As promised, here is more food for thought. These experiences and others are good advise that I use in discussions with new clients, so think about what they mean to you and your prospective small business.
“Be willing to commit everything to it. That could be family life, financial stability, emotional wellbeing, everything. You could be that rare person who is successful if you just give it a half effort, but if you want your organization to be successful, you have to put the organization first, for the first little while, anyway. —John Nalli, president and CEO, People Store Staffing Solutions (No. 29)
- “Have a good home life.“ —Jonathan Finley, president and CEO, Credit Bureau of Canada Collections (No. 178)
- “If you’re going to get into a partnership with someone, make sure they’re good people to partner with, that they’re complementary and they’re good to get along with. And make sure you have good agreements in place, just in case something goes wrong.” —Chris Rahbek-Nielsen, director, MAC Engineering Inc. (No.94)
- “Burn the bridges and have no exit strategy. If you have an exit strategy, you’re going to use it. I’ve read almost all the business books, and everyone tells you that you need an exit strategy. But if you enter a marriage with an exit strategy, it won’t be good.” —Nik Grgic, president, FourQuest Energy Inc. (No. 1)
- “You have to remove any safety net; no working at a day job and doing it at night. We’ve found that it has to be all-encompassing to get going. You have to be walking the wire; you’re going to make it work or you’re not. Because if there is a safety net, more often than not you’re going to fall into it. It can be a little bit scary and daunting, but you have to have the right mindset: ‘This is it, I’m not trying it, I’m doing it. You have to realize that and believe it.” —Paul Herron, managing partner, Copperstone Connect (No. 38)
- “Stick it out. Accolades are fake things. Screwing up is where you’ll learn.“ —Sean Dawson, president, Bluelime Enterprises Inc. (No. 78)
- “Know when to say no. It’s appealing to try and follow everyone who wants to work with you. But you can’t be all things to all people. Focus on your core offering.” —Jeremy Greven, founder and CEO, Prompt Alert Inc. (No. 55)
- “Hire people that are better than you, that are stronger than you and that compensate for (or complement) your weaknesses.” —Jeff Quipp, CEO, Search Engine People Inc.
- “Just start. The first iteration of your business is better than continuing to develop a business plan without testing it.” —Matthew Horne, founder, Deco Windshield Repair Inc. (No. 180)