There is an infinite number of lessons that a businessperson learns along their individual journey.
Indeed, the process of learning never ends. In the early days of setting up MT Finance, I learned some particularly important lessons.
The first thing I learned was that it all starts with a leap of faith.
We set up this business at the height of the previous financial crisis in 2008, which was scary and exciting in equal measure. My business partner, Tomer Aboody, and I had an idea to bring a specialist lender to the market at a time when the major banks had virtually shut their doors.
When setting up a business, most owners have to be chief executive, head of marketing, financial controller and business development manager all at the same time
However, although we had identified the opportunity, we did not have a clear idea of how to seize it. All the same, with no investment, no contacts in the industry, a shared laptop and a commitment to working our backsides off, we jumped in and launched MT Finance. Sometimes you just have to do it.
The second big lesson was one of the most important: it’s better to start laying bricks than to obsess with the idea of building the perfect house.
No business launches are perfect; there is always ongoing evolution
For example, we paid £500 to a programmer we met at our local five-a-side football game, to get our website up and running. That first website was hideous.
Over the years it has been followed by site after site, each evolving and becoming better and more relevant, but that first site did what we needed it to do at the time.
Sometimes you just have to do it
No business launches are perfect; there is always ongoing evolution. Get what you need to get going, and worry about the rest later.
Lesson three was transformative. We had to learn, and to be creative in using our time in new ways.
When setting up a business, most owners have to be chief executive, head of marketing, financial controller and business development manager all at the same time. The reality is that launching a company is relatively easy but, when the initial excitement settles and the quiet fills the room, the real challenges begin.
There is an infinite number of lessons that a businessperson learns along their individual journey
The key was to understand that our roles had changed, and to adapt. We learned new skills; from using Xero to handle our accounts to coding Mailchimp emails so as to publicise the brand and what we were doing at little-to-no cost.
It’s really important you are prepared to work smarter and harder.
I encourage anyone thinking of setting up a business to get going, learn as much as possible and enjoy the adventure.
This article featured in the June edition of MS.
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