I love working with entrepreneurs. Having been through several start-ups myself, I know there are always very challenging issues arising and as a CEO/Founder they often rest on your shoulders. My advice is if you are new to the role and it’s your first, find a good mentor and don’t be afraid to ask anything, even if it might seem silly at the time. There are many people that have been through the same journey and even if they don’t have the answers, they will steer you to the right way to help you find them. We have all been there!
It is easy to say keep going when things get tough, but if you do have the energy and determination to do that, the success will come. I have, in nearly every business I started, got to a point a number times where I thought ‘this is impossible’ or ‘it is just not going to work’ and almost thrown in the towel. But each time I took advice, moved a small step forward and the paths cleared.
When you start anything, always have a thought about your exit. There are many. You don’t have to choose one but be open about all the possibilities and don’t be afraid to progress towards them all. When the time comes, you will instinctively know what to do.
I would say my biggest skill is related to working with people, getting to know them, understanding their ambitions, setting them achievable goals, motivating and encouraging them. I recall my one of my start-ups, the first recruit was a 19-year-old in a sales role. She went on to become the youngest director of an AIM-listed company and very successful in her own right. By bringing the right people with you on the journey, you substantially improve your chances of success.