The Biggest Business Lesson was once my biggest mistake.
The biggest thing for me was to understand that I could not do everything by myself. That you really cannot be a one-person business, there is no such thing. Hi Vivian. There is no such thing as a one-person shop, whether you have to ask friends or colleagues to help you out or ask them for advice, or if you happen to be married to a Marketing Executive. You have to ask him to help you with your marketing or go out and hire people. You really can’t do it alone. I’m a very independent person; I like to figure it out myself and do it myself, and that was probably one of the hardest things that I had to learn; it is that you’re not an island, and you really can’t do it alone.
In the beginning, I was trying to do everything I possibly could by myself. I made my first website; it was pretty terrible. I liked it at the time, but it looked super amateur. It was a little goofy WordPress site. Eventually, I had my wonderful husband Alex, a Marketing Exec; he took it over, and now it looks pretty awesome, that’s mostly thanks to him. But there have been other things I’ve had administrative help with overtime. For the past few years, I’ve been hiring contractors to help during the busy season.
You can’t grow if you’re not willing to take those risks. Because you never know, when you hire somebody, especially when you’re not a big firm, and you don’t have an HR department, and you’re just finding people on the internet, you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get. I’ve been relatively lucky; most of the people I’ve found have been great. And again, when I needed not to do it alone, my sister is an HR Executive, and she’s been helping me find amazing people. I’ve been fortunate in that regard as well.
But, the sooner you realize you need other people, and you need help, and some people can do other things better than you. Maybe not the core part of your business. I don’t know how many CPAs I find better than me, but I indeed find people who are better at HR or better at marketing, better at understanding technology or sales processes. You got to tap into those resources you have, and those resources sometimes come up in unexpected places. That would be my biggest takeaway. You can’t do it all. It’s not even just in business; it’s in real life too; you can’t do everything. I know sometimes my kids get upset they want to do this; I want to play football, but I also want to go to karate, and I want to be in the theater. I tell them, “You can’t do everything. You can’t do it all.” The hardest lesson learned a lot through running my business.
I also learned a lot of that through my involvement in Scouts, believe it or not. We do a lot of teamwork and patrol methods, and leadership development. I learned a lot of what I use for my business in the Scout. In my work in the Scouting program, which is volunteer work. If you’re still trying to do it all yourself, you’re doing it wrong. You got to take those things off your plate. You got to make that not-to-do list instead of the to-do list and start outsourcing some of those things that other people can do better than you so that you can do what you do as well as you can. See you tomorrow.