One of my best friends told me recently, “all of my best successes come from my failures.” It’s always critical to deconstruct a failure to understand what went wrong, and what can be done in the future to change the results to success. Ask yourself each time, ‘What do I need to know from this?’
A secret to becoming a world champion is to get up faster every time you fall.
When you are in a fast growth mode, it’s always best to outsource technology platforms to be fluid and scalable. Your market opportunities will change quickly, and then you can speedily adapt with the newest technology. Use subscription- or transaction-based platforms such as Salesforce.com or Hubspot. These companies bear the cost of research and development.
To own or buy technology? It’s like the difference between renting or buying a car. With technology, rent it and run it hard till the tires go bald; then trade it in for a new one.
Network organizational structure:
Again, to be fluid and scalable in a fast growth mode, do not vertically integrate your company. This means do not hire a person for every role. Develop a network organizational structure by outsourcing your IT, your legal, advertising/marketing, online distribution, and your accounting. Keep your sales, bookkeeping and customer service in-house, these are the areas where you must exercise the greatest degree of control.
PR stands for public relations, which basically means distributing news about your company as a way to tell your story. The story may be about your unique service, a special event, or it might be about how fast you are growing.
PR is the lowest cost and most effective form of marketing, because unlike advertising, news is a fact that lasts. If you are completely certain with your belief in your company, beat your PR drum and never stop. If you don’t tell your story, either it won’t get told or people will make up their own story about you.
Bootstrap it as long as you can. Always maintain your financials as transparently as if you are a publicly traded company. Banks will always be on your side if you make their job easy.
And finally, the CEO bit. Your job as CEO is to always lead and determine where the firm is going. Talk about the big picture in a simple way so all your employees understand their role toward a successful execution.
Listen more than you talk, as most good answers do not come from ourselves, but in paying attention to customers and employees. Celebrate victories with your team, acknowledge failures humbly, and always be honest. Develop the discipline of Samurai warriors to be compassionate toward others even when you feel anger, resentment, or the urge to seek revenge.
Perhaps Winton Churchill said it best at the end of WW2; “In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Good Will.”
When you develop this level of discipline it will give you the gift of relentless focus on something more important, opportunity. It is there at every given moment.
About the Author:
Tom Magnuson is co-founder and CEO of Magnuson Hotels.