Many entrepreneurs experience a turning point in their lives, a proverbial ‘A-HA’ moment, when an idea formalizes into a crystal clear vision. On its own, the moment isn’t particularly significant. However when combined with bold decisions and deliberate actions, that ‘A-HA’ moment becomes monumental, separating the men from the boys.
For Joshua Simon, president of SimonCRE and CEO of cloud-based communications company One Stop Voice, this moment occurred in 2009. He was inking a real estate development deal for his then employer. The project was to develop a retail shopping center and lease each of the 14 retail spaces. On paper, the deal was difficult because of external factors: the economy was spiraling downward with no relief in sight. There was no new construction with a flood of real estate available for purchase. No one was buying. Retailers were closing their doors rather than opening. Yet, Joshua had 95 percent of the available retail space leased before construction was completed on a 40,000 square foot shopping center. He delivered the completed project on time and on budget.
Although he had successfully completed many projects before, this one proved that he was capable of building and sustaining his own company. That ‘A-HA’ moment was followed by a harmonious marriage of aggressive decisions and calculated actions, which gave birth to a focused entrepreneur. Three years later, his multi-million dollar organization is experiencing dramatic growth and hiring additional staff.
The process of building a company is complex. Significant decisions are made each day that affect long-term success of the company. This can be overwhelming for many entrepreneurs, however when taken in small bites, they are manageable. The key, according to Joshua, is to make the decision then be prepared to handle the caveats.
Joshua shares some other advice that he has learned while building both of his Scottsdale, Ariz. companies.
Surround yourself with experts. Check your ego at the door when hiring for your team. If your staff knows more than you, the organization will be stronger. By bringing in experts in different facets of your business, the organization will be well balanced and capable of handling daily challenges. At the same time, don’t judge a person by their title/wardrobe/office space. Understand that everyone has something valuable they can teach you. As long as you are willing to learn, important lessons will come when you least expect them.
Work smarter. Not harder. The cliché is true. Investing a significant amount of time into a project does not necessarily translate into a victory. Success is about making smart decisions as efficiently as possible. There are a plethora of technological tools available that assist us with project management, fiscal structure and client billing. Utilize these tools since they streamline processes and free up time-intensive activities. For efficiency, it is also cost effective to outsource functions that are outside of your core competencies.
Be confident. Confidence is attractive in professional relationships. You may have the best skill set, the ultimate plan of action and least expensive pricing for a particular client project. However, if you cannot communicate confidently, it becomes much more difficult to win the business. Pay attention to your mannerisms, your tone of voice and even your posture as they all convey a significant amount about you. The more confidently you appear the more a potential client will believe that you are capable.