Starting up a company is a stressful, yet exciting venture. As the founder, you are the heart and soul of your company. In the early stages, you are the main driving force behind everything the company accomplishes.
But as success ensues and your company starts expanding, too often the startup outgrows a young entrepreneur's individual development and abilities. And with these growing pains, you will have to make decisions in areas where you lack real experience, knowledge or self-awareness.
While expansion is what you are after, it is imperative a young entrepreneur prioritizes and recognizes the importance of personal growth. By doing so, the product and company will have a greater chance of success. The more control you take of your own growth, the better it will be for your company, your employees and your bottom line.
Here are six tips on how to grow with your company:
1. Surround yourself with trusted individuals.
I am not referring to your mom or best friend. Find a mentor with the experience and industry expertise you lack but desperately need. Check out local meetup groups, reach out to organizations like SCORE or search the web for forums that feature experts in your field.
2. Take a deep breath.
Don't rush into decisions, no matter how urgent they seem. Take time to reflect on all potential outcomes, and seek advice before you make any decisions. It also helps to research similar companies and examine case studies. The more information you have in your arsenal, the more likely the decision you make will be the right one.
3. Reflect on the mistakes.
When things go wrong or you use poor judgment, figure out how you could have made a better decision. This exercise will grow your character and help you approach similar situations more effectively.
4. Set up clear communication channels.
While it isn't always fun to hear complaints about your management style, it is necessary to keep on top of your company and employee morale. Make sure you have a system in place for employees to air grievances, as well as provide you a constant loop of feedback.
5. Utilize an executive coach.
Even with decades of experience, Google's Eric Schmidt found an executive coach and advocates that everyone else get one too. People evolve constantly, and in the fast-paced world of startups, a coach can help you focus on that growth.
6. Know yourself.
This job isn't easy. Lean on your closest relationships for support and develop your own sense of self. When you are comfortable in your own skin, you'll be a more mature leader.
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