As March rolls on to its end, I’ve been taking time to reflect on some of the things that I’ve learned through this wild ride of entrepreneurship. I’ve officially started shutting down UrbanTOX and as that happens, I felt it wise to sit and think about the lessons that I’ve learned from this failed business #1. Some of these may seem like common sense, but I recognize that these were some of the lessons that I learned firsthand through this past year.
- Don’t be rushed into decisions you’re not ready to make. People can wait. Your big decisions will affect you greatly when you are first starting out. Sometimes, doing nothing is better than moving forward with a decision that you are not comfortable with.
- Test your product ASAP. Prototyping or getting a test in market is hugely invaluable to determining value to your customers and willingness to pay.
- Choose a partner wisely. It felt a lot like getting married, but without the sex. Find a partner who complements your strengths and who you trust implicitly.
- Long sales cycles will kill a small company. Something that seems like a no-brainer but saw that the hard way. The more consideration for the buying decision, the longer the sales cycle. Getting to a point where people are paying you for a service/product quickly is a must to understand the value transfer equation.
- Keep investing in understanding yourself. Throughout this process, it became crystal clear as to what drives and motivates me. I love helping people… but there are specific areas in which I am most passionate about helping. Figure out what makes you tick… It may be system-building, solving problems, or something else. Once you understand that, work doesn’t feel so much like work anymore.
- Be confident in your decisions. There will be difficult decisions that you will make where people will disagree strongly with you. In the end, you’re the one that needs to live with that decision, so move forward with what you are confident with, and don’t look back.
As I continue building out venture #2, it continues to be a wild journey, and I’m excited for what this next 12 months will bring. Being your own boss is absolutely rewarding, but yet equally as demanding. Although the future remains uncertain, I am excited to be working with some amazing leaders here in Bangkok, and walking with them as they continue to grow their organizations to better impact the world.
A mentor recently told me that experience is learning through failure and that wisdom is learning through the failure of others. I hope that the lessons that I’ve learned over the last twelve months benefit you in some way… so that you may gain wisdom through my failure.