This month marks RTBiQ’s 5-year anniversary! Running a business successfully for 5 years is a big achievement and with any impressive feat, it’s important to reflect on what you’ve learned along the way. We asked our co-founder and CEO, Richard Lowden, to consider five lessons he has learned since starting RTBiQ. This is what he had to say:
1. Really be prepared to be challenged in ways you never have been in a work setting.
Not everyone is as lucky as me to have a co-founder who is as passionate, purpose-driven and skilled as my co-founder, Dr. Natha Hayre. Even with that advantage, owning and operating your own company is not for the faint of heart. Although I believe everybody can be an entrepreneur, I understand why some people don’t because it’s really, really hard. At the same time, it’s also very rewarding, especially when you take the time to step back and look at what you’ve accomplished. Just don’t dwell too long as your to-do list just keeps growing!
2. Try to stay in balance.
As a founder of a company, you are tempted to just work all the time. Even though you may be thinking about work all the time, you have to make sure you also take care of yourself which includes regular exercise, sleep, eating right, spending time with family and friends and doing something positive for your community. All of these things are very important.
3. Bring great people onboard and learn to let go.
I was involved in almost everything in the company since the start and at some point, the biggest challenge was letting go of different tasks. It’s essential to surround yourself with a high-quality team. You’re not going to be able to run a successful business by yourself.
4. In pursuit of profit, don’t lose your sense of purpose.
In business, it’s a hard and fast rule that you should make more than you spend. While this is true, make sure to always keep your purpose for starting your venture in mind. Have passion for what you’re doing beyond profit because something so intensive as starting a company needs to be worth your while in more ways than simply monetary gain.
5. Questions are necessary.
Don’t expect to know everything. Unless you’ve run your own company before, there are a lot of things that you just don’t know, that you haven’t been challenged with until you run your own company. Know that it is okay to not know everything going in. You can’t be afraid just because you don’t know. It shouldn’t stop you from figuring it out, learning and doing.
* Bonus: Since it’s our birthday, here’s one more for good luck: name your company something that people can easily spell, pronounce, and remember! (Eventually, R-T-B-i-Q rolls off the tongue, but trust me on this one).
Reflecting on the five RTBiQ values, Richard believes he resonates most with Everything can be optimized. He says, “We’re not afraid to challenge ourselves to be better and that’s good.”