4 THINGS I WISH I DID WHEN I STARTED MY BUSINESS.
We can’t change the past for ourselves, but we can influence the past for others. I can’t say that I wish someone would have told me what I’m getting ready to share with you since I’m sure that several people tried, but my ego likely got in the way. It still does occasionally.
You hear it all the time “if I knew then, what I know now” or “if I had to do it all over again”. Well I want to share a few things that I wish I would have done; knowing what I know now.
If you're starting a business, there are four key things I would say are very important to have or do as early in as you can. I was looking starting a web design agency, but not matter what type of business you are starting these five things will help you on your way. Three out of five of them are really about finding and building business relationships.
The First: Found a Mentor
I wish I would have found a mentor when I was thinking of starting my business. One of the biggest impacts on my business today is having a mentor who is further along in my industry. He has public success that I know I can trust, aside from the fact that he’s a great guy. We sit down at least once a year to talk about my business and he answers any questions I can come up with. The books that he’s recommended have been instrumental in the growth of our success as a whole. If you do find a mentor be very considerate of their time and appreciative of everything that they do for you. It’s good to have someone who can show you what your business should look like before you hire the first, second, or twentieth employee.
The Second: Hired a Coach ASAP
I wish I would have hired a coach as soon as I could. Our coach helps us in our business year round. He provides an outside perspective to daily challenges. Our coach has helped us work through growth strategies. Your coach should be someone who has been successful at helping multiple business owners grow their business. Our coach helps us increase our revenue while also buying our time back. I heard an analogy once that stuck with me… It’s hard to read the label from inside the jar. It’s often easy for business owners to look at another business and solve their challenges. It’s not so easy to fix our own issues, because it’s difficult to identify them.
The Third: Had Less Ego
I wish I knew when I started our business that I didn’t have to know it all. This probably should have been number one. Too often, my ego got in the way of asking for help or listening to the help that was offered. The best thing you can do is surround yourself with people who know more and read an ocean full of books. Even as an expert, you don’t know everything and it’s tough to take a vacation when you are the guy or gal with all the answers. Dropping ego has also helped in building better partnerships and working with clients.
The Fourth: Saved More
The fourth thing I wish I did differently is saved more money before I left my job. Before taking the dive into business ownership, create some financial security. If you heard you need to save 4 months of income, save 8. If it was save 6 months; save 12. My point is the more you save the more flexibility and security you will have in the beginning. This is a mistake too many new business owners make myself included. I was just fortunate enough not to have a ton of expenses.
I hope that these four things will help you start off better than I did. I’m sure that there are a ton of other things I could share, but these are the four things that I think have made the biggest impact over the last few years. If I had a fifth thing; it would be to have read more.