How a radio interview can remind you of a few things you need to remember
When asked the questions about my business and marketing in general, I found it really easy to communicate the good, the bad and the ugly experiences I have had over time.
Starting a business at 25 is quite naive really, unless of course it is a technology company or perhaps a restaurant. When you think about the industry of marketing consultancy, people pay for experience. They want to know that the person who is managing their marketing needs actually has experience in marketing and hopefully has a few successes and failures under their belt. The latter being the most important because that's where you learn your real lessons.
I made so many mistakes particularly in my first 5 years of owning a business. I had learnt from "old school" leaders who were more like dictators and less receptive to a caring and nurturing work environment. Back then, you either sunk or swam and if you swam, you were given more and more responsibility.
So, when I first started my business, I didn't invest heavily in my team. In fact, I was terrible. If I was totally honest with myself (like I was on radio yesterday), I was of the mind-set that if you paid someone a salary, then they just need to get on with it and do their job. No complaining.
In fairness, I had no-one that really guided me and for quite some years, I found myself happily working from a different office to my staff in Queensland and small team in Sydney. I enjoyed not having people ask me questions. It was total bliss. Besides that, I could go out for long lunches without feeling guilty - something I loved to do on Friday's. Very old school huh!!!
Then one day, I had a moment where it all became clear. That is not how you get a high performance team. By investing in your team and understanding what they want to achieve out of life as well as work, you will attract the right people and keep them.
As a business owner it is also important to understand your shortfalls. I have many - I can't lie. Some of my shortfalls are that I am always thinking ahead but when you have an entrepreneurial spirit like that, you need to make sure your number 2 is the complete opposite.
Others shortfalls include:
- I am a perfectionist and that's hard for everyone around me, but great for clients
- I do too many things at once and am working really hard to do one thing right before moving on to the next
- I have to go away and think about things before making really hard decisions because my first thoughts are not always the right ones
- I don't have enough time in the day to do everything I would like to do
- I care too much about people - and this is possible.
It was great to walk back down that road yesterday and talk about how much I have learned from my mistakes.I am quite proud of my journey and know that because I wasn't afraid to take it, I have become a much better version of myself and I have a fairly good story to tell.
The other question that was asked was about what small businesses should do with their online strategy. It is really important that small businesses focus on "Content Driving Connections" because this is the only way to steer your online strategy and reap the branding and financial rewards. If every small business owner placed those words on their screen savers, and remembered it every single time they went online, you would find that the success of their online strategies would be not only more sustainable but a better return on investment.