I think that if you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur and you can say you haven’t made mistakes or screwed things up now and then, well, you’re not taking enough risks.
I’ve screwed up plenty. Some small things. Some big things with even bigger consequences. That doesn’t make me a bad business owner. In fact, I think it makes me a pretty damn good one. I may not have always made the best decisions, but I have learned from every single one of them. And at the end of the day, I can call myself a successful small business owner and feel good about where my company is now and where it’s going.
I’m launching a series of posts where I talk about some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made, why they were wrong, and what I learned from them. Why am I going to bare my failures as a business owner? Fair question. There’s a few answers, I guess.
First, there’s a lot of ego in business. There’s a lot of pressure to seem like you’re perfect and have never faltered. But you have. And will again. And that’s ok. It’s good to remind ourselves sometimes that perfection is a nice goal but it’s not attainable.
Second, I want to help other companies be better. Learn from my mistakes. They certainly aren’t exclusive to the software industry—most are pretty widely applicable. These mistakes were hard on the business and my employees. If I can help even one business owner avoid them, I’ll count it as a win.
Third, it’s a reminder that no matter what, you have to keep going. I made some blunders at the beginning of LeadMD that could have tanked us. But I was committed to pushing through the difficulty and coming out the other end stronger than ever. And we have.
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.