3 Most valuable lessons I've learnt since starting a business - Alex Schey
Alex Schey shares three of the most valuable lessons he has learnt since starting a business. The extracts below are taken from a speech Alex made to The Royal Academy of Engineering JC Gammon Launchpad finalists, in which he shared his business journey to the entrepreneurial programmes participants.
1: Starting and running a business is tremendously exciting, but it is hard. Starting a business on your own is even harder. Finding one or two co-founders that you really trust and value can help share the load and act as an important sounding board. I would expand this point to finding the right people in general, be it employees, mentors or investors because in the end it’s not an idea or an office or a piece of technology that makes a business, it’s one hundred percent the people. I have been exceptionally fortunate with both my co-founder and my team, and it’s helped get us through some tight squeezes in the past.
2: Actively seek other peoples’ advice and opinions. It took me a long time to realise that not everyone thought like me, and asking for advice or an alternative view is a strength, not a weakness. I am continually and pleasantly surprised by how many different approaches there are to problem solving and decision making when you get an interested and motivated group of people together. Yes – make your own decisions – but use other peoples’ wisdom to make better decisions. You’ll find people are more engaged and it helps develop your business.
3: We often fall into the trap of thinking that working eighteen hours a day, seven days a week and eating takeaway pizza every night when starting up a business is a good thing. I certainly thought so. It’s not. It might feel like it’s necessary, but before long it will take its toll be it in your personal life or physical and mental wellbeing. Taking the time to look after yourself, celebrating the good times, building those important life relationships outside of work, eating, exercising and sleeping well will help make you happier and be better for your business.