Starting a business is challenging and risky at the same time but launching it while your spouse is dying is even worse.

Paul David spent over a decade working for a company that recruited top talent for businesses. He had first-hand knowledge on ways to recruit for the corporate world and always wanted to start such a business.

It wasn't until his wife was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that he actually decided to enter the startup world.

David needed a business that gave him the liberty to be with his family and build more close relationships with people. In 2013, he launched Identified Talent Solutions in Irvine, California, which was aimed at connecting top talent with companies and vice versa. The move allowed him to travel less and take care of his wife.

After four months, his business was able to help him pay his wife's medical bills that were starting to pile up. Within three years, his business was thriving: At the end of 2016 and with only four employees, the business closed with $2.1 million.

His business grew and expanded, but his wife succumbed to the cancer. Her death triggered a new passion in him for helping people reach their full potential in life, he says.

David's approach to business was very different from what he had seen. He focused on the people rather than the product or service. He puts it this way: "We forget sometimes that it's not the product or service that makes a company successful; it's the people."

For entrepreneurs and small business owners like him, he advises five ways to help employees reach their full potential:

1. Stay humble

No matter how successful you become stay humble. Don't let success get into your head.

Success and failure are not permanent. "It's always a continuous work in progress," David says.

People play a very big role in your company even more than the products and services. Aim for their satisfaction no matter how successful the company turns out to be.

2. Keep learning

Becoming a better business owner requires continuously gaining knowledge. "There's never enough learning that one can do," David says.

Keep reading books, listen to podcasts, and connect with other entrepreneurs. Knowledge acted upon can change your business in a major way.

3. Make people first

Businesses are built by people and for people. "The greatest companies in the world didn't get there just by products or services," David reminds us. "People were involved and because of that, you have to do your best to take care of them."

Whether you are dealing with customers or clients, it is important to respect them and treat them well.

4. Embrace failure

Failure often comes alongside success. "Look at failure as an opportunity to understand what didn't work and to improve," David adds.

Failure should be an opportunity for you to learn and understand more. In fact, failure helps you identify areas you need to improve on.

5. Have fun

Success isn't just money. David reminds us that although work can be hard, "if you're having fun, then that builds excitement, energy, optimism, and creativity."

Choosing a business that you enjoy is something you should consider. Employees tend to be more productive when they have fun at work.

The bottom line is, always make your business stand out from others. Provide value to the people you serve. Believe in yourself and don't be afraid of failure.

Published on: Mar 22, 2017
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