Ten Business Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget

10 business lesson every new entrepreneur needs to learn - Macaulay Gidado

No-one goes into a business knowing everything to expect. Business has a learning curve. There are things you learn through research or mentorship and there are things you only learn through experience. However prepared a new entrepreneur is, there comes a time early in their business life when they say, “I wish someone had mentioned that.”

This is why learning from the experience of other business people is paramount to the survival of any start-up. Although that certainly will not equip you for every single arduous and unbidden hurdle along the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur, it will guide you through most of the challenges.

Here are Ten important lessons to get you started.

Don’t Abandon Your Mission

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget

A core mission, a prime objective, is the bedrock of every business. It’s what gets you started, and it will be what guides you through the darkest hours in your business life. It’s what nudges you in the right direction when you misstep.

Never forget why you started your business.

It’s Okay to Be Unconventional

Not Being Unique

The business world has its apparent ‘status quo’. But then making a difference in the world is about diverging from the norm to create something new.

As a CEO, you have your personal beliefs, some of which don’t agree with the perceived business norm. While following the norm can yield good results for your company, the role of a CEO, in this modern age, has gone beyond the results.

It now entails leaving your own mark on the world. It’s now also about the ‘how’—your actions, reactions, influence, and so on. It’s about the legacy you leave behind, about how you impact the world as a CEO.

Become an Expert in Every Aspect of Your Business

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

A good CEO leads by example. Apart from that, you should be able to temporarily fill up any role in your company if the need arises—for instance, if an employee acts up or misses work, or if extra hands are needed for a task.

Acquaint yourself with the technology used in your company, become conversant with sales, legalese, data entry, and even the manual works. The knowledge will give you more control over your employees and your company as a whole.

Employ Smarter People

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

You may dread that employing people smarter than you would hurt your ego, but the truth is that if this were a competition, you had already won. As the employer; you were resourceful enough to start a company—something the smarter folk couldn’t do.

If they are truly smart, they would understand you have worked harder than them, and they will respect your decisions.

Never hire people that are ineffective, even if it’s not to save your ego. Either they lead to your company’s downfall or you end up doing most of the work for which you hired them.

Maintain a Backup Plan for Your Employees

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

As a new company, your resources are probably limited and you want to maintain a lean team. That is okay. However, be mindful of the specialised positions. You need a backup plan for them, as you do not want your operation to decelerate or halt if you lose a team member.

Hire smartly. Hire for growth.

Consider Everything an Experiment

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

Nothing is perfect in business—neither an idea nor a product. While it’s okay to trust your instincts or make assumptions, you can never really understand the potentials of a product or service until you take it on a field test with real customers.

The first batch may not live up to expectation. With time, however, your products get better, but only if you experiment and learn from the flaws.

Listen to Customers

MacaulayGidado_Maintain a Professional Customer Service

Every business person knows this. You are in business because of your customers. You cannot convince them to trade more of their hard-earned cash for your product when you can’t even listen and tailor the product to meet their need.

Customer will always leave feedback. Be open-minded. Take suggestions. Implement the viable ones. And produce better products.

Criticism Will Always Come

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

Whether from customers, rivals, or employees, criticisms are here to stay. Don’t take them so hard. Instead, fish for the gold inside them, and learn to ignore the ones targeting your company’s success.

Also, hold a regular company meeting where your employees can voice their improvement opinions. You may discern a gem that will help your company expand.

Leverage People Who Believe in You

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

Before establishing your company, you obviously researched your market, and you possibly already had people who loved what you do or make—or perhaps like minds in a network that has an affinity with your niche.

What location are these people in? How did you meet them? What did they love about you, your product, or service? Are there more of them whom you haven’t met? If they are in City A, then that’s where you need to start. Reach out to them first. Then grow from there.

Know When to Say No

Ten Lessons Every New Entrepreneur Should Never Forget - MacaulayGidado

With many opportunities out there, this is a discipline every businessperson ought to master. What you need to keep in mind is that opportunities, while enticing, always come with costs, some of which can cripple your company.

