If you could go back in time and change one thing in business (aside from the lottery) would you and if so, what would you change?

To help you avoid regrets in business, we asked entrepreneurs and CEOs this question for their best insights. From setting boundaries with clients to building a network on LinkedIn, here are several things (aside from the lottery) that business leaders would go back in time to change. 

Here are eight things to change to avoid regrets in business:

  • Set Boundaries with Clients
  • Provide Opportunities for Marginalized Groups
  • Take Moments to Breathe
  • Restructure Employee Compensation
  • Plan Strategically
  • Fear Failure Less
  • Scale Community Outreach 
  • Build a Network on Linkedin

Handle Clients Differently

There’s always something that we wish we could go back and change in business. For me, it would be the way I handled a particular client situation. The client was extremely demanding and required a lot of my time and attention. I didn’t handle the situation well, and the client ended up leaving. In hindsight, I should have been more assertive with the client and set boundaries from the beginning. I would have saved myself a lot of headaches if I had just been upfront about what I was able to commit to. If I could go back and change one thing, that’s definitely it.

Antreas Koutis, Financer

Provide Opportunities for Marginalized Groups

I would start diversity and inclusion initiatives much sooner in history. Our modern world has shown that professionals of every possible identity can add value to the world and make a difference. I suspect that we would be much further along as a society if leaders didn’t stymie so much human potential in decades past by limiting opportunities to select groups.

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

Take Moments to Breathe

It’s tempting to say that I would use time travel to devote more time to another passion project. The truth is, though, that I wouldn’t change a thing, beyond giving myself a quick break or two more often in the past. What I do is my passion project, and in order to succeed, I’ve had to hustle and grab every opportunity that has come my way. Beyond having more time to rest and recuperate, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional

Restructure Employee Compensation

I would change the way that we value and compensate employees. Too often, businesses only focus on an employee’s output rather than their input. I believe that if we valued and compensated employees based on their skill, effort and dedication, we would see a huge increase in employee satisfaction and retention.

Matthew Ramirez, Rephrasely

Plan Strategically

It’s an old saying that ‘what gets measured, gets done’ but we started using OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) experimentally two years ago and the result has been transformational. By setting company, departmental, and (in some cases) personal goals using the OKR format, we have been able to measure what’s important, focus more on things that matter, and build transparency, accountability and ambition into the business. Also, it’s a much more concise and rigorous format for business planning than the traditional wish list of things you’d love to do in the year.

Matthew Stibbe, Articulate Marketing

Fear Failure Less

It’s probably true for a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners that you don’t really know what you can do until you try. Reaching out, forming connections, and making your brand known are some of the things that you always think you can do better when you look back in hindsight. And it’s pretty much true, you definitely can. If I could I’d go back, I’d take any shots in building my brand that I shied away from just because I thought I was too inexperienced. The worst I could do would be to fail. Knowing what I know now, that’s not really a bad thing. Even when you lose, you can still make personal gains.

Alex Chavarry, Cool Links

Scale Community Outreach

If I could have changed one thing, it would have been to do more community outreach in the early days when we were first getting things off the ground. Our current business model is a product of the transformative power of remote work, connecting a network of talent to create high quality products from underprivileged communities across the United States. Giving back has always been a part of our ethos, but I wish we had been able to scale our efforts sooner. In that regard, Covid was both a blessing and a curse for us because it forced us to develop the current method in which we conduct business but also delayed its launch.

Patrick Robinson, Paskho

Build a Network on LinkedIn

There are so many platforms to grow on, and most entrepreneurs make some mistakes in the beginning in terms of where they invest their time. If I could go back to the beginning of my business, I would delete Instagram and Facebook from my phone and spend all of my time networking on LinkedIn. A few months of consuming and creating content on LinkedIn has brought my business far more than years of Instagram did. Treat LinkedIn as your watercooler, and it’ll pay off handsomely.

Kayla Ihrig, Writing From Nowhere

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