This post was previously published on AZ Tech Beat.
The AZ Tech Beat Lunch and Learn made its way to Infusionsoft, where the company’s vice president of talent Anita Grantham talked about the reality of owning a startup and getting down to the nitty-gritty truth of the business.
Before Grantham joined the Infusionsoft team, she was—and still is—a small business owner, struggling to understand the ins and outs of running a business. With her husband as co-owner, Grantham started up Draw 10 Sports Bar and Grill in Phoenix. Grantham shared three tips that every entrepreneur should keep in mind when running their startup.
1. Prioritize instead of multitask
In order to successfully start and operate an enterprise, entrepreneurs must be proactive in their mindset, Grantham said.
Instead of focusing on the flashy details that only seem important on the surface, entrepreneurs should dig deeper to find the brutal facts that have an impact on the success of their businesses.
“Sometimes, as entrepreneurs, we are afraid to look at the truth,” Grantham said. “As entrepreneurs, we get trapped by what we feel we have to do for the business all the time.”
Instead of only being driven by what we feel is important, Grantham recommended that entrepreneurs prioritize the issues that are keeping them up at night and solve them head-on, one by one, instead of trying to multitask.
“It’s a law, just like gravity, that we can only do one thing at a time with excellence,” Grantham said. “The whole era of can you multitask and all those interview questions that we’ve been pelted with have just screwed up our whole world into thinking that we can do everything at once and do everything well. It’s just not true.”
2. Define your purpose
Entrepreneurs should also focus on clearly defining their company’s purpose, Grantham added.
By defining a startup’s purpose, it helps entrepreneurs prioritize and stay clear on what they do and what they don’t do.
“I really encourage you to spend more time with this,” Grantham said. “It’s through defining and articulating a purpose that you are able to set relationships upon.”
The additional benefit of purpose is that it helps keep you and your partners aligned on goals, which makes your work together less stressful and more enjoyable.
3. Navigate the negative
Besides looking at the internal operations of a startup, Grantham also urged entrepreneurs to go directly to their customers for feedback.
Business owners should ask customers what improvements are needed—without being afraid of the answers.
By looking at a startup’s issues through the eyes of most important participants of the business—the customers—entrepreneurs can further prioritize the facts from their feelings.