Lessons Learned as a CEO of a Startup Company

Hiring the Right Team

When I first started I was the quincuncial startup working out of my kitchen table in my shared apartment.  Trying to get employees that are willing to go to your apartment to work an 8 hour work day is a difficult story to sell.  So as a startup you are constantly selling to potential employees as well.  This process doesn’t get easier even as we grow.

I look at myself as I’ve got 15 employees.  We are continuously profitable and growing.  So when I interview different Chinese staff members, the mentality is that they often dream of going to work for a big company.  Therefore when they come to my office which I am super proud of, it is nothing like working for Tencent or Alibaba.  They look at it as it being not enough.  So again it is a constant struggle.  Therefore you just need to present your vision.  Tell them who you are and what your goals are and if they are a right fit, you will both see it.  You would never want to force them to work with you or lie to them.

Getting Funding

This also applies to getting funding.  The key is to be yourself.  I’ve been speaking with investors and if you are not genuine, not actually telling them your story and what you believe and what your goals are, you won’t get funded.  I think of it like dating so go out there and find your ideal match.

Also something founders do not want to talk about publically is the emotional stress that it has.  Just being a founder, it is tough.  You go home and you want to sleep but you can’t.  There are times you are sad and depressed because something is not working right and you have to wake up early the next day or even stay up all night to fix something.  You have to keep pressing even though you might feel like you are the only one that understands what you are doing.  But at the end of the day, you need to trust the fact that you are doing what you love.  As long as you believe in what you are building, you are going to make a difference and ultimately be happy.   If you fail, you’ve got an awesome skill set to go out and do it again.

Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd

Sam Boyd is the founder and CEO of Guided Imports, a sourcing company that helps businesses get products manufactured from Asia. Guided Imports simplifies the process of finding and working with factories, by leveraging their team and resources on the ground, and using software to offer a comprehensive service that helps businesses improve the way they work with factories.

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