Monday 16 September 2019

What I wish I'd Known before I started: Ian Dodson

Co-founder Digital Marketing Institute

Ian Dodson
Ian Dodson

Ian Dodson on how teaming up with an ideal business partner can increase the speed of ideas and why you should leave your ego at home.

Don't go it alone

The first two years I spent alone trying to bootstrap a business were the toughest.

The ideas that I developed on my own either never came to fruition or ran into a dead end very quickly. It's crucial that you have people to spark off of and who help to develop and challenge your ideas.

When myself and Anthony Quigley partnered up on the Digital Marketing Institute, the speed at which we worked through ideas increased exponentially, each of us brought a different perspective and approach and while we made mistakes, we made them quickly and recovered quickly.

Leave the ego at home

If your business is an extension of yourself, then your decisions are based on personality as opposed to what's best for the business. If it has to be your way or your approach then "you" are doomed.

I see entrepreneurship as a muscle you have to exercise and it gets better the more times you exercise it.

If someone feels they only have one great idea and are totally married to this then they become too identified with it and won't be able to make the best choices for their business.

Hire people who are not afraid to challenge you

The greatest leaps in the evolution of this business can be traced directly to the people we are lucky enough to hire.

They bring their own personality and experience to bear on our business, they are smarter than us, challenge us every day and make this a phenomenal place to work every day.

Take all of this with a grain of salt

It scares me how many "successful" entrepreneurs rewrite history and turn their business success into a recipe or rule book for other entrepreneurs.

Success is based on hard graft and a lot of luck. It's about the right product at the right time in the right market at the right price.

There are a lot of factors that you simply do not control. And if you take credit for the success you also have to take the blame for the failures.

Sales solve everything

I'm still astonished at how many businesses struggle with sales reluctance. Whether its the techie not being finished tinkering, or the investment being spent on programming, or waiting until everything is perfect, many firms don't sell their stuff quickly enough.

Every decision, or problem or question in our business is solved with revenue. It removes all doubt about a product or a direction or a hire.

So why not hire a great salesperson on day one? Get revenue.

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