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Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” In some ways opening your company can be a similar experience. We step into the sun with an airtight business plan ready to conquer the world. Eventually, we will meet our first challenge and then soon after, there will be another one waiting in the shadows…trust me the experience is continuous.  The Marine Corps had a saying “we never promised you a rose garden”. I have always found comfort in wise sayings and I would love to share a few important tips and quotes that may help you and guide you along your way. My intentions were to provide tips that could be used in any industry and that were clear and concise.

No problem is insurmountable. With a little courage, teamwork, and determination a person can overcome anything

– Anonymous

1. Open communication is one of the keys to better decision making.

 

A clenched fist will always be stronger than a single pointing finger. As the owner and /or leader of your organization you will always make the final decision however an outside perspective can be extremely helpful. The collection of these thoughts will either reinforce or pick apart your possible decision.

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

– Helen Keller

2. Your mistakes are important for teaching moments.

Every meeting and engagement is a lesson, most people were never born perfect and that is why we make mistakes. If you make a mistake learn from it and take steps to improve.

Lessons I learned in starting a business

“The bottom line is, that nothing should affect your bottom-line.”

– Mamur Mustapha

3. Financial wellness is the key to longevity

Understanding your finances is one of the most important aspects of running your business. There will be a time in the future where you can delegate this task but as a start-up, this is one of your primary responsibilities. Your team survives or breaks on your ability to do this task correctly.

“Leaders never stop Learning”

– Unknown

4. Learn as much as possible about every aspect of your business.

As a leader of the organization, we must be abreast with the changes in our industry. Reading and learning new techniques and methods will increase your productivity and benefit you and your company.

“If you are not a brand than you are a commodity”

Robert Kiyosaki

5. It pays to stand out.

 

The difference between you and your competitor in most cases is not much. Branding allows the organization to express how your company is different and why it excels.  Your company identity should be consistently communicated and reinforced with multiple artifacts.

No matter how educated, talented, rich or cool you believe you are. How you treat people ultimately tell all. Integrity is everything

– Anonymous

6. Relationships are very important.

Relationship investments are more important than you will ever know, the way we treat people counts. A great working relationship motivates your team members and has a secondary effect of attracting customers.

Lessons I learned in starting a business

“Sell the problem you solve, not the product or service”

– Dave Schools

7. The way you present your solution is very important.

We as professionals believe this statement is too simple to be mentioned… however, It is common to read statements that are so focused on the company you lose track of how it helps the customer, 

“We are proud to announce that Johnson and Sons investing agency has now been in business for over 25 years. We pride ourselves on great customer service.”  The truth is these type of statements are sloppy and focuses only on the company.

Instead, try “Your investments are in safe hands. After 25 years in business, you know we’re here to stay.” We are to help the customer solve problems and not sell our ego.

 

“Blockbuster Rentals is the leading video rental store and here to stay”

– Said no one ever

8. Always be ready to change and evolve.

The world is constantly changing even as a small business owner, we must be nimble ready and able to adjust to changes in our industry. The dinosaurs are not around for a reason. 

Lessons I learned in starting a business

Keep Going… Difficult roads can lead to beautiful destinations

– Unknown

9. Never loose help.

 

The truth is there will be ups and downs. The statical fact is 80% of business fail within the first 18 months. Challenges will take many forms. My recommendation is to have someone that believes in you. When the times get rough having that person there to keep pushing you forward is irreplaceable. The challenges you face are your down payment for your future life.

 

My experiences have taught me so much, and I am grateful for the lessons. Nothing and I mean nothing can prepare you for the challenges you will face as a startup. Resiliency, positive reinforcement, and surrounding yourself with smart people are great tools for longevity and success.