At this point in your journey of working towards your $100 million dollar company, you’ve established a business for yourself and are finally starting to see the fruits of your labour.
So, I congratulate you on your achievements. But I also have to give you a few words of warning. I know better than anyone that at this stage, all you want to do is relax a little, but now isn’t the time.
It may not be what you want to hear, but I’m speaking from experience. After my first few years of success, I let things get out of hand – but more on that later. While I’ve become a successful entrepreneur with over 30 different companies, I’ll be the first to admit I've made some mistakes along the way. When I was in my early 20s and had made a lot of money, I got into a bit of trouble that I’d like to save you from if I can.
With that said, here are 3 pieces of advice for keeping your new business focused and on track in its early stages.
1. Learn How to Ask Yourself Difficult Questions
When you’re finally starting to feel like your business is going somewhere, it can be easy to glaze over tough issues that pop up in the excitement of it all.
In order to see continued growth, you need to check in with yourself and your company to be hyper-aware of your surroundings. The best way to do this? Learn to ask yourself questions, and the tougher the question, the better.
Some questions I would ask myself at this stage: Do we sell good wine? Why are we selling this one? (Our philosophy at Cadman Fine Wines is to only sell wines that we love. We simply can’t be passionate about something we don’t like.)
Also: Are we good at what we do? Are we ever going to make money? Does this business have a future? Is the market shifting? Are we reacting to it? Should we keep using the same supplier? Do we just sack everyone and start again?
I’m sure you get the picture.
Basically, from top to bottom, you need to go through the nitty gritty of your business. Re-evaluate as many things as possible. And, obviously, the most important thing to ask yourself is: does this make me happy? That might be the hardest question to answer.
2. Do not Hide from Anything
As I mentioned above, when I was about 22, I made a lot of money after selling a company. Even though I wasn’t bringing in any more money… I was still spending it like I was! To be completely honest with you, I got myself into a lot of trouble. I had stacks of credit card bills and the money had stopped coming in.
My biggest mistake was hiding from my financial problems. I wouldn’t answer my phone, I wouldn’t answer the post, and my problems only continued to grow.
Eventually, I was able to smarten up and pay my dues. I learned that in order to be a successful entrepreneur, I had to be held accountable for my actions in order to move on.
3. Be Honest
Essentially, if you can learn to be honest in every area of your business, then the two above points are irrelevant. You need to be honest with yourself, your employees, and with your finances in order to stay on track in the early stages of your business.
If you remain true to yourself and focused at this stage, you'll be that much closer to building your $100 million dollar company. If this blog raised a few questions about managing your finances in the early stages, you can read my next blog focused on finances here.