How Literal Listening Can Help You Build a Better Business

Are You Listening? Would you even finish reading this article? Most people have a hard time actually listening, all they do is “hear” you might ask, so what’s the difference?

The Difference Between Literal Listening and Just ‘Hearing’

The fact that these are words with different spelling isn’t really the problem, neither is the definition too. But there’s something to learn from this if you take your time to read through.

While anyone without a hearing problem can easily hear a sound or hear people talking or even someone talking to them directly, it has a lot of difference from the word “listen” listening requires discipline.

In as much as this might not make much sense to you yet, or probably you think you know what I’m talking about, I want you to “listen” (read). Yes we all know your attention might be far away when someone is talking to you and you’re probably thinking of something else, it means you’re not listening or participating in the conversation – But what if you’re engaged and still not actually listening?

I hear you say, how’s that possible if I’m engaged? Well, that’s exactly the point of this article (listen).

Are you really listening? Or just listening…?

I see a lot of entrepreneurs in the skill and craft industry repeating this mistake all the time when they are engaged in a conversation with a client, they are there, they aren’t carried away by thoughts of strawberries and escapades in the Caribbeans, yet they aren’t truly listening.

I’ll give you a very understandable example.

Some time ago, I hired a web developer to help me work on a web design project – after much chat and calls, I sent him the code sample of what I had already created from scratch, all he needed to do at this point was to add a few touches and functionalities to make the backend fully ready to access.

After two days, this person called me that he was done and with so much excitement, I clicked on the link he shared with me in order to view the completed project.

And…… to my greatest surprise, I was seeing a totally different design far from what I created and sent to him for fine-tuning. It wasn’t even a modified version, it was a total new whack design altogether.

My heart broke, I was disappointed. What just happened? The dude wasn’t listening, he was busy trying to satisfy his own ego.

You see, listening makes you pay attention to details, it helps you understand what a person (whether client or not) is saying or describing – In my own case, I never requested that I needed a new design, he was supposed to only fine tune and add few functions. Maybe add or remove some colors etc…

No, he wanted to show me he could do better or whatever point he was trying to prove by his actions. Well, just as you must have thought, I actually scrapped the design and told him to go back to my own design. Why? I wasn’t trying to glorify my work and condemn his.

But what he didn’t realize is, there’s a psychology behind my design and it was done in that way so as to appeal to a certain gender and group of people.

He wasn’t listening. It made him do the job twice and I eventually stopped working with him after he was done.

Not listening can cost you more than you ever bargained for, you could lose your reputation or credibility.
A skilled worker who isn’t listening to details of a project would end up satisfying his/her own desires rather than the meeting with the needs/requirements of the project’s owner.

What not listening can really cost you…

And this can make you even lose money and become indebted if care isn’t taken (or depending on the kind of project). Because you might have spent a huge amount of cash doing the wrong thing while trying to impress yourself instead of following protocols.

Yes, most service providers in most cases do actually impress themselves thinking they’re impressing the customer. If you want to maintain a good working balance with your customers, do more than just hear, “listen” in on what you are being told to do.

Some Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

  • Always go along with a notepad if necessary and take down phrases that are mostly repeated, this could be a key factor.
  • List out a set of vital questions and points that you might be having a hard time understanding so that you can become clear on what the customer really want out of the final product.
  • Don’t build your conclusion(s) based on the assumption that you do actually understand what your prospective client has said, ask questions to confirm if they truly mean what you think you are hearing…
  • Be curious, there’s nothing wrong with being curious to know more about your customers’ intention, goals and the long-term overall reason for engaging in the project they have contracted to you.

I’m sure they’ll be more than willing to share more information with you if they discover you are being genuinely interested.

Building a business that thrives, a business that quickly adapts to new changes when the industry takes a new turn requires literal listening, (that is, paying close attention to details) than focusing on the next bank alert, or figuring out a smart response to their last question. Listening is a skill that can be developed over time, but the first step is to recognize that you might need to improve this area of your development.

4 Tips to Achieve Your Goals Using The Resources You Already Have

If you’ve struggled for years to have sufficiency in the following aspects of life; time, enough money to start a business, maybe you complain about the government not doing enough, or lack of family support then you’ll need to understand one truth about life. You probably came here looking for tips to achieve your goals — we’ll get to that.

For now, I really want you to know this:

Nothing will ever be enough, nothing will ever be sufficient unless you do one thing right…

Place Value On What You Already Have

That’s the only way you can put to good use what you have.

If you think time will increase to 30 hours per day so that you can have enough time to work on something, or that your earnings will magically increase overnight so that you can fund an idea you have and launch in grand style.

