3 Mistakes We Made Early On
You have an idea and you’re good at something so it’s just show up, put the work in, and be successful…. Right? Unfortunately for us (And most entrepreneurs) it wasn’t that easy. We understand that failures shape the path of your journey and your grit and ability to learn from those make or break your individual success, but we’ve decided to give some insight on a few mistakes that aren’t worth your time making. SERIOUSLY.
How Not To Network:
The term “Networking” has an intimidating ring to it due to its traditional nature and the awkward scenarios we’ve all encountered. (I’m assuming that’s not just me… But I’ve had my fair share!) 🙂 I think the best way to explain this failure is with a story.
Early on in the days of Monday Creations, we were hungry for business and had heard of this conference out of state. Our sole intention of this trip was to make sales (Mistake #1). We invested a large chunk of money for an early stage company to attend this with 4 of our initial team members. (Shown below).
Because of inner intentions, it became obvious in all of our conversations. We were leading with what we did professionally, and didn’t invest into the individuals we were chatting with. Before I get too far into this story, I want to say this is principally opposite for every single one of us. We LOVE people, love giving back, and enjoy getting to know people’s stories outside of their professional lives. But this goes to show that intentions are everything and it will flow through into any relationship you’re trying to build. We were instantly blocked out due to the “Salesman” approach and conversations didn’t go anywhere, but business.
To summarize, we spent thousands of dollars, didn’t have a good time, and wasted the opportunity to meet some of the coolest entrepreneurs in the midwest. The term networking should be axed and you should approach it like you would a conversation with anyone that you care about. Ask how they’re REALLY doing, find out about their hobbies, and get past the first layer. People appreciate that.
Books Aren’t For Everyone:
Another mistake we made was trying to do everything. I was doing QuickBooks, financials, design, development, communication, payroll, meetings, managing, processes, and any other thing that would come up. This wasn’t just me, it was everyone on our team. Don’t just do what you’re good at, but what you love. Once you start to do tasks you don’t enjoy, you drain yourself and you start to slack on the things you love and care about. This isn’t saying books aren’t just as important, but outsource it to someone that’s a professional and enjoys doing it. Yes, it might cut down on your margins, but once quality increases, so can you prices, and more work will flow in naturally.
What is one of the hardest thing as a young company? Telling someone who is about to write you a check that you don’t want to work with them. WHAT. You’re going to deny money as a young company? For your sanity, if you get that feeling in your gut, take the financial hit and you’ll never regret it. There is nothing more toxic than a bad working relationship between you and a client. They will take advantage of your kindness, vulnerability as a new company, and leverage everything they have to squeeze every last ounce of life out of you. (That was a little extreme, but it feels accurate). Just because the client isn’t a good fit for you doesn’t’ mean they’re awful and don’t deserve working with anyone, you’re just saying they’re not the right fit for your company. Just like any other relationship, you still want to show these individuals care which could be as simple as connecting them with a company that offers a similar product / service to you.
Trust me when I say this: We’ve made way more than three mistakes as a company. These are just three mistakes that we’ve made that we really didn’t gain from. These are mistakes that if you avoid as a young company, it won’t derail you on the path to success, it will just save a little of your sanity. By all means, make mistakes. Lots of them.