- I chose people because I liked them, not because they had the ability to get the business off the ground
- I hadn't found the type of leader I wanted to be at that stage, so instead of showing leadership, I was just 'one of the guys'
- I wasn't aggressive enough about going to market and only 100% would do. Later I learned that 80% is more than ok
- I didn't work hard enough at this business and stretched myself too far across multiple investments
- My product wasn't quite right but the business plan was.
- As a marketing services firm, I was still just providing marketing services - so was everyone else
- Graphic design and web development were an add-on - when people just want to be charged one fee
- I sat on my hands too much, not making decisions fast enough
- I didn't invest in people to the degree people need to be invested in
- The people I employed loved the good life as much as me - no-one was rolling up their sleeves
- There were not enough systems, process and technology to scale
But despite all of this, Marketing Eye became successful and today is on track to achieving our second business plan, an extension of the first.
We are market leaders, innovators and the company everyone in SMB marketing wants to follow. In many ways, I had to make all of those mistakes to get to where we are today.
I have said this before and I am sure I will say it again: today we have a team of people, all capable of taking the company forward. They are incredibly talented, work hard yet save time for work, life balance and believe in what we do and the leadership model that we have chosen to run with.
We use a flat organizational structure. It works incredibly well in our business. Our only obstacle with this is when we open a new office. Getting people on-boarded to accept this business model can be difficult as it isn't for everyone.
Right now, I am in the office on a Sunday. Yesterday I was reminded that my 'end goal' will never be completed. Apparently I have been saying the same thing for 10 years now. It's great when people hold you to account. They make you re-think what you are doing and saying. This message refers to the fact that I keep saying that if I finished the business plan, I will feel as though my job is done. But there is always something else to finish in that business plan that hasn't been completed as yet.
A few more books, Marketing Eye school, more international offices (we are already in Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, Denver), a pod. I am getting better and ticking off some key things but there is still a bit to go. The conversation made me think... do I need to leave something on the table for someone else? Or, should I finish everything off like I promised I would?
As an entrepreneur, is it actually possible to finish everything, when new ideas just keep coming up?
This is a constant struggle for me, and I think many others. What do you think?