Three Mistakes I Wish I Hadn't Made When Building My Business

Dr. Linda Hancock Business Business_Entrepreneurialism

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We all make mistakes and some of them can be costly - especially when building a business. But, like the old expression "live and learn", I have not only lived through them but also learned from them.

  1. Hiring individuals who I liked instead of people who could do the job - I admit that there was a time when I really didn't understand how to hire staff that would help me build the business. I would hire people who had good personalities or seemed to be compatible with me. So many times, I would be surprised to learn that they either didn't have the skills needed to do the job or were just too lazy to get things done.

Well, now I am very good at hiring! I list all the jobs that I need to have done and then only hire people who have the skills and motivation to get them done. That means that I have to start with knowing very clearly what I need and then being able to communicate this to the person I hire. A third important aspect of hiring is following up to ensure that the person is doing things the way that you outlined for them.

  1. Buying too much inventory - When I wrote my first book the publisher offered a "two for one" deal. I just ":knew" that I would be selling lots of books (doesn't every author?) and therefore bought 3,000 copies. That meant that 6,000 arrived at my door and although I had a good price per copy, I had invested a lot of money into the order. On top of that, I didn't have the space to store them so had to rent an office space to house them. It has now been over two years of monthly rent - just to store them! Oops!
  2. Investing too much money into travel and training for staff - My older son and my daughter work for me. I thought it would be a good idea to take them to some training opportunities that required registration, flights, hotels and meals. I don't regret taking them at all. In fact, the training was good for all of us. What I do regret is that I hadn't set up a business start-up loan and therefore used credit cards to pay for this. The interest paid was fairly significant. If I were doing this again, I wouldn't have set up so many trips or arranged for a low interest line of credit.

It's okay. I've heard it said that "experience is something you wish was happening to the other guy". I have good learning from these three experiences and do not regret them one little bit!

Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email

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