Be a sponge

When you’re just starting with a new semester or new job, you’ll listen very well to the teacher or your boss to make sure you understand every piece of the information you get, or the process you have to run. So explain me why, why don’t you just listen very well when you’ve launched your own business?! So typical!

I remember that, back in 2008, I started working my student-job at a supermarket. All I had to do was to stock the shelves, but the first few times I had to do it, I listened very well so I knew what I had to do. When a teacher told me what I had to know for exams, I listened very will so I knew what I had to learn. When I started my day-time job at the Dutch Tax Services, I also listened very well to what my supervisor had to say, so again, I knew what I had to do. When I started my own company… I didn’t listen to anyone!

When I started my company, a lot of people were against it. My family told me: “do you really have to do this? Why don’t you go work for a boss so you have a contract and guaranteed pay-day?”, etc. My friends weren’t supportive either. In this specific case, it was good to be stubborn because it brought me to where I am today. But, there is a but in this article… As an entrepreneur you’ve got to know when you need to be stubborn and when you need to listen to others. A lot of entrepreneurs, I have spoken too and worked with, are very very stubborn -which might be good-, but they don’t listen!

If I could go back in time, I would listen more to others. All I did was talk about MY business, MY knowledge, MY lifestyle, but I didn’t listen to other entrepreneurs with MORE business, MORE knowledge and a BETTER lifestyle. When you want to learn, you have to listen. You can’t listen when you’re talking. Logic and common sense, but a lot of entrepreneurs tend to forget this. It took me a few years to understand the value of listening. It took me a few years to put my pride and ego on the shelve so I could really listen and learn to entrepreneurs with years of experience. When I started opening up and listening to more experienced entrepreneurs, I started to see a difference in my business. I got more succes because I changed my processes. I changed my processes because I actually applied experiences and knowledge from the more experienced entrepreneurs.

Whenever you’re starting a business, or when you have already started a business, make sure you never forget that there are more experienced entrepreneurs who’d love to help you giving tips and advice about your business. But when they do share their knowledge and experiences, don’t talk, just listen. Be a sponge. Absorb all the information you can get. When you’ve absorbed the information, make sure you apply all of the information in your benefit and see changes happening in your business!

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