Twenty Years of Mistakes: Be Careful Who You Trust

Let’s make some mistakes!

Twenty years ago, on October 28th, 1998, I incorporated my first company. Twenty years later, I’m still going strong, so I thought it might be a nice way to give back by dedicating the next several emails to the worst mistakes I’ve made along my journey, with the hope that you’ll get value out of knowing what NOT to do, thanks to my having done those things already.

Today’s Mistake: Trusting the Wrong People

Two truths about running your own company:

1) Everyone wants to help you grow your baby if they think they can make money off of you.

2) Hardly anyone (seriously, almost no one) will have the same drive and determination about your baby as you do.

When you’re starting off, you know nothing. In fact, you know less than nothing. If you even knew that you knew nothing, that’d be something. But you don’t. So you look to people who you believe know something.

The problem is, the majority of people to whom you look also know nothing. The difference? They’re good at convincing you that they do know something.

So you hire them, or bring them on as a consultant. You pay them a ton to do your SEO, or your marketing. You pay them to help you establish your brand, or to build you a kick-ass site with all the bells and whistles. They’ve promised you the moon and the stars, all wrapped up in one beautiful package.

Most of the time, however, you’re lucky if that package contains anything more than pond scum. The problem is simple: In your excitement to get things done, you trusted too much.

Think about it this way: You can hire someone without doing your homework and due diligence, because you want to get the project started and done, and you want to be up and running, selling and making money.

Or, you can wait an extra few weeks, do the homework, get the right information you need to choose the right person, and hire once, saving yourself a fortune, and tons of lost time, because the homework you did let you choose the right person, and you didn’t need to fire them and start all over again.

I know you’re passionate about your project. We all are. But don’t even let that passion drive you to make fast, uneducated choices. They’ll only come back to bite you. Take it from 20 years of experience.

Gordon Gekko sait best in the movie “Wall Street” – “Don’t get emotional about stock.” The same thing applies to your business. Take your time, do your homework, and trust only those who check out.

I’m off to Salt Lake City today for a speech tomorrow. You in town? Want to grab coffee? Let me know!


PS: At ShankMinds: Las Vegas, Amanda Steinberg is going to talk about trust and the right questions to ask when you’re looking for help! Why not grab your seat now? We’re over 50% sold out!

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