I was recently asked to share a few lessons I have learned as a business owner over 23 years. Here are the five I wish I had known when I started!
Time flies…enjoy the journey. Bring your good time with you.
Humility is always the better perspective. Have it or you will learn to have it!
People are always making mistakes. I would suggest that 50% of the time, your people are making mistakes of varying importance. Some are minuscule while others could take you down. Be on the constant lookout. The biggest ones are usually around wasted time, process gaps and not thinking and preparing. Error correction is expensive and tends to occur through an erosion of margin… death by a thousand paper cuts.
Cash is king. If the market tanks and you don’t have cash, you are dead. Your banker is not your friend when it hits the fan.
When you start a business you have little to lose, so risk-taking is easy. As you build the business, you must manage your risk. You must have the discipline to think, analyze and let go of any emotion while taking calculated risks. Emotion is good for leading; emotion in decision-making usually leads to bumpy roads.
All successful businesses start with a crazy entrepreneur who had a vision.
Long live us crazy people!