Don’t Apologize: A Mindset for Any Entrepreneur/Business Owner
As someone with their own business you have to be cheeky.
You cannot stop simply because you think someone will perceive you wrongly, or because you may or may not ruin a relationship by being cheeky.
And, even if you do manage to upset someone, do not apologize for trying.
Those of you who have been Business Owners for a while know why I am writing this. This post is for those of you that do not understand why.
When you hold yourself back out of fear of upsetting someone or apologize for having upset someone with your approach, you are admitting fault.
While there is nothing wrong with making a mistake or standing up for it, there is something that is wrong when you do not stand behind your actions, for it changes your mindset and makes you subservient to those you interact with. This will destroy your business in the long run.
Imagine two insurance company CEOs named Hector and David. They are both starting out with their business and are still going from door to door to get a sale.
David goes from door to door and as soon as someone says they are not interested he thanks them, apologizes for his attempt, and walks away.
What do you think this does in David’s mindset? Yes, he is being nice and respectful, and he probably believes he is doing the right thing by not being cheeky and pushing this product on the person, but that also shows that he does not care enough about his product to fight for it.
In his mind he trains the belief that the product is not worth selling and it will come across in his approach and mannerisms, and whenever he does get a sale he considers it stroke of luck or even a loss more than a win.
The problem with this is that no matter how many sales he makes, he will never be happy because he does not believe in what he is doing.
Hector, on the other hand, is more cheeky. When someone tells him they are not interested he answers with “Of course you are. You want what is best for the people around you, and that includes not being swindled, but also includes getting the best insurance you can.”
He assumes a lot and tries his best to get a foot in the door.
Most of the times, Hector will be perceived as the ‘Snake-oil-Salesman’, but that does not matter to him. The reason he is being so cheeky is not because he wants to be rich or famous, but rather because he believes in what his company stands for and does and will fight for that at whatever loss may come.
He has created a company that is there when you need them, that goes the extra way for their clients, and who will take losses as long as it improves someone’s life in the end, because when he hit his own rock-bottom the insurance company kicked him while he was down.
Having experienced this and understanding the horrible feeling this gives, Hector promised himself he would do better and he will be there for those that need it.
Every sale he gets, to him, is a win because he feels that he has saved another person.
Now, sometimes Hector will push the boundaries of other people and they will feel pressured. They will be uncomfortable and tell him to back of. If he apologizes then it makes him subservient to the person, empowering the belief that he did something wrong, so he does not do that.
Instead he says: “I am not going to apologize for trying to push this on you. I would do it again. Not because I want anything bad for you, but because I believe in this so much that I would force you to take this offer if I could. Now I cannot do that, but the least I can do is fight for what I believe is right and try my best to make this deal happen because I believe it is by far the better choice to what you have now.”
The question now is: Which Salesperson would you rather be approached by? Or rather, which company would you put more faith into?
As an Entrepreneur/Business Owner you must develop such a strong belief in what you do that you never apologize for trying. Essentially; What you do has to stand above almost everything else.
Whether you believe in your product or not, it will show. It shows in how you act, in your micro-expressions, the words you use and creates a positive or negative feedback-loop with the beliefs you hold.
If you believe your product is not worth anything, you will give that feeling to everyone you come across, you’ll get less sales, which will prove your belief.
But if you do believe in your product, and do believe that it is worth far more than the price you ask, then that feeling will also come across.
And it is with that belief that you will push yourself further than anybody else.
I guarantee you that Hectors business would do far better than that of David because Hector has a cause. His business means something to him and he believes in it.
When something is not aligned with his core belief he will make sure to change it and he will put far more energy and effort into every facet of his business.
He will take the clients complaints to heart, will care more about each individual and will improve himself and his company continuously because there is more value behind it.
And when things get rough, when things are not going well, Hector will sweat tears and blood to save his company.
David, on the other hand, will only go as far as he needs to with everything he does and will stop when things get too tough.
This is a very complex topic, and something that is not so easy to put into words as a lot of different factors and exceptions do play a role.
Instead of writing an entire book right here, I would instead suggest you experience this yourself.
Therefore my challenge to you is to not apologize for the next 14 days.
Do not say that you are sorry, do not apologize and do not try to justify your actions. Take full responsibility for the action you have chosen and deal with it.
It will be tough, there will be some intense moments, but braving that storm will change your life for the better in the long run, I guarantee it.
Your belief in what you do carries far further than you realize.
If you apologize for your actions then it is a sign that you do not stand behind that action. You do not believe you have done the right thing and try to right it in hindsight, essentially avoiding the responsibility for the consequences of that action.
Doing this starts a horrible feedback loop in which you disempower the belief in yourself and your own capabilities.
Now, please do not misunderstand, there are times to apologize, but those times are rare and should never involve the actions that you took.
Even if your actions cause negative, unforeseeable consequences, it still does not mean you should apologize. Stand behind your decision and accept the consequences and deal with them. If you do feel sorry, then make your actions speak louder than your words and fix it instead.
That way, the next time a similar situation is about to happen, the consequence will still be burned in your mind and you’ll think twice about how you act, which, over time, will lead to not only a simpler life but also a life you stand behind.