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12 Things We Have Learned In 12 Years: Part 3

by | Jan 24, 2023

It’s the final countdown. NLP has celebrated 12 years of business success in the past two weeks, and we’re sharing our top 12 business tips, strategies, and lessons learned. 

12 Things We Have Learned In 12 Years: Part 3

NLP is growing with some exciting new projects in the works. We have mastered these lessons, tips, and techniques through the years and continue to utilize them as we expand our horizons.  We can’t wait to announce some of our new projects in the coming months. 

We hope you can apply some of what we’ve learned to your own business as you move through 2023. 

It’s been a great ride. Let’s get to it: 4-3-2-1

4) Standing Out Isn’t Always A Bad Thing.

Twelve years ago, when NLP’s CEO Shaun Buck was just starting, the message that seemed dominant in the business world was Print was dead. However, Buck had the foresight to stay in a place everyone was leaving. He focused on three products: restaurant birthday cards, new mover campaigns, and company newsletters, all sent via the U.S. Postal Service. Everyone still checks their mailboxes every day, right? How can print be dead? If there’s mass exodus in an industry, it thins out the competition, right? Sticking to print when most businesses were running in the opposite direction was a decision that paid off big for NLP. Since then, the company has doubled, with a client roster of over 500. 

  • Follow Your Heart.

Shaun Buck believed print products sent through the mail were still valuable in today’s business world. Follow your heart even if it seems like the world is against you. Trust your business intuition to take you to a higher level. It’s rarely wrong.

  • Raise Some Eyebrows.

Going against the status quo always creates a buzz. You will be judged, and that’s okay. When your competitors aren’t happy with what you’re doing, it usually means you’re doing something right. A great example is how Uber affected the taxicab industry. Cab drivers and other transportation companies did not like Uber disrupting their world. Competitors did everything they could to prevent Uber from succeeding. 

  • Do It Anyway.

Competition can be rough. Nay-sayers will always question what you do. Your competitors may bad-mouth your business plans. Cynics may discourage you. Don’t let anyone or anything drag you down. As the adage goes: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

If you’re a true innovator in your industry, you can overcome any obstacle with integrity and perseverance. 

3) Not Everyone Is Going To Get It.

As nay-sayers told us that print was dead, we’ll always have critics squawking about change or questioning what we do. (In today’s terms: Haters gonna hate.) Not everyone is going to share your vision. If you don’t go forward with your business plans, even if people think you’re crazy, you’ll likely regret it for the rest of your life. 

  • Let History Be Your Guide.

Shaun Buck’s success with NLP proved that print is not dead. Far from it. Hundreds of business success stories throughout history illustrate how following your dream can pay off big time. 

Here are some (once laughable) business ideas that took the world by storm:

Craigslist: This idea started as an online garage sale. Inventor Craig Newmark created a simple website where strangers could buy, sell, trade, and shop for items. Newmark’s simple web page hasn’t changed much over the years. However, it boasts 60 million users in the United States and is available in over 70 countries. 

Crocs: The spa shoe meets clog. Who would’ve ever dreamed these ugly, rubbery shoes would become so popular for men, women, and children? The three friends from Boulder, Colorado, who invented crocs — that’s who. Admit it. You probably even own a pair.

Pet Rocks: This has got to be the epitome of a crazy idea that took off. If ever there was an inventor who laughed all the way to the bank, it was pet rock creator Gary Dahl. He sold millions of these so-called pets in the 1970s. While the craze was short-lived, everyone has heard of pet rocks years later. They’re part of 1970s pop culture. To this day, consumers can purchase pet rocks on Amazon. 

These examples show you never know what will strike the public’s fancy. You might be one of those crazy dreamers whose idea changes the world. You never know until you try.

2) Be You, Not A Copy Of Someone Else.

You’ve heard the quote by Oscar Wilde: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” That may be true, but it’s not an excuse for outright copying. It’s okay to be inspired by other people’s work and ideas. However, your work should be uniquely yours. It’s always better to be your authentic self than a poor version of someone else. 

  • Don’t Be A Copycat

Always let your true self shine through in your business dealings. When it comes to content writing, choose your own words. While it may be tempting when you’re tired or in a hurry to copy someone else’s work, don’t do it. It should go without saying that plagiarism is a big no-no, and it can get you in big trouble. Your integrity matters.

  • Study The Competition.

You can learn from your competitors without plagiarizing or stealing strategies. It’s perfectly fine to study the competition. Look around the industry. What are the market trends? What are your competitors doing right? Can you incorporate it into your business with a different twist? What are they doing wrong? There’s nothing wrong with learning from other people’s mistakes. At NLP, we make it a point to study our competitors. It simply makes good business sense to keep your eye on the competition. 

It always pays to be yourself in your business and your personal life. Nobody likes a phony. Like Dr. Seuss said: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” This holds true in business as long you always work with integrity and kindness.

1) Taking Risks Is Essential If You Want To Grow.

Stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a risk is scary, no matter who you are. However, no successful person in the world got to where they are without taking some risks. Just ask NLP’s Shaun Buck or any other successful entrepreneur. They’ll be the first to tell you: Taking risks is part of life — necessary for business and personal growth. However, consider a few essential details before you take the leap of faith:

  • Look Before You Leap.

Blind risks rarely turn out great. It’s like a test you weren’t expecting and didn’t prepare for. Launching a business in itself is a risk. You should put some planning and serious thought into any significant business risks you’re considering. Calculate the risks versus benefits. You’ll sleep better and be much more confident if you do your homework first. 

  • Don’t Fear Failure.

Failure is a necessary part of life. No one skates through life without experiencing failure at some level. Look at failure as a good thing. The more we mess things up, the more we learn to do things correctly. Failure creates opportunities and makes our successes all the sweeter. 

  • Don’t Fear Success.

It may sound crazy, but some people hesitate to take risks because they fear success. They may fear the responsibilities and obligations that come with success. Some people fear the spotlight, or it’s engrained in them that they don’t deserve good things. Don’t play it safe because you’re afraid of the good things that can happen. We all deserve to experience sweet success. 

  • No Guts, No Glory.

The business or personal success you dream about is impossible without taking a risk. Yes, it’s scary. But you know in your gut it’s something you must do. If you don’t try, you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering, “what if?” That burning intuition is rarely wrong. 

Remember, success is not just about the size of your business or how much money you make. Success includes the chances you take, the lessons you’ve learned, and the skills and relationships you gained along the way. 

The past 12 years at NLP have been a great ride. It has been our pleasure to have you share in our celebration. We hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into our business success at NLP. We wish you continued success in your business journey.

Want to learn more about our business journey? Fill out the form below to receive a free copy of our founder’s book, The Ultimate Guide to Newsletters.

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