My business friends and a few clients reached out to congratulate me on the 13th anniversary of my company – Multidots. While I was reflecting on my experiences and learnings as an entrepreneur, they suggested I should write a blog about it so it helps other aspiring and seasonal entrepreneurs. So here I am sharing a few key learnings of my entrepreneurship journey.
- Every business has some level of chaos, confusion, and conflicts — You would think that there is always something wrong in your business, but other businesses (or your competitors’ companies) are in the best shape and form. Well, that’s not true. After listening to several entrepreneurs’ stories, I learned that no entrepreneur is immune from some level of chaos, confusion, and conflicts in their business. As an entrepreneur, you need to accept and embrace that. Our desire to bring harmony to our business starts with a realization that there is (and will be) some chaos and conflicts in the business.
- Strive to be a specialist, not a generalist — Multidots started as a generalist by offering web development services on multiple technologies. It brought additional growth at the cost of a lot of stress and a mediocre brand reputation. Our switch to becoming a specialist in one technology (WordPress) in 2018 brought the right kind of scalable growth and brand reputation, which proved to be an excellent decision.
- All changes are hard in the beginning, messy in the middle, and great at the end — It feels easy and obvious to stay in the comfort zone of the past, especially when it continues to work in the present. Our strategic decision to focus only on WordPress services and wind down the other services was one of those changes which were extremely difficult (financially and emotionally). Still, that change has proven much more profitable and scalable now. I am grateful we dared to do something that made us uncomfortable. The results are worth it.
- Not ready or uncomfortable? — When it comes to taking an important action or implementing a decision, we often choose to act on it later based on the argument that we are not ready yet. I realized four out of ten times I was not comfortable than not ready. Act sooner on things you are prepared for but may make you uncomfortable. Take a moment to ask yourself: do I need more time or information to make this decision, or am I delaying the action because I am scared?
- Less is more — In the past, we tried to do too many things at a time. We focused on too many priorities and implemented too many processes. Ultimately, simplicity and minimalism in tools, processes, priorities, goals, and focus created better results with less stress in our business.
- Long-term goals require patience and persistence — It’s fun and easy to work on things that give instant gratification. But it’s hard, tedious, and our mind quickly gets distracted from working on something that demands continuous and consistent efforts over a long period of time. I credit our success and robust growth to our ability to work on long-term goals with immense patience and persistence.
- Think from the mind and act from the heart — As an entrepreneur or leader, you have to make hard decisions. You should rationally process your decision and judgments, such as shutting down a non-performing product, firing a team member for non-performance, saying goodbye to a non-fit client, etc. But we can be humble, respectful, and show empathy in our action and execution of such decisions.
- Choose people and productivity over profit — Since our inception, Multidots maintained a long streak of solid profitability and growth until our earnings shrunk in 2019. It wasn’t easy, but we stayed committed to finding opportunities to improve our productivity by innovating processes and empowering people. Thankfully, we are profitable again, and I learned the biggest lesson to focus on people and productivity in the hard times!
- Excellent Efforts > Perfect Results — Staying committed to bringing excellence in every effort is the best thing you can do as an entrepreneur and have control over. My decision to focus on excellent efforts over worrying too much about the perfect outcome has been liberating and less stressful. I have seen better results and outcomes by putting my best self into executing an idea than waiting or focusing too much on the results. Perfect results would be a progressive outcome of our best efforts.
- 90-day commitment to new hires — We should not assume that when we hire someone with great skills, extensive experiences, and very positive references for a critical role will perform as well as they performed in their previous organization. We need to remind ourselves that they will still need supervision and support in the initial 90 days. Every company and culture is different. As entrepreneurs, it’s part of our responsibility to invest time and energy to educate new hires and provide continuous and candid feedback.
- Not everyone is equal — Your clients, employees, vendors, and partners are not equal. They all have different strengths and weaknesses, different levels of contribution and expectations, and different motivations and fear. Please don’t put them all in one box; instead, treat them fairly and personally.
- Know your real obstacle — Sometimes, we pay too much time and attention to our clients, competitors, or employees when something goes wrong in the business. One of the biggest obstacles to attaining the desired success is our own blindspots, inefficiencies, inability to learn and grow, and limited imagination as an entrepreneur. The more I brought awareness, attention, and intention to improve my mindset, thinking, skills, efficiencies, courage, productivity, and creativity, the more my company grew and succeeded.
- Don’t stop learning — Reading books, attending business events, and joining personal development training has helped me grow, gain more confidence, get new ideas, and bring in new perspectives. Allocate some time in your schedule for continuing learning to build a better version of yourself and your business.
Let me know your questions in a comment! Also, if you want to share any learnings from your entrepreneurship journey, feel free to share them here in the comment!