Talent and hard work is good…
but a sprinkling of experience can avoid so much unnecessary pain.
Running your own business is an incredible privilege and in doing so, you will inevitably experience highs and lows that only a fellow entrepreneur will understand.
From the highs of pulling out all the stops to win a particular piece of business to the lows of receiving the dreaded phone call to say that you lost a deal that you thought you had in the bag.
It is very addictive and it is easy to get carried away amidst the endless opportunities and the high drama. It is therefore important to take stock from time to time to assess how far you’ve travelled and to decide your next moves.
Constant learning – every day is a school day!
I started my first business in 1993 when I was 24 years old, I took that company public in 2001 and in 2012, sold it to KeyedIn Solutions, a US software company in 2012.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can see how I could have done many things differently. The Rhino project is not just about an App, it is about helping others to benefit from what I learned during those years.
Getting good advice is more difficult than you might think.
People will give you genuine advice not to pursue something because they tried it and failed. It is worth carefully considering why it may not have worked out for them to see if you can mitigate the risks that they encountered.
Others will advise you out of genuine concern for you and your loved ones should things not work out.
Be wary of those that have pursued a conventional careers who often see advising others as a means of reliving the life they wished they had lived. They can often come across as being super confident but I have found in many cases that their advice can be naive as they may not have experienced the consequences when things go wrong.
It is highly likely that you will need to seek professional or specialist advice from Accountants and Lawyers to provide insights that you are not qualified to give. Like all professions, you will encounter the good, the bad and the ugly but it is worth investing time to establish good partnerships to provide these services.
As a business owner, you will be swimming in the great ocean of commerce and you will encounter sharks and snake oil sales people who will queue up to take your hard earned dollars.
Having said all that, good advice is like gold dust and every now and again, you will come across people who has been there and done it. Like people returning from a war, they can be reserved and never brag about their past achievements. I have also found that these people rarely want anything from you but do it out of respect for a fellow adventurer.
The best advice I received was from my Dad… “listen to everyone, understand where they are coming from, but the most important thing is that you make up your own mind because ultimately you will end up wearing it and having to settle the tab when the party is over.”