They call them the terrible twos, does that apply to start-ups? Hope not… Last year we threw an awesome shindig in New York to celebrate our first year as well as the launch of our first web-based application. This year we totally meant to do something, but we were just too busy! Our new app is 30 days from launch and I couldn’t be more excited!!!
I have learned many lessons in the 2 years we have been in business. I would like to share some of them with you in this post.
1. Don’t expect a pat on the back for a job well done. Take the check, let your client take the credit. You have to learn to find other ways to make yourself feel good.
(Lesson 1.5 – Check that your eye liner didn’t run before being interviewed on camera. That’s yours truly towards the end…)
2. Set accurate expectations on your own time. This goes double for your clients. This sounds pretty obvious, but it is much easier said than done.
3. Have a workable plan. If you don’t have a plan, you won’t know what success or failure really look like. A wise man once told me that what you measure improves. Agreed, 1000%. One of the hardest things I have done as a business owner is to sit down and write a business plan. It’s like trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. You think you may choose the wrong thing or your feelings might change. Trust me, you’ll get there. Put that stake in the ground! Better to fail than to coast forever in the land of mediocrity.
4. Always think about how to refine your processes. Constantly think of ways to innovate and automate. Scalability is the name of the game in Silicon Valley and beyond. Scalability is another fancy concept that is easier said than done. But hey, look at what crowdsourcing can do! From Mechanical Turk to Zaarly – you can have it all.
In my humble opinion I think we get better the longer we are in business. We continue to improve and learn from our mistakes, that’s the best you can do!