Well, your dreams may never come true.

Maximize the results you desire by doing this one thing.

Learn to start using the little you have to maximize the results you desire.

As the world advances, our days get busier and we have less time or your finances may suffer but those things will never change in your favor simply because you simply wish it or pray for it.

You’ll have to keep pushing against the wind.

You’ll have to learn how to use the little you have to your advantage — Because if you think about it, every other person who is doing great and achieving so much doesn’t have extra hours added to their day, nor did many of them have sufficient funding. Their success was dependent on how they were able to use the resources they had at the time.

I used to think that if I earned more money then my time will be freed up and that I would be able to make time for other important things in my life such as family, health, and spiritual well-being.

I was wrong!

I worked hard and increased my income within a few years. I bought myself some cool gadgets, acquired luxuries and traveled to great places.

But it had a seriously negative impact on my health, relationships (both family and friends) and also drew me away from building my spiritual life.

And if you talk to individuals who are now minimalist, they’ll likely tell you the same thing – that happiness doesn’t come from doing more. It comes from accomplishing those small things that give us a chance to spend quality time with our loved ones and take good care of ourselves.

I have found that sometimes the more you want and accomplish, the more cluttered your life may gradually become. Before you realize how deep you’ve gone down a rabbit hole chasing more luxuries and “stuff”, you may find that you’ve broken a lot of relationships, damaged your health, and even your state of happiness.

This is not to discourage you to dream big or aim higher.

While you are aspiring for great things, it’s important to be mindful of how you go about it.

Nothing will ever be enough, but you can make the best of what you have in order to get the results you want.

In order to make that a reality for you, I’ll share a few practical tips that helped me utilize what I already had and propelled me towards my goals in no time and still maintain that life balance we all strive for.

1. Prioritize.

Nothing beats the fact that you take into consideration what matters most in your life and cut out what doesn’t.

Prioritizing what matters and what doesn’t in your life will help you determine the principal reason(s) why you are doing this and helps you stay aligned with it.

When you prioritize, it helps you set principles, this way you can stick to a game plan rather than sacrificing your happiness along the line.

2. Find your tribe.

We just can’t go it alone, try to mingle with people, find your tribe, get as much help as you can get so that you can ease the burden and cut down the amount of time you spend on what you are working on.

Before now, I’ll have a stretch of sleepless nights, because I thought I was the only one who could get it right. I saw myself as the only capable person, it had a serious effect on my health. I spent approximately 30 days in the hospital bed. (I almost died)

When I left the hospital and came back to check on how far I’d gone, I noticed I was still the same place I started off. Nothing was practically done. I learned my lesson, I had to get more hands. I realized there is great power in collective efforts.

3. Use what you already have. (Even if it’s not much.)

There’s always this feeling of displeasure in our little treasure. We feel what we have isn’t enough to begin the journey, or sometimes we don’t even realize that it’s more than enough to finish off.

Mostly in relation to money, we just want to make it BIG and start out big. But that’s not a very great way to accomplish anything ever. Put what you have in and ride out. Most things can be bootstrapped.

If you just get out and start doing something, you could be surprised at how much you can accomplish without a lot of money. You can start a blog for very little money. You can start an online store, or even start a consulting business. There are many ways to bootstrap and get going.

Do an inventory of the resources you actually have:

  • Your network
  • Your friends and family
  • Your online network
  • Free online resources and course
  • Books (You can learn a lot about business from books!)
  • Local business resources (many of free)
  • Online business resources

Here are two books to get you started:


4. Practice gratitude. (Always)

Gratitude is the best way to keep our hopes alive, it helps us to be grateful for where we are, what we have and don’t have (yet) while we hope to accomplish them as we work towards our ultimate goal(s).

Gratitude will let you appreciate the people in your life who contribute to your growth (whether they spill negative or positive energy). Being grateful shows that you have a deep insight that no one else understands. It just brings out the brighter side of you and energizes your soul.

I’ve had more accomplishments since I started doing these things, it has helped me live a better life that is meaningful to me and those I care about. it has helped me understand what it means to truly place value on what we have, who we are and stay focused until success is finally achieved.

Some Final Thoughts

By doing an inventory of the resources you actually have, you will find that you are far ahead of the game. Look around at your life. Who can help you? Surround yourself with those that propel your ideas and help you achieve greatness.

There is a lot of advice out there to help you grow a business, even start a business, but here is my advice to you:


Be thankful for where you are today.

Keep going!

Write down your goals every day. Be clear and specific. Start where you are and keep going.