We all make mistakes. That being said, I made many mistakes as a new entrepreneur. The important part is that I did not let my initial mistakes discourage me. I used them all as learning experiences that could not have been taught to me from a text book. The mistakes I made helped me to grow, to change and to become a success. These are definitely my top 4.
1. Hiring the wrong staff: In order to have a successful business you need a successful team! TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK! I made the mistake of hiring people based too much on their personality and what I sensed as our ability to get along with one another. Eventually I learned that hiring competent people with amazing assets to contribute to my company was more important that me being able to get along with them. Essentially I need and depend on the person to do a job to help grow the company, not a buddy to play kickball with on weekends! I have enough friends ☺ It sounds heartless I know, but once you become BFFs with your staff some may lose the respect they once had b/c of their new level of comfort. Once that happened to me it became incredibly difficult for me to regain the respect I once had.
2. Having High Expectations: It is possible to find a team member that wants to see your business grow and is willing to go the extra mile. However most of your team members really don’t care about all of the idiosyncrasies of your business and what you have to go through to ensure that you all stay afloat. They really just want their check! I found myself surprised when those that I thought were really devoted to me/my cause were asked to stay late or to do something extra to help and they said no. I had to realize that no one would ever work and sacrifice as much as me for my brand! In addition not everyone has the same work ethic. My, my, my how things changed since I was a young adult trying to stay employed!
3. Getting too comfortable: I had a business that I purchased and pulled out off total financial devastation. I spent day and night changing the image, making adjustments, trying new marketing techniques, etc. and it all worked! In hindsight I should have kept that “financial devastation” mentality the entire time. I should not have gotten comfortable with the increase; I should have constantly pushed for even further increase. In obtaining further increase it can provide a “cushion” in the event there is a change in expenses, someone deserves a raise, maintenance, etc.
4 Failure to Delegate: I decided to enter entrepreneurship in effort to be more available as a mother. I made the mistake of taking on too much instead of delegating responsibilities to those that were paid to do so! I handled everything to the point of detriment! Further, I made myself too accessible to everyone. Instead of calling a manager, my staff called me. Instead of a customer calling the business because of an issue, they emailed or called me. Nowadays I prefer to be like the Wizard of Oz…out of sight and unknown! Because of my old practices I was unable to spend quality time with my children because I was so busy doing things that I did not have to do. In one particular business venture I feel as though I missed at least 12 months of time with my children. I worked too hard outside the home and when I was home I was exhausted! Lesson learned: Work Smarter, not harder!