Everyone makes mistakes. Just today I was listening to Dave Ramsay, who was speaking at the 2017 EntreLeadership Summit, and he said something profound about success and failure. He said, “Success is not a gleaming shining mountain. It is a pile of failure… I’m a colossal failure. Only, I’m standing on all my failures instead of laying under them.”

Wow, how inspiring is that!

We all mess up. We all make mistakes. And, we can all stand on our failures.

However, there is no need to make blind mistakes. Sure we make mistakes on the way up but, we can all agree, fewer mistakes on the way to the top would be nice.

On the web, we need to act no differently. We need to be smart about what we do and how we do it online.

At Robojuice we have helped our clients stand upon their mistakes instead of laying under them. To do that we constantly push them to avoid doing three things:

  1. Executing goals without a vision.
  2. Putting attention before conversion.
  3. Focusing on weaknesses instead of strengths

Avoiding these three mistakes have worked for them and they can work for you too.

1: Executing goals without a vision

When you execute against a vision and are patient you win. It can be tempting to start setting goals when there is a business need. But, those goals must align with your vision and mission. If your goals are not tuned to your vision they become random tactics and produce random results.

Your goals must be stepping stones toward your greater vision. For your goals to lead you to into your vision you need a map. That map is a plan. Planning is simply mapping out what goals move you toward your vision.

The order that you do things matters.

You must have a vision before you have a plan and a plan before you have goals. Without a concrete and solid vision, you are in a race without a starting or finish line.

Working on your goals without a vision is one mistake that will suck the life out of your business relationships. You must put your vision first because the relationship must be first. At Robojuice we have made this mistake enough times to learn that without a concert vision there can be no lasting relationship.

2: Putting attention before conversion

It is easy to drive customer attention. You can do a number of things: buy ads, use influencer marketing, send newsletters, offer discounts, and start social media campaigns. But, what happens when you have that attention? Will that attention convert to new customers?

To make the most of your digital products you need to convert. Yes, The Market decides what is valuable but when your product, idea, or service is valuable you need to convert on it before you drive more attention to it.

Like vision comes before goals so conversion comes before attention.

There is a lot you can do to build up your conversion but the key is to put conversion first.

Three tips to help you convert

Here are a few tips to help you convert better:

  1. Clarify your message. Ask, “Can people understand what my product is?” Features are great but if people do not “get it” you lose.
  2. Have a single call to action. Ask, “What am I asking people to do?” Do not paralyze your customers with choices. Be focused in your campaigns.
  3. Be authentic. Ask, “Am I telling a story that is real?”  If you are not authentic people will notice eventually. Authenticity is the long play in conversion.

3: Focusing on your weaknesses instead of your strengths

You will always have weaknesses. The goal is not to overcome your weakness necessarily as much as it is to grow your strengths. The people we want to be like are those with incredible strengths.

Growing your strengths is all about focus. With limited time and resources, it is better to focus on the few things we are truly great at versus the many things are a poor at.

In the online and brick world, you need to focus on the things you are best at. I’m not saying that if you are good at Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube you should focus on only those things. I’m saying you need to focus on doing the things you are best at like: building the product, working the numbers, or telling stories.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are only tools. The stuff that you are best at is where your energy needs to be the focus. Then fill in the gaps with the right relationships and the right people to help you do the rest.

Where you start matters.

That’s it. Where you start matters. It is the resounding song we sing: The beginning is just as important as the end.