Building your dream company takes a lot of planning and adjustments. Whatever the idea is, you’ll need the right people to put your vision into action. Before making any hasty decisions, consider the mistakes you should avoid in order to succeed as a first-time entrepreneur.
- Don’t alienate others
Work involves others, not just yourself. Part of your job, besides meeting deadlines, is helping your team feel appreciated. Remember that girl in high school who always had a new dress and told everybody how many people attended her ballet recital? It’s okay to share, but don’t brag -- keep other people’s feelings in mind. Co-workers will have a hard time relating to you if you always put yourself on a pedestal. View your accomplishments as moving the whole team forward.
- Don’t be a hero and try to save the day - results are far more important
The frustration and drive you feel towards getting your job done is motivating, but there’s only so much you can accomplish in a given day. Develop a work schedule in which you tackle your priorities and reach your goals for the week. As with many startups, some weeks will be slow while others will have you working 24 hours a day. Don’t burn yourself out by running to the rescue for every little mishap, or working non-stop. Instead of getting frustrated at how some tasks are not being done, focus on results and how to reach them efficiently. Your employees will thank you!
- Don’t be defensive - being quick to cover your butt when things don’t go your way will hinder rather than help
Your business partner criticizes the way you handled a client; a colleague rips apart an article you worked on day and night. You might get angry at these criticisms, defending them in your head at what you think are mean-spirited and unfair remarks. Before you get defensive, ask for specific details about what you did so you can gleam where you need to direct your energies instead of getting emotional. Once you’ve dealt with your feelings, turn a negative into a positive and develop a plan to resolve the matter. Admit to any mistake and learn from it. Use constructive criticism to improve your work style.
It’s easy to get into a routine, but alienating others or being a work hero could sabotage your chances of success. Knowing exactly how to run a business and the best way to manage a team is an ongoing process, so give yourself time to figure it out. Nothing worthwhile happens overnight, but learning how to lead with integrity will help make you the CEO everyone wants to work for!