When we started this business roughly two years ago we were faced with the challenges that many entrepreneurs and small businesses are faced with…how to build a brand, assemble a team, and form the right client relationships. Now that we’ve been on that journey for a little while we’re able to look back at building our business. While we can’t go back and change the past, we can reflect on what we might do differently.
Although it may seem trivial, the one thing that I would do differently is to simply write down our goals, and do it often beginning on day one. Sometimes our creative ADD can really get us going in directions we previously had never dreamed of, which can be fantastic but it can also be a distraction. Sometimes I feel we lose site of what our real goals are and what we are doing in the meantime to get there.
It’s one thing to talk about your goals and ambitions, but to me, it’s an entirely different thing to write them down. If we had written our goals down from day one we could look back on them now and tell the entire story of the company. If we could tell that our goals on day one are matching up with our goals on day eight hundred and nighty seven, we are probably doing something right and if they don’t we can reflect on what changed in us and determine our new direction or how to get back to the old one.
When we first discussed this question, I thought to myself, “Why would we want to do anything differently?” Look at where we are today. But our relationships with our clients goes beyond just being a team of digital marketers, we work side-by-side to understand the constraints and challenges that prevents them from being successful at what they do best. Looking at what we’d do differently helps provide perspective and uniquely relate to our clients who are also trying to grow their business.
If there were one thing that I say could’ve been done differently was to make more time for ourselves. That may seem strange to hear, but I think along the way we’ve determined that we need to make time to focus on our own company and individual goals. We’re finding that happy balance now and I think being a stronger team and continuing to build our own individual skills only brings more benefit to our clients. We now have team members being certified in certain areas of digital marketing and others who are taking on leading their own initiatives. So my takeaway for others is to not just focus on being better marketers, but to focus on being a better team and continue to grow your individual roles.
I started working for Shout Out when the company started, only I began as an intern. Essentially, I grew with the business. When asked what I would want to change if we did it all over again, instantly I think “nothing!” The reason I think nothing is because I’ve watched our company go from an idea to a work in progress. Sure, that doesn’t sound rewarding, but it is because every business is a work in progress. If we are at that stage, I think we are doing really well.
However, under the question asked I cant help but think what would I have done differently as an individual. The answer that comes to my mind is to have been more goal-oriented. I recently discovered my love for tools (such as CoSchedule and HootSuite) that help me achieve these goals. There’s a possibility if I had found that love earlier I could’ve been a bigger asset to the company from the beginning. However, I have learned a ton working with this company and other than changing how I could’ve contributed in a different light, there isn’t much I would change because I’m proud of the company Shout Out has turned into.
Call it foolish or naive but the thing is, I’m not sure I’d do anything differently if we were to start it all over. I say that for a couple reasons. First, because we started with a great mix of people who brought a range of skill sets and skill levels to the table. Were we missing a skill or two for a running start? Possibly. Instead we focused on the will do more than the can do and outside of a handful of positions like, I don’t know, surgeon or rocket scientist or bar tender, I would do that every time. The other reason I feel this way is because we’ve learned so much on this path, some easy and some tough lessons, that will make us better over the long haul.
Photo Credit: nettsu