Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a successful CEO? Or how to make changes once you've realized your business idea isn't working? The best CEOs are problem-solvers, nimble and team-players.

However, there's more to it than that. Jennifer Hyman, co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway has six guidelines she has learned that will help you chart your company's course.

Here they are:

1. Hire people you like.

When staffing your company, hire people that you actually like. Hyman says that in the early stages of Rent the Runway, she hired people she genuinely enjoyed being around. Those individuals then, in turn, hired people whom they liked. This fostered a supportive and trusting family-like culture within the company.

As the company grew, however, Hyman started to hire people who were smart and hardworking but weren't necessarily people she enjoyed being around. She noticed over time that her happiness began to suffer and that the culture of the company had shifted. Eventually, Hyman had to refocus on her original mantra of hiring employees she liked.

Even as your company grows, you deserve to have chemistry with the people who work for you. It's not a selfish desire. Your company and its employees will be better for it.

2. Iteration is unavoidable and is the expectation.

Hyman says, "None of your businesses today are going to be what is successful. None. You will be iterating dozens and dozens of times." Don't expect to get to your goal in a straight line. Have the expectation that whatever your business idea is, it's likely going to fail. It's what you do from there that is most important.

You may need to pivot to a completely different idea altogether. Or you may pivot certain aspects of your current business.

3. Be aware of the difference between iteration and versioning.

Hyman says "An iteration inherently implies that the thing you are iterating doesn't work and you're iterating it towards success." Versioning, according to Hyman, is a very different concept. Versioning is taking an aspect of something that is already successful and trying to address a new segment of the population. Each different version is much more likely to be successful.

4. Have a passion for your ideas.

Hyman credits the passion she feels for her product as the key to keeping her going even when others didn't believe in it. Getting to that vision is crucial for every founder and CEO. Having an end goal that you truly believe in will help you to convince anyone of your idea's value.

5. Inspiration comes from unexpected places.

Hyman explains, "Iteration doesn't take money. It takes people thinking about the problem, throwing up the problem against the wall, coming up with a million different solutions, 99% of which aren't going to work and continuing to hear the solutions from the most unlikely of sources."

Take the chance to talk to anyone you can about what you are trying to solve.

6. One day at a time.

Hyman suggests that it can be really overwhelming to think about everything you need to do in the next year, or even in the next month. Don't think about timing, just focus on getting through today.

This article originally appeared on the Project Entrepreneur website and has been condensed for clarity.

Published on: Sep 20, 2017
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