3 Important Lessons I’ve Learned From Starting Up

Start-Up

Back in 2012 I took a leap of faith and began my Merchant Services Company, I founded Dependable Solutions, the company I still run today. It’s been a long road to get to where I am today, but I’ve loved every minute of this journey.

I am not saying I have all the answers or even that I am a great business owner, but here are a few practical things I have learned along the way.

1. Set Goals To Keep You Pushing Forward

It is very easy to have the drive to grow you business when you first start up. You want to expand and grow. It's all you think about all day and even into your evening. You plan and strategize for this. 

But what happens when it doesn't go as you dream? Or what happens when you begin to burn out? You should have a 10 yr plan, 5 yr plan, 1 yr plan, and a monthly goal to help you accomplish your long term 10 yr goal. And if you meet your yearly goal early, restructure your goal for the year and see if you can meet it.

This has helped me stay grounded and focused on pushing forward no matter how I feel at the moment. This has also helped me to grow my small business to a 6 figure business in under 24 months. This is very important for all business owners to implement.

2. You Can Always Make More Money, But You Can Never Make More Time. Use Your Time Wisely.

I’m more likely to be upset by a 30-minute delay in a meeting than a 10 percent reduction to an invoice! I always tell my team we can make more money, but we can never make more time. Repeat this to yourself all day long. Focus on ways to be more efficient, delegate projects to someone who can do it quicker and better, and do not waste time. And please, please, please don’t waste time in meetings that don’t yield results.

I’m a big fan of Action Method and their process for making ideas happen. Always make sure meetings include action steps so it’s easier to pass along info to the right person to yield the right results. Make sure that everyone understands next steps and owns their next step. This saves time that can ultimately be put to use doing something else. Miscommunication and lack of clarity are big time suckers, and getting a handle on these issues will save you time and increase your bottom line.

3. If You Fail To Plan, You Plan To Fail.

This is picking up off of Setting goals. It's one thing to Dream and set goals for your start up, but if you fail to plan how your going to accomplish your goals, you plan to fail on meeting those goals.

This doesn’t mean that you need to script every detail of your life, but you need to have a roadmap.  You need to have a vision. Where do you see yourself? Do you think on this vision? Can you see what it takes to get to that vision? Too often we get caught up in the minute details of things, and we lose focus on the big picture.

You have to give yourself time to do a daily check-in. For me, this happens first thing in the morning. I spend 15 to 30 minutes in a quiet mental space, after my devotion time with God. This helps me go into my day fully focused. I also spend at least 15 minutes “free writing,” hoping to open up my creative space. I always get new ideas or think of solutions to existing problems. As entrepreneurs, if we can’t get ourselves into a place where we can innovate or problem solve, this is a problem. So always make sure you have a notebook (or smartphone) with you to take quick notes when an idea or solution comes to you. And focus on your vision.