How Missing Out on a Multi-million Dollar Opportunity Became an Asset
If our current situation has taught me anything with regard to business, it’s that the entrepreneur mindset is alive and well. With so many start-ups in existence and more on the horizon, I found myself reflecting on my own journey as an entrepreneur.
From my earliest days in the tech space, I’ve had the good fortune of working with a number of innovative start-ups and forward-thinking founders. I’ve had a number of successes, but as we’ve all heard, the road to success is not a straight line. That has certainly been the case for me. I made some pretty significant mistakes that I attribute mostly to one major flaw – I was being short sighted.
Here’s an example: I had the chance to work with a start-up in exchange for a 10% share in the company. We could handle the works though it wasn’t especially challenging. The company was growing slowly. The end result was that as my company grew, I began to see this little company as taking time and resources away from our bigger, paying clients. I eventually ended the relationship.
Fast-forward to today, that company has a valuation of approximately $100 million. My mistake? I simply wasn’t prepared to take the long view of my business.
Thankfully, I’ve learned from past mistakes and you can, too. Here are 3 tips to keep your business on track in the short-term while you build for the future:
- Identify what’s working and learn how to replicate it. This helps increase efficiency so you can broaden your focus. You can take on more work and deliver results with less time and manpower.
- Pursue strategic partnerships that create opportunities within opportunities. Look outside of the traditional client model for relationships that provide the chance to be of service now and has potential for even greater future opportunities.
- Build time and expenses related to slower, long-term growth into your business plan. And, understand that you may need to pivot from what’s immediate or comfortable to accommodate a new business opportunity that may not pay off until farther into the future.
While it’s not always easy, I’ve learned to follow my instincts. That means that I stick with what’s working in the short-term, course-correct when necessary, and seek out strategic alliances that provide interesting new challenges while leading to growth and future success.