9 Lessons About Sales, Stress and Success I've Learned as an Entrepreneur

Author James Oliver pulls out tips from his book, 'The More You Hustle, The Luckier You Get: You CAN Be a Successful Parentpreneur.'
9 Lessons About Sales, Stress and Success I've Learned as an Entrepreneur
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The following is an excerpt from James Oliver’s just-released first book, The More You Hustle, The Luckier You Get: You CAN Be a Successful Parentpreneur.

1. Most people who purport to be influential aren’t -- and people with tons of social media followers probably can’t help your sales.

My experience raising cash for my business is how I mostly learned this lesson. Many people purport to be connected in circles with people who invest in startups. Try to raise money for your startup and reach out to people like that and you’ll see what I’m getting at here.

Also, I used to think if I got someone with 100,000 Twitter followers to share my content, somehow something great would happen for awareness of my business, or there’d be a spike in traffic. It just doesn’t work that way. I read a great article in The Atlantic about how even tweets with tons of engagement barely drive traffic back to the site from which the content originated.

Related: 10 World-Renowned Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Business Secrets

2. Anxiety and worry are rooted in fear and are wasted energy; they never contribute to any positive outcomes.

I spent so much of 2013 and 2014 anxious and afraid my business would run out of cash before I could get enough sales traction. There was even one point where I remember going to bed really frustrated and waking up the next morning with back spasms that had me on bed rest for a few days.

It was so bad that I was in the parking lot at the doctor trying to get in my car, and I was on the ground crying from the pain. The chiropractor said you’re not supposed to see muscle on an X-ray, but my back spasms were so bad, mine showed up!

In the end, despite all the worry and anxiety, the business still ran out of money. Don’t waste your energy with anxiety and worry. It’s not worth it.

3. Meditation does wonders for eliminating, preventing and managing stress and anxiety.

This right here is the only thing that helps me manage stress and anxiety, and keep me centered. If I go a few days without meditating, I can feel the anxiety churning in my belly. I meditate for 15 minutes per day, after I put the twins down for a nap.

A good book I read years ago about meditation by the late, great Wayne Dyer is called Getting in the Gap: Making Conscious Contact with God through Meditation. There are also apps that purport to help really busy people get their meditation on.

Related: Avoid These 3 Big Mistakes I Made as a First-Time Entrepreneur

4. The more you hustle, the luckier you get.

Yep. That’s the title of my book. As Auntie Oprah says, this is the one thing I know for sure. And I also know that hustle > luck.

5. Social media does not drive sales. Well, maybe for some businesses, but not for mine.

This is suuuuuuper frustrating. I know my primary customer is a middle-aged mom. But, for the life of me, I haven’t figured out how to advertise to her on Facebook and get her to buy something.

I’m still experimenting with Facebook ads and hope to figure it out soon. Because . . . this:

6. Great customer service overcomes a lot of product shortcomings.

Thank God for this truth. Most people think they need to wait until their product or service is perfect before they can launch it.

Don’t wait.

Launch it as quickly as you can and get user feedback. You don’t want to launch with a janky product, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. Give your users access to you via a phone number and a personal email address. And, give them great service by responding quickly to their inquiries/problems via email and social media, and you will convert them to paid customers. I promise.

Related: The 7 Business Lessons You Should Learn by 30

7. Sometimes when you think you lose, you win.

When things seem to not be going your way, they can take an unexpected turn that works out completely in your favor. So don’t fret.

8. You’ve got to be willing to get beaten to within an inch of your life to get what you really want.

This for sure has been my truth. And, I realized it when I read The Alchemist and the main character got the crap kicked out of him right before he got what he wanted, or fulfilled his Personal Legend.

9. Real friends are amazing.

Friends and strangers are equally likely to help on your entrepreneurial journey. But I’ve had friends step up in incredible ways to lend a hand when things were at their worst with the business. You know who you are.