Marketing Eye

Why entrepreneurs need to constantly rethink their businesses

I had a humbling experience today and I want to share with you just what that meant to me as an entrepreneur and founder.

Marketing Eye has been around for more than 10 years. We were not an overnight success, but have steadily grown a very successful business in Australia and in the US (Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, Denver).

Building a business has never been easy and every single time I think that its got its groove going, I am awakened with a rude shock. It seems that the business is always growing, changing, adapting and needing a new influx of ideas or improvements in the way we do business.

This year we have hired very senior people to head up every office and that has worked well, but they too are not indestructible. While they steer the ship, they constantly need reassurance and direction, without someone actually stepping on their toes. It's a fine line and hopefully I am at least getting a "B" in this area, while working tirelessly to improve that grade every single day.

It's hard for managers to run isolated offices and always be on top of their game. It's lonely, in the same way being an entrepreneur is lonely. They have to make more decisions than if they were in a large office area with everyone under one roof, and of course if there is a problem, the butt stops with them. 

They take it personally and if enough issues arise, they often fall over. They are at the end of the day employees and there are always jobs with less stress out there.

But keeping these people and the talent that they have in the company is a fine line. With everyone pulling at an entrepreneur and the fact we wear so many hats, we don't always see what is going on in the detail required to make informed decisions.

I fail in so many ways, so often, that sometimes I wonder what I am actually doing. Then I am reminded of the number of people that I provide secure jobs for in the workplace and the happy clients we have, and always smile. These people depend on me always making the right decision, or at least when I make a wrong decision, working it out fast and correcting it.

I've neglected one of my managers who has been with me for years. How this happened, I do know. They don't scream, or pull at me for anything. In fact, for years they have just done their jobs and never, ever come to me with a problem - just solutions. They are dependable, talented and a rare breed in the workforce.

I feel privileged that I get to work with them every single day. Unbeknown to me, they have been stressed and I didn't know. I didn't have a clue because I was too busy looking at everyone else and letting them be. 

So today I stood up. I sent them home for a week's paid break to recuperate and get back to normal. On top of that, I am restructuring their department to make it more employee friendly. Who cares if we take on less clients to make sure they are not burdened with the stress. I care more about them and their wellbeing then the companies growth plans. 

If we didn't grow more than we are today, I am still a happy entrepreneur. The company is more than I ever imagined it to be. 

What I need to focus on right now is ensuring that people like this that are amazing at their jobs, are looked after. That we see the signs before it becomes a problem. 

Our team is my family. Each and everyone is equally important. Restructuring is a process that will only improve our business outcomes. In this case hopefully we have saved an important person and friend from letting stress get the better of them. Next time, we will work it out earlier - I hope!

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