As the Owner and CEO of a small business, I have learned valuable lessons about running an effective organization. You learn quickly that you need to be able to budget and make decisions that benefit both your company and your employees. However, one of the most concerning issues facing American small businesses is the current tax situation. Simplicity is key for the growth of a company, especially in its early years, and taxes can be an absolute headache when it comes time to prepare and file.

For me, time is a precious resource and I know I am not alone. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and not take the time to connect with suppliers and customers. This week, in the midst of a grueling work schedule, I decided to show up at a trade show in Chicago (a three-hour drive from my office) where our customers were exhibiting. Prior to this show we created a variety of videos for them to use on their booths. In addition, we were going to send crews on site to videotape future communications. It would have convenient to finish the work, send off the videos and let my employees do the rest.

the ceo magazine, innovation,
Derek Ting, CEO, TextNow

Everyone is talking about disruptors – companies or individuals that are identifying a gap in an industry and filling it in a new or unique way. This is the very nature of business success since the beginning.  Still, people always ask me if I set out to disrupt the traditional wireless business when I first thought about creating my company, TextNow.  The truth is that sounds cooler than the reality.  Here are some lessons I’ve learned as all the cliché terms – “tech CEO,” “millennial CEO,” and “wireless industry disruptor”:

the ceo magazine, sales,
Shari Levitin, Author, Speaker & CEO, Shari Levitin Group

1. Go for the standing ovation every time.

The ultimate downfall for most business people is their inability to handle rejection. But if you’re going to make it as an entrepreneur, you have to be able to take rejection… lots of it. My mentor told me a long time ago to count the number of “no’s” I get and realize that each “no” simply moves you closer to a “yes.”

“Give each pitch your best shot each time,” he told me. “Never take a shortcut.”

Ask any small business person about the challenges they face and at least one of them will be access to capital. In simple terms M-O-N-E-Y. Often no one wants to lend you money when you need it. When you don’t need it, everyone wants to lend you money. Another issue is the paperwork and complexity to apply for loans. When I needed cash to launch my business, I started in a pretty traditional way. I took stacks of paper and went from bank to bank. It was time consuming but I did get the loan. That first loan was under $100,000, typical for small business.

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