Successfully Managing Expectations

Dave Menzies

Managing expectations is an essential part of any new venture. As is often the case the inspiration my post comes from a recent experience my partner has had – a very rare in her case – falling out with a pupil.  As a driving instructor, managing expectations is a very important part of her work both from the pupil’s point of view and from hers as the teacher.

The case in point happened when this particular pupil argued that she was ready to sit her test having used up her budget for lessons and booked a test against my partner Mo’s advice. The pupil was still making serious errors and would have definitely failed in Mo’s expert opinion. She even refunded the pupil for the remaining lessons she had booked in advance.

The benefits of managing expectations

The pupil got quite angry with Mo saying that she had been told that 30 lessons MIGHT be enough and that is what she (the pupil) took as fact and budgeted for. A very inaccurate approach to managing expectations – why?

Because any estimate that an instructor of any kind about how long it will take an individual to learn a course is based on a short assessment lesson and can only ever be that – an estimate. If the pupil then proves to be a bad or slow learner things need to be adjusted – they need to be managing expectations.

It’s the same for starting a new venture like a business. Managing expectations in this case means that you shouldn’t expect a quick return.- At least not if you want to build a solid foundation for long-term success. You need to put the work in and that’s going to mean different timescales for everyone. Some rethinking and re adjustment may be needed along the way.

Properly managing expectations in business

Going back to the driving example. Learning to drive is a one time investment in yourself that will change your life forever so managing expectations on how long it will take should not be based entirely on money. Like all things in life if you really want it you will find the money.

It took my partner a long time, a lot of money and some serious study coupled with frequent knock backs to become a driving instructor yet occasionally people will treat her like she is trying to rip them off. She was accurately managing expectations along the way to become an expert instructor – she has the high pass rate and advanced accreditation to prove it which is why she is – largely by word of mouth – very busy. And why this particular pupil was sacked!

No matter how good the teacher – they can’t really change the pupil’s rate of learning. They can monitor progress and focus on the areas needing most attention and as they want the best results for the pupil and for their own reputation they have a duty not to let pupils fail if it’s obvious they are not ready.

Managing expectations right from the start

Starting an online home business is about managing expectations from the start. Since it (like learning to drive or going to college) takes money and time your expectations should be based on how much of both or either you have. There are methods of building the business that don’t cost much or anything but take longer and methods, which do cost money but get quicker results.

In either case there is a learning curve to follow at your own pace and you need to have a teacher or teachers to guide you. If you decide not to listen to that teacher that’s up to you – but it’s also the teacher’s prerogative to decide that you are not worth their own time or money. If you are based in Glasgow and need driving lessons let me know ! If you are interested in finding out more about managing expectations around creating an online income through learning digital marketing, click on the link below to get some free videos from my teachers !

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