One of the things I have learned on my journey is to always have a bigger vision than what you think you ought to have. When I first got started I had a lot of reasons why I could not be more successful. I thought I could not be successful because I did not go to college to study marketing. Because I did not live in the US. Because I was a stay at home mom. Because I did not have any connections. In the beginning I really put in a lot of hours working and did not see a lot of financial results right away. I did see results in that I was able to get my site ranked #1 for a very competitive keyword, but the business never really took off to the point to enable me to take a salary and for that I never considered myself to be successful. I would look around at the others who I thought were more successful than I was but now looking back in reality most of them were in the same boat I was. They could get a site ranked high in Google but could not yet make it profitable because running an efficient and profitable business takes a lot more than a #1 ranking in Google. It was finally during a coaching session with a mentor that they asked me what my long term goals were. He then asked me why those were my long term goals and why I did not just take action on them right then. He had a point. I did and put them into action and since then the business has taken off. It was a mind shift of allowing myself to embrace the bigger vision now instead of some time in the future that was a pivotal moment in the life of the company.
2. You will make mistakes. Some mistakes are easier to recover from than others.
The more you grow the more mistakes you will make. When you make a mistake, just realize it is part of doing business and go on. If you focus too much on your past mistakes you will begin to doubt yourself and your decisions. As long as you are making more good decisions than bad one’s you just keep going. As an entrepreneur you have to make hundreds of decisions on a daily basis. You have to decide what vendor to choose, what strategy to implement, how to spend your marketing dollars. If you make a $100 mistake, so what. You already made 99 good decisions. As you grow your mistakes will be bigger mistakes. I probably made a fifty thousand dollar mistake last year. That’s okay. I can pick up and keep going. As your staff grows with you you have to realize that they too are going to make mistakes. Now your staff are not allowed to make fifty thousand dollar mistakes! But they will make hundred dollar mistakes. But if they forget to give you a message to call a huge client back and you end up losing the client, then those mistakes require further action.
3. You can always make more money but you can never make more time.
Right after I started getting a little bit of income, the very first thing I did was to hire a webmaster. I realized that if I could hire someone to do something for $10 an hour, and I chose to do that activity, then I was making $10 an hour. If you were to ask me today who the first person is that you should hire, I would recommend an executive assistant with the goal of training that person into the role of an Online Business Manager. Finding the right person is the most difficult part, but once you do, it is well worth it. I tried to hire an executive assistant many times by advertising, interviewing, and hiring but it did not quite work out. I did not have access to large enough pool of applicants so I ended up hiring a recruiting agency to find, interview, and hire the right person for me. Six months later my executive assistant was doing a lot of the activities that I had spent the last 5 years doing myself as I did not have anyone I could delegate those types of high level activities to.
4. There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors, but trust yourself enough to make the hard decisions. I heard once that your income is the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most. If you think about it, though not true all the time, I would say that it is true a large percentage of the time. This does not mean that you should go out there and try to be friends with people outside of your income bracket just so that they can help you. What it does mean, is that someone that is making a billion dollars a year thinks differently than someone that makes 6 figures. By networking and truly befriending those that are just a little more successful than you are, you will soon learn how they think. How they make business decisions. You will discover how they grew their companies and then be able to apply those lessons to your own company. You will build a network of individuals you can go to for advice.
5. Always be learning. Your company cannot grow if you don’t. One of the most important things that you can do as a business owner is to invest in your own education. As the business grows this is one of the first activities to get put off. Whether you attend a live networking event, join a membership site, or hire a consultant for 1:1 training, investing in your continual education is the one thing that is going to help your company to always have the edge.
What about you? What have you discovered along the way? What tips would you give to a new business owner? Leave a comment below and let us know!