The Lessons I’ve Learned From Other People After Starting A Business

Here are the lessons Shut Up & Hustle's Founder Nick Dimengo learned after starting a business

Starting a business has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. I’ve mentioned that before to friends, former colleagues and, well, anyone else who’s willing to listen, but it didn’t really hit me until I was about two months into this journey and I’ve seen some varying success.

It’s not that coming up with an idea to start a business is difficult — we all have dreams that we hope can become a reality at some point — it’s that, once you take the dive to actually go for those goals, it takes strategy in order to be successful, and it doesn’t happen overnight, which is why starting a business absolutely tests your patience. Lucky for me, I’ve got some really good people around who have been willing to help, even though they don’t have to.

Since I’ve bombarded nearly everyone I know about what they think Shut Up & Hustle should be, I’ve gotten a ton of feedback that helps me refocus the brand in certain areas, while also reminding me to “stay in my lane” of sorts and remember what I’m ultimately providing: quality stories.

With my business journey just a few months old, I figured it’d be a good time to share some of the free advice I’ve learned since starting a business, which you might find useful if you ever take the leap to do it yourself.

Everyone Has An Opinion Of What Your Business Should Be

Want to know one of the most endearing things about starting a business? People actually give a shit. But here’s the thing: Not every piece of advice is worth accepting, because it can be overwhelming, so it’s on you to decide what actually resonates with your brand.

Whether it’s an email giving you honest advice about the overall direction of your company, or simply feedback on how to build out a social media strategy, most people who you talk to about your company will probably want to help; it’s just human nature.

But Starting A Business Takes Collaboration

As much as you want to smile and nod to some of those ideas from others, the cold hard truth is that it takes collaboration when starting a business — so make sure you choose correctly and listen closely.

In my experience, I’ve had my best friend tell me to stop writing what feels like “filler” content. I’ve had a former boss syndicate a piece about Charlie’s Chalk Dust. I’ve had former colleagues ask if they could guest write or link back to content. It’s all mega important, because the feedback helps you narrow the lens and focus on what people want.

Failure Leads To Important Data

Remember how I just mentioned that “filler” content my best friend suggested was being published? While it led to some reads and shares on social media, fact is, the pieces that were original and not just aggregated from other sites have been the ones that perform the best.

Those articles might not technically be failures, but it does show that taking a little extra time to write what’s important goes a long way with resonating with Shut Up & Hustle’s audience. It proves that, in order to be successful, it’s always about quality, not about quantity. Understanding that data will help the overall experience and engagement with the brand.

When Starting A Business, It’s All About Trial And Error

Along the same lines as above, it’s important to test things out when starting a business. If there’s one thing we know about entrepreneurs, it’s that they’re driven, stubborn, impatient and set on their idea. Well, that’s not always a good thing, because adaptation is what will make you successful, but you need to see what works and what doesn’t before deciding how to plan.

In my case, I’ve tried numerous things on the site and social media, and, while some of it has been successful, it’s still too early to really quantify what is and isn’t working. But with a clear vision on what type of content should be published by Shut Up & Hustle, I have a better idea after testing things out before the brand grows bigger and bigger.

Remember That, Starting Off, You’re Just A Small Toad In A Gigantic Ocean

Ah, yes, the biggest lesson I’ve learned to date.

Trust me, I want to be huge, impacting millions, but it’s not going to happen overnight. So, as much as I want that to happen, I’ve been reminded that I’m just a small toad right now in an ocean that’s filled with an enormous amount of other creatures trying to do the same thing.

That’s why it’s critical to test things, learn, adapt and listen to what smart and trusted people are telling you in order to be successful. It’s not always easy, but the journey’s worth it once you reach your goal.

Always Make Sure There’s A Purpose To Every Interaction

I hate wasting my time and other peoples’ time, so an important lesson I’ve learned while starting a business is purpose. That means purpose when I email someone. It means purpose when I schedule a meeting with someone over the phone. That means purpose when I’m writing something. Because, without purpose, it’s just a waste of time.

Now, not everything has to have a call to action or lead to revenue — especially early on — but there’s a big difference between just talking about your company and proactively working with other people to grow your company.

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