What did you learn from starting your first company that helped you the second time around? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
I learned that you you should never defer to someone when it comes to your own company just because they have been deemed an "expert". Starting a company out of nothing is extremely difficult and you shouldn't discount the valuable learnings of the long and sometimes harrowing journey of building it. When we got acquired, I thought "Ok, now the experts will come in and really help us get to the next level". I was wrong. No one knows your business as well as you do. You have to trust your gut and have the courage to stand up for what you know is right for the company you brought into existence.
Another lesson I learned was the importance of hiring the right people. This can be tricky when doing a startup and moving at an insane pace. Sometimes you just want to throw a warm body into a role to fill the gap. But we were lucky in who we hired. My top requirement is that they had to be emotionally invested in the success of the business. If we're all pushing a massive boulder up the hill, we needed everyone below putting muscle into it. We couldn't have anyone sitting on the boulder.
When running a company, it's your job to connect the dots. In my experience, when I needed something, I would usually get an answer through a conversation with a friend, reading an article at the right moment, etc. You need to pay attention to the things coming at you and then decide which should be considered more thoughtfully depending on what phase your business is in.
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