Don't try to take on too many new initiatives at the same time!
And more advice from Tiffany Pham, Founder & CEO of Mogul
1. Early on, don't be afraid to test the water with new hires.
The hallmark of any entrepreneur is learning how to build a team and how to make decisions on the go. I brought on people who were long-time collaborators of mine to be part of our founding team. So, early on I was able to trust that be a good fit for the company. And often, I brought them on board part-time or at least under a temporary agreement. After a month's time, if it was working out, I would bring them on board full time. This strategy worked out really well. Subsequently, we went through rapid growth. We started hiring more and more. What we did was to bring on a combination of experienced people who had a lot of passion for our mission and also those who were relatively new to the industry but also really passionate. For us selling on vision and mission was crucial at the beginning for getting talent across the board. An occasional hire that went wrong was when people came into the organization who were so passionate but lacked a necessary skill set. When you mature as an organization, specific roles need to be filled by more experienced team members or those with a willingness to learn.
2. If you join an accelerator, don't lose sight of your company culture.
When we continued to grow, we went into a form of an accelerator. The accelerator was immensely helpful in terms of getting more resources, more investment, and more mentorship, but the one thing to watch out for is it will have a potential impact on your team. As you move into an accelerator space, for example, you may not be able to control your company culture as well. It is even more important to continually emphasize your goals and mission.
3. Don't try to take on too many new initiatives at the same time.
We had an incredible number of initiatives this past year. The timing of our book, our conference, and our mobile app all came at once. All three launched at the same time, actually the same week! Our book, You Are a Mogul, became a national bestseller that month becoming one of the top ten business books in the US according to the Wall Street Journal. The conference was entirely sold out. Many of the attendees said it was an incredible, transformative experience. That same week, we also launched our mobile app, which enables women to have more conversations to discuss real challenges as well as opportunities, insights, support to become stronger and better together.
In hindsight, we learned that no matter as an incredible, talented team, and as much as we want to align the time for our users and partners, we must think of as well our organization priorities and ability to balance multiple projects all in the same timeframe. In the future, we will be sure to space out our initiatives to ensure continued balance.
4. Trust your gut!
Following your gut is extremely important! When you go from a small organization to a larger one, you will have gone through something that is very consensus-driven to being increasingly something where you need to make your own decisions. I think you need to follow your gut even though others may differ from your opinions. It is on the rarer side in our team, and it is usually for more minor matters. But, when your gut tells you something, and you need to listen to that instinct.