Business Professional Mistakes
Mistakes Young Business Professionals do not have to make

As a young business professional, you have several things going for you. Determination, drive, health, strength and the opportunity to learn from other people’s mistakes. This last factor can decide the limits of your success potential. Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, looks at 4 business failures and breaks down the lessons you should learn.

Never ask a question you don’t want answered…

In perhaps one of the worst Twitter ideas ever, JP Morgan announced the “askJPM” campaign. The intention was to open a dialogue with consumers in order to win back trust and respect. What the company got was rage, snark and yet more rage.

Refuse to adapt: Blackberry once ruled the smartphone universe. Now the company is a distant also-ran. Why? Simple. They completely refused to adapt to what consumers are looking for today and they vastly underestimated the crossover appeal of business applications for consumer smartphones.

Miss your chance…

Ever heard of “Nouncer?” Most people probably haven’t. See, it’s the forerunner of Twitter that never actually got off the ground. Nouncer was in development long before microblogging even existed. The developers didn’t know how to explain it to consumers until AFTER other microblog services were released. Then they just used those business models to explain their own. “See, it’s just like…” is never a good way to introduce your “new” idea.”

Work outside your ability…

Overto was an Internet service that grew quickly. At least, according to its founders, who said the company grew until they reached a level where they could no longer reach people “effortlessly.” They needed marketing savvy. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any, so the company tanked. To succeed you must have all the angles covered. You can’t just be great at ideas or tech or development or distribution; you have to be equally good at all of those things. One weak link is all it takes to crash and burn. The lesson here is to be sure your team is strong in all areas before trying to build something. Otherwise it will just fall down around you … no matter where the “weak” link happens to be.

Don’t take this list lightly. Those who stopped here just for entertainment are likely to miss the lesson and learn the hard way anyway. Don’t be that guy (or girl). Be the person who takes your potential and adds it to the wisdom of those who have made the mistakes you don’t have to. Don’t just stand on the shoulders of giants, watch out for the potholes that tripped up anyone who has traveled the road you’re on before you.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.