Learn to take only what you need. Don’t get greedy simply because opportunities are everywhere. Master focus and discipline.

Learn when and how to say no.

Keep these tips with you all the time, scour the internet for more, and reach out to successful business people for advice, and you may yet scale through any hurdle on your road to becoming a successful businessperson.

Expertise Demystified: How to Become an Expert

Expertise Demystified: How to Become an Expert - Macaulay Gidado

Expertise doesn’t happen overnight. While it’s possible for a talk, course, content, or project you gave or created to go viral overnight, that doesn’t make you an expert. Expertise is not about giving talks, creating content, writing a book, or building a brand. Those are merely the manifestation of possible expertise and not the real deal.

Think of it. Anyone can research a topic today and produce content about that topic overnight, but that doesn’t make them an expert in that topic. Why? Because they simply reproduced someone else’s work in their own words.

Another example: anyone can easily don a white coat and a stethoscope, but does that make the person a doctor? No. It only gives the person the appearance of a doctor. It’s all a charade.

Who then Is an Expert?

Expertise Demystified: How to Become an Expert - MacaulayGidado

An expert is someone that has immense skills and knowledge of a specialised subject. And the knowledge and skills have to be rooted in long-term studies, experience, and practice. This is the reason we admire experts, the reason we enlist their services. Because we are simply looking for a quick route to learning and using what they know and have.

For instance, when you hire Macaulay Gidado to help grow your business, you are simply leveraging the knowledge and experience the agency has gathered over many years of helping other small and medium businesses grow. And that’s a smart move.

How Do You Recognise an Expert?

  • Experts Command the Respect of Their Equals

    Trust me, it’s not enough that your mindless followers respect you. Recognition means receiving endorsements from the top players, celebrities, and mentors in your field. If you claim to be a world-class expert in Internet entrepreneurship (emphasis on world-class), then you should be receiving endorsements from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Reid Hoffman. I mean, they are some of today’s world-class entrepreneurs.

  • An Expert Offer Value

    If you call yourself an expert in blogging, then you must have a successful blog to show for it. If you call yourself a business consulting expert, then you ought to have a long row of businesses you have helped build. These show your hard work and the value you have offered over the years.

  • An Expert Can Mentor

    Being an expert means you have ample knowledge and skills to pass on. And before you can pass on knowledge or skills, you must first learn. Guess what? Learning takes years. This bring us back to my previous point: the knowledge and skills of an expert have to be rooted in long-term studies, experience, and practice. Take a look at soccer club managers, for instance. Many of them began their career as soccer players. Jose Mourinho of Manchester United and Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid are two great examples. They each became soccer expert through many years of practice, of playing in the field. Today they are mentors.

  • Experts Receive First-Class Rates

    The truth is that you are either a pretender who collects chaff from your clients or you are the real deal and have invested yourself in many years of studies and practice. Which would you rather be? The former is often paid chaff while the latter charges first-class rates and still have individuals and businesses begging to enlist their expertise.

Let’s face the truth. When you are endorsed by your peers, deliver value, and are truly in a position to impact knowledge and skills, people will give anything to learn or use what you know.

How to Become an Expert

Expertise Demystified: How to Become an Expert - MacaulayGidado

Are you discouraged yet? Well, there’s good news. Expertise is achievable. Think of it. Top experts in the world started somewhere. If they were able to do it, chances are that you too can.

Here is How:

  • Find your passion.
  • Choose a field, one you are passionate about.
  • Set a goal. For instance, where would you be in your chosen field in the next five years?
  • Invest your time, money, concentration, and more into learning.
  • Practice, practice, practice. That the one way to improve your expertise.

As you learn and practice, always remember this quote from ‘Outliers’, a book by Malcom Gladwell: “you need at least 10,000 hours of involvement and practice to become an expert in something.”

And while you grow in your field, also remember these two points:

  1. Expertise is relative. An expert in one location can be looked upon as an amateur in another location or on a global scale. It all depends on the standards expected of your profession in your environment.
  2. There will always be someone better than you in your field. However, instead of becoming intimidated by this person, make him or her a challenge. That way, you will remain motivated to grow.