It’s October 18th, 2016 and 7twelve Marketing is about 2.5 years old now. It’s petty exciting to see how far we’ve come. We went from living-room floors to coffee shops, to warehouses to more coffee shops to more living rooms then finally a nice space in Irvine, CA.
We’ve overcome the general challenges of a business, including some odd ones to name a few. I always reference ‘the lawsuit’, which to this day still makes me laugh (by the way, I truly hope I run into the guy who sued us, so I can say ‘thank you’). We’ve overcome what to us was massive debt, and the inevitable bashing of heads between founders.
As of right now, it feels like we’re finding our cadence.
Starting a business with a lawsuit where some might be raising their first round of capital, losing business and personal relationships because of ‘creative differences’, and losing sleep over all the challenges entrepreneurship has to offer has given me the opportunity to develop some of my own beliefs about starting your own business. One of my strongest beliefs is that entrepreneurs and ‘bosses’ need to get their head out of their asses and start thinking about their companies instead of themselves. And don’t forget:
You have a boss.
Sure, you might not have a direct report and you might sign your own paycheck. But remember one thing, you answer to your company, your employees, the market, and your customers. If you’re thinking of starting or have started your own company, remember that if your employees or your customers aren’t happy and thriving, neither will you be.
When someone loses, you’re the loser.
If you have the audacity to play CEO, you have to understand that everything is your fault. You can’t blame someone for not doing their job correctly if you didn’t set the proper expectations or train them adequately.When someone ‘slips’, audit your actions leading up to it before the reprimand.
Lead With Love.
Company culture and the well being of your employees and clients should be at the top of your priority list at all times. No matter how much you loved watching “Jobs”, it’s just not how people operate anymore. Remember how ‘easy’ it was for you to start your own thing? It’s just as easy for everyone within your company as well.
Building a business started off as fun and trust me, a lot of it still is. But I can tell you now I’m not in it for the story. I’m not in it for the title or the kudos — because I bet when it’s no longer cool to say you’re an ‘entrepreneur’ I wont’ get as many. I’m in it for my livelihood, the well being of the people I love, and the well being of the people I work with. And I believe that that foundation is the only reason anyone should have thenerve to call themselves’ a ‘boss’.