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The Most Important Lesson I Learned During My First Year as CEO and Entrepreneur

This post was originally published on Entrepreneur. holding cell phone As it often happens, one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made in my professional life was also the hardest: becoming an entrepreneur. Giving up the security and luxuries of an executive position to start my own startup was not an easy call. Some financial aspects became painfully obvious, and I found myself making calculations that I never even thought about in my “all expenses paid” days. After a brief stint as a consultant, I co-founded the mobile marketing company Moburst and the best decision of my life just celebrated my first birthday. During this crazy year, I realized that startups are bombarded with countless opportunities and face the great challenge of rejecting compelling proposals on the road to success. But learning to say no may be the most important skill to develop on your new venture. Here are some cases where saying no can do wonders.

first. Say no to doing things alone.

A solid partner isn’t simply someone you love to keep company with, or someone who just happened to be there when you first came up with a great idea. Find someone who shares your vision and goals, and who you don’t mind working through the night. It is also important that your partner is slightly different from you. My business partner provides a balanced perspective to my agile ways and often serves as the voice of reason at our company.

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2. Say no to chores.

Like beginners in any field, young startups tend to think that the relationships and experience they will gain are enough and that serving customers at a high level. ridiculously low fees will help spread the word and bring in a lot of money. In fact, the news will spread that you are willing to work for basically nothing. While it is important to open the doors, make sure you open the correct ones. Your brand reputation is formed from the very first second, so make it a respected brand. If you believe your product is really valuable, you should always ask for the appropriate payment.

3. Say no to high-potential employees.

As odd as it may seem, skill and talent are not enough. Hire people who can relate to your company’s core values ​​and goals. It’s especially important for startups that the team is deeply committed to building something together, so look for employees who take pride in their work and their businesses. In our case, we learned the hard way that everyone on our team must be aggressively invested in the mobile world. That’s why we’re informing job applicants that those without a mobile orientation need not apply. Another factor in the young company equation is the enormous importance of team building. If your intuition tells you that someone won’t fit in well with the group, don’t risk damaging the fragile group dynamics. Spend the hours it takes to build a winning team — it’s the most important form of ROI you’ll ever get.

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4. Say no to what makes you uncomfortable.

Certain lucrative areas are considered no-go zones for our company. Opting out of advertising to clients operating in these sectors certainly means losing money, but there’s something far more important to protect here. Likewise, we do not market a product of very low quality or participate in a project to which we cannot significantly contribute. What guides us in making this decision is knowing that an honest rejection today can earn us important points later.



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