Business Lessons Learned: Don't Put the Cart Before the Horse

Business Lessons Learned: Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

Good morning. I’m Stephen Woessner, the CEO of Predictive ROI and the host of our daily podcast for business owners called Onward Nation.

It’s hard to believe how much Onward Nation has grown. Our podcast premiered on June 15th — about four and a half months ago — and by the time we hit our five month anniversary we’ll have released our 131st episode.


If you’re a regular listener of the Onward Nation Podcast, I cannot thank you enough. I say it often — because it’s a fact I know to be true — but we all have the same 86,400 seconds in our day. In my heart of hearts I know that your time is incredibly precious — and I am so grateful that you would spend some of that time listening to Onward Nation — and — reading this blog post.

If you’ve never listened to Onward Nation — I urge you to please give us a listen. I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking Stephen, you just want my download. You just want your numbers to grow. It is true — of course — that all of us here at Predictive ROI want Onward Nation to grow. Producing Onward Nation is a major time commitment — and of course we want to see our numbers grow. However — I believe that the lessons our guests teach us — day in and day out — are lessons that you can use to grow your business and improve your life.

And I’m going to share one of those lessons with you today.

Today we released my interview with Mark Hanson, a lifelong entrepreneur and pioneer in the outdoor lighting industry. In the interview, Mark — like many of the other wonderful guests we’ve had on Onward Nation — was incredibly open about one of his mistakes that almost ruined his business and business lessons learned from those mistakes.

A few years ago, Mark developed a product that he was ready to bring to market — a product that he believed in — and he knew it would be a sure hit. Mark took the product to a trade show, and — much to Mark’s delight — it won a lot of different awards.

Mark did what I’m sure any of us would have done in Mark’s shoes. He was sure the product was going to be a home run. So — with the success of the accolades behind him — Mark took out what little capital he had and went out and built a lot of inventory.

Even if you haven’t listened to the episode yet, I’m sure we all know how this story ends.

The product flopped. As Mark told me, “All the awards and all the accolades don’t mean anything — we built a product that didn’t have the consumer desire, needs, or the wants that people wanted it to.”

Mark blew through all of his money and all he had was a product that he couldn’t sell.

What’s the lesson that we can all learn from Mark’s situation? It’s the same one that Mark learned himself.

“You can’t put the cart before the horse,” Mark told me.

And that’s absolutely right. Mark gained this business lessons learned from this painful experience — you can’t spend your time and your money — especially your money — on developing a product or service unless you know that there’s a market for your product or service. It’s up to you to get out there and do the research and find out if your market exists. If it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board.

Thanks for reading.

Onward with gusto!


This week on Onward Nation

orange line

Episode 120: Prescription before diagnosis is malpractice, with Dr. Tony Alessandra — can be found here.

Episode 121: Crawl…Walk…Then Run, with Jeffrey Hayzlett — can be found here.

Episode 122: Preparation destroys all fears, with Stephen Woessner — can be found here.

Episode 123: When do you hit the reset button?, with Bill Hoagland — can be found here.

Episode 124: Focused diversification works, with Mark Hanson — can be found here.

Fill Your Sales Pipeline Q&A

LIVE Wednesdays at 1:00 pm Eastern / 12 Noon Central

Sell with Authority Podcast

The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

Follow Us