7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Business

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(Newswire.net — August 18, 2021) –As a business owner, there are many mistakes that I can look back on and wonder, “How on earth did I make that mistake?” As you gain experience and read more and interact with other business owners as well as thought leaders, you realize that there are many things that you would have done better knowing when you got into business. Success has few lessons, it’s in failure that we learn the most. Charlie Munger, one of America’s great business leaders, once remarked that, “All I want to know is where I’m going to die, so I’ll never go there”. In this article, I will share 7 things I wish I knew before I started my business. I hope these lessons will help you build better companies.

  1. You Can’t Do Everything Yourself

The great temptation of entrepreneurship is to believe that you have such a special relationship with your business idea that only you can handle the myriad of tasks and challenges ahead. Many entrepreneurs get burned out as they take on more than any human being can possibly handle. There is a kind of masochism about this, with entrepreneurs enthralled by the idea that if they take on every task and challenge, they are somehow worthy of great rewards. 

This is sheer lunacy. You need to let go and trust other people to help you build your business. Even visionaries like Steve Jobs needed great teams, not just to compliment his unique gifts, but also to push back and tell him when he was just plain wrong. Steve Jobs recognised this and recruited aggressively. You need to be aware of your limitations.

  1. Build a Team of Mentors

 Every great achievement is built by standing on the shoulders of giants. You need to build a team of mentors you can rely on for advice and meet with regularly. These mentors can be both dead and alive, people you can easily access, or even the most important business leaders in the world. Business leaders often write books, or letters to shareholders, or have books written about them. So whether they are alive or running multinationals, you can read their thoughts and understand how they made key decisions. You should also meet with mentors who can answer your questions in person or on the phone. The goal is to learn from them, not just their success, but their failures. Learning from them will make you a greater business person.

  1. Gather Together Like-Minded People

Building a team is not a simple matter of finding people with the same skill-set. Often, all that this leads to is huge gaps in the organization. In a world of specialists, you need to have people who can fulfill the myriad of roles required by your business. these people should share the same skill set, but the same values and desire to succeed. When you hire such people, you can build a culture of excellence around them, setting your business up for success. 

  1. Prepare to Grow

Many entrepreneurs underestimate just how big they can become if they are successful. In many ways, this means that success becomes a curse, rather than a blessing, as the entrepreneur suddenly realizes that their business is not built to be great. You should enter into business mindful of where you can be in the future, so that you do not build into your business original sins that will be hard to eradicate. The culture of the business, the employees you hire, the business model, and other elements of your business, must be geared to both achieve success and thrive when that success comes.

  1. Shut Out the Noise

Every entrepreneur has faced howls of derision when they tell them about their business idea. People will question you, some will actively try and discourage you. This isn’t because these people are malicious or wish you ill. Some may, but often, people simply cannot imagine things done differently, they resist change even in their personal lives. The idea of change as a good thing, is strange to many people, even in this era of innovation. A prophet is often unappreciated in his own town. We seldom imagine that people we know can achieve anything important. This extends to people who listen as people they know discuss their business ideas. Add to that, the risk entailed in becoming an entrepreneur, and you should be prepared for a largely negative reaction to your ideas. So, you will need to have a thick skin, to believe in your idea, to keep going even as others doubt.

  1. Be Prepared to Walk Away

You need to protect the integrity of your business, its values, its strategic goals, its mission and its interests. Oftentimes, you will have to make the decision whether or not to continue with a business relationship. For instance, a customer may be your biggest customer around, but your business relationship with that customer may take you away from doing what you feel you need to do to get where you want to go. These are big decisions that can negatively impact the short-term financial results of the business. However, if the decision is the correct one, the business will gain from this decision, in the medium-to-long term, and you will look back on this decision as key to your success. 

Some clients, for example, are a huge headache, and maintaining that relationship is costly and time-consuming. If, having assessed where most of your complaints are coming from, and whether you have truly done everything reasonable to provide the best service to this client, then you should terminate that relationship.

  1. Get the Right Tools for your Business

Nobody likes expenses, but there are certain expenses that are vital, not just to the survival of your business, but to its prosperity. Software and other services, especially in an era of cloud computing and a broader shift to digital, are important for virtually every business. The costs may be large, but the value gained more than makes up for it. Don’t cheap out on your own business. Give it the platform to succeed by investing in the tools you know it needs.

Find more details here on how you can create America’s next great business.