CEO Thoughts: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Business

Starting a business is tough. You’ll inevitably run into things unexpected. Some will be great. Others will be terrible. After building four startups, I’ve learned a lot about launching a business.

This year, I had the opportunity to speak with HuffPost about the challenges and excitements of entrepreneurship. They asked, “What are 5 things you wish someone had told you before launching your startup?”

I answered with the following pieces of advice. I hope they help you navigate the challenges of starting — and growing — your own business.

1. Don’t spend too much money on marketing.

Many new businesses spend too much money attracting new customers. But with any pricey tactics, you need to be careful. Once you’re sure these customers will generate, then — and only then — should you increase your customer acquisition cost.

2. Don’t lose sight of the small picture.

Everyone loves to talk about staying focused on the big picture, but in a small business, short-term results matter most. Stick to short-term metrics that lead to long-term success. Focus on daily sales or weekly revenue. Set targets that ensure you can stay in business.

3. Don’t pivot your strategy too often.

Changing focus too much can kill your business. Improving your product or service is great, but few startups have the resources — much less the team — required to frequently drop one idea and successfully focus on another. Think hard before pivoting.

4. Get out of your own head.

When you’re trying to run a business, undefined challenges are constant. You will always be afraid of not having control over the ultimate success or failure of the business. This is not the type of fear you overcome. Learn to cope with it and use it as a motivator.

5. Hire passionate Swiss Army Knives.

Many entrepreneurs look for experience and credentials. I do too. But I really focus on attitude and cultural fit. You can overcome a lack of skill, but you will never overcome a poor attitude or a poor fit.

To learn more, read the full article: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Launched My Start-Up.

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