2 Steps To Becoming Something You’ll Never Regret

2 Steps To Becoming Something You’ll Never Regret

Posted on 21. Jul, 2013 by in Archived Post, Character Counts

Billions of people can hear, but very few truly listen. It is the ability to listen that should be a strong characteristic of your life – not only as a parent, father, mother, husband, wife, son, or daughter, but as a business leader. Why? Listening will certainly serve you very well as you grow your passive income business. Are you someone that listens well or do you simply bark commands and state your opinions to others?

My Poor History As A Listener

I have been and continue to be known as a good listener, but I can tell you that I didn’t start out that way. Early on, I felt that I did not have the time to sit down and listen to someone….anyone for that matter. I had so much going on, trying to start “this” business and “that” business and my time was at a premium. Once things started to cave in on me, I realized that I needed to step back, look closely at what’s going on around me, and listen to those that really wanted to help me.

What Listening Controls

Your ability to listen controls the amount of wisdom that flows into your life and, to some extent, determines the timing and depth of your success.

I am entering a stage where I will be building relationships with other bloggers, Twitter and Facebook users and I know that the strength of those relationships is dependent on my ability to “touch” their hearts. Well, how can I “touch” their hearts if I don’t take the time to know what is in it? For me to know, I need to take the time to listen to them. Whether listening means reading their blogs, reviewing their tweets, studying their Facebook posts, I have to learn what’s in their hearts by listening.

Purpose For Listening

Now, at times, I’m sure you feel overwhelmed by the number of people trying to get your attention for one reason or another. And I understand how difficult it can be to weed out who you should listen to. Just remember that you have two purposes for listening:

  1. To connect with people on a professional or personal level
  2. To learn or receive wisdom

In a nutshell, that’s really it.

Who Should You Be Listening To

It’s important for you to determine early on who you should be listening to and they are your:

  • Customer base

Bill Gates once said “Unhappy customers are always a concern. They’re also your greatest opportunity.” We, as leaders, should always make it a priority to listen to our customers. We have to avoid getting so engulfed with our own ideas, visions, and success that we never hear the complaints and concerns of the ones that really make our business successful. Listening to your customers can curtail or suppress negative feedback and, at times, increase your positive feedback.

  • Competition

It is natural to view your competition as the enemy…that’s really what we are taught to some extent. And as a result, we find ourselves building barriers around our business while tearing their business down. Our actions tend to be based on what the competition is doing rather than based on the vision, goals, and strategic plans for our business. Thus, we’re letting our competitors “control the pulse” of our business. That’s not a healthy way to grow our business. Get into the habit of learning “something” from your competitors….something that you can help you improve your business. You can’t tell me that there is not one thing you can learn from them. I’m sure there is…..you simply have to take the time to listen and learn.

  • Mentors

Do we really know all there is to know in our field or industry? We all need at least one mentor as there is much to learn from those that simply have much more experience than we do. I highly recommend that you find a mentor by asking them directly. Avoid asking by Twitter and Facebook. This is a matter that should be addressed in a direct and professional manner and should be treated as such. Get started as soon as you can…..

So, how can you enhance your listening skills? Try this:

  • Set aside time in your daily or weekly schedule to listen to your mentor(s), competitor(s), and customer(s). If you can’t find time to listen to them, you’re sending a message that they are not that important to you and it’s possible that you could be limiting the amount of wisdom being poured into your life.
  • Find out more about your competitors, customers, and mentors. Ask questions, see what you have in common with each of them, and really pay attention to what they have to say. Get a sense of what they are feeling.  Try to separate what they are saying from what you think they are feeling. You know the old saying “read between the lines”.

Put these two steps into practice and you’ll be thanking me down the road. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions using my “Send Voicemail” tab on the right-hand side of the page or simply leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you…..

10 Responses to “2 Steps To Becoming Something You’ll Never Regret”

  1. pmblogGrl

    12. Aug, 2013

    I think the last section is the section I needed most. As I read, I thought- “That’s true, but how will I do this?” I should really take your advice and set aside some time each day to listen to my mentors, competitors and readers. Hopefully it will become a habit soon enough. How long did it take you to condition yourself to be a better listener?

    Reply to this comment
    • Big Dave

      Big Dave

      13. Aug, 2013

      Hi pmblogGrl,

      It took a little while for me to condition myself to be a better listener. All those years of not listening….took a while for it to get out of my system. But it was worth the wait….

      Reply to this comment
  2. John

    16. Aug, 2013

    Excellent point about how to view your competition. Everyone does something well, the sooner you learn from your competitors, the sooner you can overtake them.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Sky

    17. Aug, 2013

    Excellent points. In my other job, it’s super important for me to interact with Facebook fans, not only to share job-related things but to answer their questions, concerns, and ask questions. Sometimes asking open-ended questions like “What are you doing this weekend? I’m….” or “If you could go where, where would you go and why?” provide a lot of info into who exactly we’re interacting with.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Charlotte

    18. Aug, 2013

    In some industries, finding a mentor can be very difficult. As an undergraduate, I had several assignments where I had to reach out to a Journalism professional to shadow or simply interview about a project.

    Often times, I got the feeling that people were offended by eager, curious students reaching out for their help. I think working with someone who has a different view of your industry could be mutually beneficial.

    If you’re too seasoned to listen to a mentor– you might think about finding a mentee to listen to. 😉

    Reply to this comment
    • Sky

      22. Aug, 2013

      It’s a little sad that people are offended by eager and curious people reaching out for their help. I am a big believer in “passing it along” and supporting others. But I think that sometimes people think they got to the top “the hard way” and on their own and that these eager newcomers should have to work their way to the top too, without any help.

      Reply to this comment
    • Big Dave

      Big Dave

      22. Aug, 2013

      Good point, Charlotte…there are some that will get offended, but don’t give up. Keep searching and I’m sure you will find someone…

      Reply to this comment
  5. Gale

    11. Feb, 2014

    I love the part about listening to your competitors. Here I was thinking, why would I want to listen to them? What if they just brag about their success and leave you feeling more inferior than ever? You do have a point though. How our actions are based on what they’re doing, and there’s no way that I’d let them control the pulse of my business. I guess you’re right, there’s something that we can learn from our competitors. Even if they do brag, we will learn to keep our heads down and be humble.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Mia

    11. Feb, 2014

    Listening is a great way to improve one’s self. The fact that you’re willing to listen says so much about your character. Some people are just too proud, refusing to accept that there are others who know the same path they’re walking now and have more knowledge about it. Accept that there are a lot of people you could learn something from. I think one way to make your business grow is by listening to other people and get ideas about how they made it and apply the same principles if you think it will benefit you.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Beatrice

    11. Feb, 2014

    I’m actually a mentor to someone right now. Well not exactly a mentor but I guess because I recognized myself in her when I was just starting in the writing business. Mind you, it was not easy answering questions from an over-eager employee. It got annoying at some point but it reminded me of the time I was starting out. I did have thousands of questions and my boss, who I also consider my mentor back then, was patiently answering each question I have. And I had learned so much that up to this point I’m still applying in my new business. It made me realize that when someone asks a question, it means that he is actually willing to listen to what you have to say because he genuinely wants to learn.

    Reply to this comment

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