Lesson 3 - Stand Firm on Integrity, Beliefs, and Your Value

starting a business | Dec 03, 2017

If there's anything that has made me the proudest of putting this event together, it's this lesson right here.

Starting a business is hard, and getting customers to pay for your service or product can be a huge challenge.  There always seems to be, what I like to call a deal with the devil, around every corner.  Those are the people who see the value in the product, but they have no desire to pay what you're asking.  They want a discount of some sort.

And I've learned this too many times to falter from it.

They will always be your biggest pain in the ass clients, period.

I learned this lesson the hard way in my first business.  When people wanted something just one-off of what I offered, I would make the exception.  However, even though they were supposed to be less work, they always ended up being more.

I had a huge realization that I have lived by since then.  It's disrespectful to those who are valuing what you offer.  So who are you willing to bend over backwards for?  Those who are not valuing your product or service and want a deal, or those who pay what you're asking with no question.

I had to turn down money along the way of this event, and it honestly felt great.  I had some people ask me about vendor tables and tell me based on a certain criteria that it was too expensive.  It wasn't that I didn't want them there, but I had a few other people who had that same criteria who wrote a check without batting an eye.

I also had the ultimate dilemma as the event approached, which is getting butts in seats. I had sponsors I had to answer to, and I wanted to make sure I made it all worth their while.  I had speakers who I wanted to make sure I had a full room to speak in front of.

The phone calls came a few days before from people wanting to come but were hoping for a discount.  They either couldn't afford it, didn't want to stay all day, or just felt that because we were at the end, like most events, there was a need for more butts in seats.  I did what any other event planner should do.

I REFUSED

Alright, so I think it's what every event planner should do, but not what everyone does.

First, I was adamant about rewarding the people who did what I needed them to do in order for my business to succeed, which was buy tickets either at an early bird discount or before the event.  I refused to punish those who believed in the value of this event.

And guess what...

That room full of people was some of the most amazing quality of entrepreneurs I have run into in Dallas in a really long time (and I do a lot of networking).  The quality of the vendors was exactly what I wanted, and the quality of the participants was honestly beyond what I could have imagined.

I didn't want to have people go through five people who weren't serious about business, just to find one that was.  The room was full of people who appreciated the event and took it seriously.  They took notes and asked amazing questions.

And although I could have made more money, I was proud of the value I gave those who valued the event I had put together.

Always, always, always stick to your guns on your value (as long as it's justified), and don't respect those who value your product and service.  You will end up with clients you love working with.

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