All entrepreneurs have them and some wear them as a badge of honor. They are referred to as mistakes, errs, failures, growing pains, hiccups and more. The entrepreneurs that willing to share and discuss these shortcomings are more healthy for it. There are a lot of entrepreneurs that shove these issues into the closet and ignore them. Because it is Halloween even for startups (even those that are grinding so hard they lose track of the days) we are asking to pull those skeletons out of the closet.
There are the problem-solving techniques that are all over the internet. They generally follow the same form: 1) Identify the problem and figure out why it happened; 2) Find a different approach or solution to the problem going forward; and 3) Teach others so that the issue does not arise again. These are great tips and for most day-to-day issues they work well. But there are bigger issues that they don’t necessarily translate too.
What about those BIG issues that we really don’t want to look at? It’s easy to look at how a marketing campaign didn't work and analyze that problem through the 3-step process above but what about partnering with the wrong person? This is a more common problem then we know because no one talks about it. What about customers or clients that have told you that your product or service was not what they expected or the quality wasn't what they expected and so they did not pay you? What about the manager of your business leaving and starting a competing company that took some of your accounts? These are big problems that most entrepreneurs are afraid to talk about because they are embarrassed because they got burned so badly.
These skeletons call for an alternative problem-solving process. It’s a one-step process: Contact a mentor or adviser. These embarrassing problems are avoidable in the future but if you do not talk to someone to understand your options so that these or similar issues. As an adviser to many entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses throughout West Michigan, they are amazed at how minor changes can make all the difference in the world. It’s just a matter of knowing what those minor changes are.
So in the spirit of Halloween, let’s not get scared of those skeletons and let’s get them out in the open. We can show you the secrets that make them so scary. That way in the future they are not so scary and your Grand Rapids startup or small business doesn't have to worry about those issues coming alive again.
Source: “3 Tips for Dealing with the Skeletons in Your Closet” by Nadia Goodman of Entrepreneur