5 Simple Lessons to Keep in Mind on Your Entrepreneurial Journey

March 23, 2017

8:30 pm

You learn a lot of lessons in the entrepreneurial trenches. Whether it’s a stunning success or a miserable failure, these lessons can help you grow your company — and grow as an individual.

Anyone who has ever started a company understands the extreme ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, and the intense pride you feel from your team’s achievements. You also learn many lessons along the way. These lessons learned will help you find something to help you with your own entrepreneurial journey:

Cultivate Customer Love

Without customers, you don’t have a business. If you’re not cultivating customer love, you’re more susceptible to losing to your competition. The benefits of earning your customers’ love extends beyond loyalty. If they love you, they’ll invest time in providing real feedback that will help you create and prioritize your product road map. Strong customer relationships are invaluable to startups that are always trying to make their product better.

Don’t forget to show your customers that you love them, too. Acts of love don’t have to be elaborate or expensive — anything that puts a smile on your customer’s face counts.

Build a Great Culture

Building a startup is hard, and there will be difficult days that test both you and your team. The stronger your culture is, the more resilient you will be to these challenges. One of the single most important things for any startup is to be purposeful in building culture.

Ultimately, there are numerous factors that will determine a company’s success, but of those that you as a founder control, establishing and maintaining the right culture may very well be the most important.

Stay Focused

At some level, the need for individualism is inherent for startups. If what you’re trying to build was obvious, someone would have done it already, which is why founders face headwinds early on. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, you have to know you’re building something that will help companies. Don’t pay attention to the naysayers.

In other words, stay focused on what makes your company unique while balancing pragmatism with bullheadedness.

Improve a Little Each Day

It’s important to remain conscious of the fact that little daily improvements can account for quite a difference in the long run. The ability to learn from your mistakes is necessary for life, but is do-or-die for startups. Use what you learn to figure out how you can take small steps toward improvement each day.

Sweat the (Right) Small Stuff

Everything you’re doing is setting a precedent for the future. Identify what’s most important, and take the time to get it right when you’re a small, more agile company so that it doesn’t come back to haunt you when you’ve grown.

Try to anticipate how something will affect your team in the future to determine if it’s the right thing to “sweat” over. No matter which industry your company is in, applying the lessons above can have a positive impact on you and your organization.

Read more about entrepreneurial lessons here on Tech.Co

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Michael is the CTO at Apptentive. He loves sailing, skiing, Seattle, and he's a father to identical twins

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