I am super excited to kick off a three-part series about What Not To Do As An Entrepreneur! First, I promise that this series will not be negative, and you won’t close your computer crying with crushed dreams. But, I do want to get real and share some tips that I wish I was told when I started my entrepreneurial journey.
As entrepreneurs, we are often told what we should do. Go to this event, hire that consultant, start this investment. But, what about the habits, partnerships, and decisions that we should avoid? A great quote to reflect on states: “success is what you don’t do.” Well, what the heck does that mean? Think about a weight loss journey. What you shouldn’t do is go to Happy Hour three nights a week, nor should you eat processed foods. When you stop these negative actions, the positive actions can actually be effective! But without—it’s unlikely you’d achieve your goal. Hence, success is often what you say no to.
As an entrepreneur who manages five brands, I have made my fair share of mistakes (keep reading and you will see what I’m talking about). To be honest, you will still make mistakes after reading this series—every entrepreneur does—but I hope that I will help you avoid the big ones and learn from the little ones.
Do not co-own; there can only be one CEO.
There’s a reason companies have one CEO. Have you ever partnered with someone? How did that go? Typically, partnerships will not work because there is not clarity around their roles. Have you ever taken a DiSC personality assessment? Well, I will share that I’m a D—if you know me, this is no surprise. D’s are dominant, driven, and task-oriented. Primarily, I just want to get it done. For me, another owner will not work, period. Someone (me!) has to be in charge. I believe that the 80/20 rule applies here: 80% of the time co-owning will not work.
Do not get desperate and make impulsive decisions.
I once heard a great quote that states: “If you want a lot, make it easy; if you want the best, make it hard.” I have impulsively hired and really regretted it, so take your time!
Another great piece of advice I was given was, “Be slow to hire and quick to fire.” If someone isn’t getting it done within their current role, you may try to reposition them. If that still doesn’t work, you have to let that person go. Deep down, you will know if that person is not working for your team. Channel your inner Olivia Pope and trust your gut.
Think about these impulsive decisions that you may be guilty of: have you ever joined something that you really can’t afford, then totally regretted it? Maybe you purchased an expensive app that you have only used twice, or bought a business membership that really wasn’t worth it? Now, you are stuck with a service that you can’t afford. You get the point. Do not get desperate.
Do not hire the cheapest; do not hire based on price period.
This is a really challenging lesson for me and one that is hard to admit. So, I am going to be candid and share a tough experience. When I first hired a software developer for Meet Your Stylist, I thought that he could build the right software for the right price. However, I quickly learned that he didn’t actually like to work. Rant Warning: the project took a year longer than it was supposed to, he was terrible at communicating, he would disappear for days, countless technical glitches…trust me, I could keep going.
At that point, I had one customer and the software was continuously failing. Although my one customer was very gracious and understanding, I was completely embarrassed. I was freaking out and totally scrambling for a solution.
When I consulted with a reputable software company, they explained that the developer’s software was a nightmare—there was code on top of code on top of code. Basically, I would need to start over if I wanted the software to work. That hiring mistake cost me $30,000. I took that mistake up the you-know-what. Long story short, if you think a project will cost you $40,000, budget $80,000—you will either pay in dollars or tears.
Do not do all the work yourself.
If you try to do it all, the work will be mediocre. ActionCOACH founder Brad Sugars explained this best when he said: “Saving a wage is costing you a fortune.” Eventually, you need to find strengths in others and build your tribe. As an entrepreneur, what do you do that you aren’t that great at, or drains your energy? Hire those tasks out. Do you struggle with product photography? Hire an intern! Do you hate writing your blog? Hire a blogger! Don’t try to be great at everything. Be great at being an entrepreneur, and fill in the rest by building an awesome tribe!
Which of these tips comes as a surprise to you? Share your thoughts below! Then, check back for Part 2: Money, Money, Money where I dish on some important financial decisions to avoid!