What is an entrepreneur’s biggest mistake?

I was asked this question just the other day. And as much as I am not a fan of questions that require absolutes, I will still answer a question when it is posed. 

And the answer to this one is: thinking they know what their customer wants. 

One coin: two sides

This conversation follows well from last week’s post. Three essentials to customer context are their wants, their needs, their fears. 

Let’s consider the two ways to look at this question. 

  • What is the best thing a business person can do? Understand their customer’s context for decision making. 
  • What is the worst thing a business person can do? Assume that they know their customer’s wants. 

What you know, what you don’t know

You know your work. You know your industry, your field, your technical expertise, your products, and your services. 

Your clients want to use that knowledge to make their own lives better. 

Read that again: your clients want to make their own lives better. 

You are not an expert on their lives. They are. 

Stop, ask, listen, and take the time to learn what your clients actually want, as a group and individually. 

Only then take your expertise and apply it to what your customers need (this is where your knowledge comes in). 

Match what you know to what your clients know: not the other way around. 

It’s about trust

Trust your clients. Ask them questions. Understand their position. 

Then solve their problems. 


Have you prioritized your clients’ lives in your business growth?

Contact me to learn about my three part Training Program on learning your customers’ context.