10 lessons learned: Don’t let your business run you



Know your strengths and weaknesses then build your team accordingly
If you want to do something great you’re going to need help, but we entrepreneurs tend to be control freaks. Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses and hire great people to cover them. This will save you a world of headaches.

Hire great people and then give them the freedom to do what they do best
We want to have the best person for each role, period. That’s why we have staff spread out around the world. Does managing remote workers take effort? Yes, but the payoff is worth it.

8 times out of 10 a conversation is better than a meeting
Meetings can be a dangerous thing. They spend a lot of time but they make you feel like “things are happening”. Don’t fall into the trap, try a conversation first. Often you will get the same result or better in 10 minutes.

Vision comes from the top but culture is democratic
A team needs a shared vision. This comes from you and will guide all of the work that your team does. Culture is a product of your whole team and the work environment you create. It’s best to guide culture rather than dictate or you risk it feeling contrived.

Communication can ALWAYS be improved
Some say that the devil is in the details, it turns out that the devil is in the lack of details as well. Make sure that your expectations are clear and understood. Always work on ways to improve your communication with your team.

Share your passions
There’s no better way to get to know people than by sharing your passions. If you want to make your “team” a “family” share your passions.

Stay as small as you can get away with
Size creates the need for hierarchy and hierarchy inevitably slows you down. Try to stay as small and flat as you can get away with for your specific goals.

Take a holistic approach to your team
A healthy team will function at a high level AND be able to sustain it. Promote and encourage a healthy work/life balance including: mental and physical health, vacations, down time, etc.

Promote debate
Spirited debate is the sign of a healthy culture. It means that people are passionate and engaged. It also means that they are comfortable voicing their opinions.

Have fun
I know it is a cliche but I’m going to end with it anyway: Have fun. Have fun even when everything is going wrong, even when you are up against a tight deadline. That attitude is infectious and will keep your team engaged and fighting for you.

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