We asked members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO)to look back and share one piece of advice they would have given their past entrepreneurial selves.
Know Your Personality
"Learn everything you can about yourself. I really wanted to know why I made the choices that I did, so I completed a range of personality profiles. This way, I could better identify my personal constraints, strengths, and communication style."
Damien James, EO Australia--Victoria
Founder and CEO, Aged Foot Care
Mind the Numbers
"I used to put finance and everything surrounding it at the bottom of my priorities. Now, I follow best practices for accounting and produce quarterly audited reports. I close the books monthly and watch the cash flow like a hawk. Keeping a better grasp on numbers from the start would have certainly made us more professional, increased our credibility with our stakeholders, and avoided some of the painful global expansion decisions we made."
Saahil Mehta, EO U.A.E.
Managing Director, ResNet World
Find the Right Partner
"I would have aligned myself with a more experienced partner, from whom I could leverage real work experience and network. When I started in business, I had no experience, no network, and limited resources. Had I partnered with someone to teach me the ropes and provide me with even some of these resources, my entrepreneurial journey would have been much less of a struggle."
Josh Frey, EO DC
Founder, On Sale Promos
"I spent a lot of time earlier in my career trying to be who I thought others wanted me to be or how I thought I should act or dress. Over time, I came to realize that the more I embraced my own strengths, weaknesses, and core values, the better I do. This has also attracted the right people around me, who respect and appreciate my authenticity and share my values."
Robert Glazer, EO Boston
Founder and Managing Director, Acceleration Partners
Build Systems Into Your Company
"Standard operating procedures are critical as you grow, but even basic systems to keep you and your clients organized will go a long way. We use a lot of cloud services and project management tools and have instructions written up for everyone. These systems need to be followed closely but they reduce mistakes and ensure everything is done properly with greater ease."
Curtis Priest, EO Toronto
Partner and CEO, Pixelcarve
Align the Team
"It is crucial to make sure everyone--you, your business partners and your team--are aligned on the company mission, vision, and values. Check in regularly--at least every quarter--to make sure everyone is on the same page. When things have gone most wrong, it's been when we have not agreed on the vision, aims, and direction we want to take the business."
Julia Langkraehr, EO UK--London
Strategic Coach, Julia Langkraehr
Learn From Mistakes
"Instead of wallowing in mistakes, learn from them and move on. There's a lot of insight to be gleaned from a situation in which things go poorly and it can be valuable. Incessantly retracing steps or going over an unfixable situation is useless. Instead, focus on the future and how to have positive interactions and experiences."
Keith Roberts, EO Colorado
Founder and President, Zenman