When looking at ways to improve and grow your business, it’s important not to get caught up in the success of others, similar companies. Many successful businesses do not get to where they are through constant expansion and profitability. It’s hard to create a clear picture in your mind of what you want from your business, when you are constantly looking up at the accomplishments of others.
My philosophy for my life has been – ‘Your main competition is yourself’. If you can constantly better yourself and keep pushing the boundaries, then you’re on the right track. However to do this you need self-knowledge and that comes with continuous self-reflection.
During their first year or two, most businesses make a loss, some because it is what they need to do to grow their customer base and others due to their own mistakes. But the key to success and being able to motivate your start-up team is in finding and dealing with a serious problem. This is key in a company’s infancy and is far better than building up what looks to be a successful business plan, only to have it fail at a crucial stage.
The constant question I get asked is ‘How will Doctoori make money?’. Often people think they’re doing me a favour by asking. The question I have asked myself is – ‘ How do we make things better?’ How can I transform the health of others through the power of information?’. The key to whatever question you ask yourself is defining what problem you want to solve, and then embracing it as your mission, obsession and ambition.
Of course, you should never go out of your way to make poor decisions just to learn something from it – that would simply be self-sabotage. However, it’s important to know that it is okay to make mistakes. The key is to discuss them, understand them and don’t be afraid to admit that more learning needs to take place. Especially as a Founder of a start-up you are the accountant, lawyer, marketer, salesman and …. tea-maker. So you need to be prepared to learn as an individual and as an organisation.
It might sound like a cliché but mistakes really do help you to grow.
Whether it is to not focus solely on business profitability or to spend more time investing in your workforce, it doesn’t matter. No matter what situation you are in or what type of business you run, mistakes will help you to deal with difficult decisions the next time around – and there will almost always be a next time.
When coming to terms with a business mistake, it’s crucial to put what you have learned into practice. It is all well and good acknowledging you have made a mistake but not acting on those mistakes will simply cause more damage in the long term and could completely destroy your company’s future.