Three of My Biggest Mistakes in Business

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Like most of you reading this post, I started my business from an idea. I had been laid off from a position that I loved being at for over ten years. The job loss couldn’t have come at a worse time. I was 7 1/2 months pregnant with our third child.

Unlike many of you, being a business owner wasn’t anything that I had ever dreamed before I lost my job. But, it was obviously in the cards. As fate would have it, I ended up working from home for a bit helping colleagues (who were already running their own side business) complete small projects.

After having my daughter, I knew that I wanted to stay at home with her. The question for me was how?

As an entrepreneur, there is so much to learn. It’s a different world when you go from being employed by others to being your own boss. We’re good with our technical know-how that we offer clients, but there’s usually a gap when it comes to actually growing a profitable business.

That was me at the start-up phase.

So the first thing that I did was look for help. My search led to a few different resources including services offered through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE. They were able to answer general questions, but when it came to specifics, they suggested that I enroll in a course to learn how to start a business.

Before connecting with the SBA, getting additional training wasn’t on my radar. In fact, I had no idea that programs to help people develop a business were available. As odd as it sounds now, entrepreneurship was more of an exception than the rule a few decades ago. Nowadays, entrepreneurship has become the norm.

Back to the drawing board.

So I found a program that was meeting this need in my community. I went to the open house and heard testimonials from graduates who were running successful companies after finishing up the program. That’s when I made my choice to sign up, complete the 11 weeks and the rest, as they say, is history.

I was fortunate in launching my business, but there were hiccups along the way. If I could go back and do it all again here’s three things that I would do differently:

1. Collaborate. Start with the idea of collaboration. Working in conjunction with others is one of the fastest paths to growth. My biggest aha came through the power of meetups and business networking. Of course, you need to be sure that there is synergy as you build your network because the energy that comes from being with like-minded people is second to none.
2. Delegate. Hire others to do the stuff that doesn’t make you money. I spent far too much time handling the little things that I couldn’t keep my eyes on the main ones – which is, solving problems for clients. Use time wisely because how you invest it adds up.
3. Educate. Keep learning. Stay up to date with what’s going on in your industry. Lookout for innovative ideas and strategies and don’t just gather information. Use it.

Everyone has a path that leads to success that includes wins and, sometimes, failures. But there is a saying that goes, you only fail if you didn’t learn the lesson. What’s a lesson you’ve learned along the way? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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