Starting your own business - Evan
My advice to people starting out is to stick to what you're good at and do what you're passionate about. Spend your time honing your key skills to further your skillset, rather than trying to do something you're not naturally adept at.
For me, it was learning to code. I could have spent hundreds of hours learning to code, but that time was far better spent developing my business. After all, I can hire someone to code but I can't hire someone who has the same passion that I have.
One of the biggest learning curves for me when I set up Laundrie was people management. I never had to manage people before and I always thought it seemed so easy but, in reality, I find it the hardest part of the job.
You can tell people what to do but you can't make them have enthusiasm for it. That's difficult for me as I have so much passion for my business, so trying to instil it in someone else can be tricky.
You hear a lot of companies talk about how they exclusively hire great people. When I was younger I went for an interview and was told that they only hired "rock stars".
I'd love to know where they get all their rock stars from, but from my experience that's not always a choice.
Sometimes you just have to hire what you can get.
I don't believe in a "carrot or stick" approach, you have to be more dynamic than that when you're trying to motivate people. While overly positive or negative reinforcement methods will work short term, neither will achieve optimum results in the end.
Managing expectations in business is important, both with myself and with the employee. I can't expect one of these so-called rock stars to walk in the door, know the business and already have huge drive for what we do.
However, in the same breath, they can't be expected to know everything when they're just starting out. I believe the best way to be a good manager and to get the best out of your employees is by being honest.
If you don't tell somebody what's expected of them they're unlikely to know.
There's no room for reading between the lines.