just because no one is ever going to care about your business as much as you do doesn’t mean you should never hire a team.
In fact, stepping up and being a boss is critical to the growth and scalability of your business, and while I don’t feel that managing people is what I’m best at, I know it’s required to achieve the goals I have set for myself, and for my business.
Grant Cardone says, “A person who limits his or her potential success will limit what he or she will do to create it and keep it.”
It’s time to get courageous; it’s time to step up and take ownership – not only of what it is you want to see in your life, but of the actions (or inactions) required to get you there.
Up next in Season 4 on What it means to be an entrepreneur
We all know that entrepreneurship isn’t easy.
If you’re looking for something easy, just go ahead and continue doing whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
Up next, we’re going to be talking about the importance of productivity, discipline and focus on your entrepreneurial journey.
You can visit our home base right here to find all the posts and episodes in Season 4!