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/ Page 1
What I wish
I knew
Before I started
a company
/ Page 2
Motivate Design is a user experience staffing, research and design shop, founded in 2009.
M Y C O M PA N Y
First, what I started
Moderated
Do-It-Yourself
Workshops
How it looks
How It works
Design
Discovery
Validation
Research
Full-time
Contract
Staffing
/ Page 3
Business karma trumps a
business plan
Wish #1
/ Page 4
DO GREAT WORK
Don’t think of everything in terms of return. Put forth your best work and the money will follow.
TREAT PEOPLE WITH KINDNESS
In the long run, being kind will get you farther than any business strategy. We were able to grow organically,
through repeat work and word-of-mouth, because we are nice people.
MAKE MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS
Don’t write people off just because they can’t do anything for you at the moment. I’ve found some of my best
employees and favorite clients through connections that I least expected to lead to business. You never know!
W I S H # 1
Business karma trumps a business plan
Business Plan
Business Karma
/ Page 5
Wish #2
Nobody knows
everything
/ Page 6
I knew I didn’t know everything, and sometimes thinking about how much I didn’t know held me back. I would
compare myself to other people who seemed to know more than me (or so I thought). I asked questions and
found out they felt just as scared and insecure as I was.
I NEED TO KNOW:
W I S H # 2
Nobody knows everything
What I do know
and focus on that
What I believe in, and what I’m
willing and not willing to do.
What I want so I know
where I’m going.
What I want to leave behind,
so I know what I’m building.
/ Page 7
Not everyone I hire
will succeed
Wish #3
/ Page 8
Someemployeesaregreat.Iconsidermyselfluckytoworkwiththe smartest,nicest,justallaroundbestpeople
I could find.
(and that’s my fault)
W I S H # 3
Not everyone I hire will succeed
Take too much
Want too
much attention
Demand
too much
Don’t exemplify
companies values
Misuse
company
resources
Don’t take pride
in their work
Want more
structure
Don’t contribute
to company culture
Don’t know
what they want
/ Page 9
Find people that are
better than me
Wish #4
/ Page 10
As a founder, I originally had to do “everything”, but that doesn’t mean I wanted to. I learned my real job was to
find people who do certain jobs better than me.
DEDICATED EMPLOYEES
Take Finance. I sent invoices when I felt like it. Apparently that’s not the way to do it. So, I found dedicated
people who not only send invoices routinely and on time, but like to create projections and financial models.
They truly help me understand how to run an efficient, profitable business.
W I S H # 4
Find people that are better than me
My
Job
Now
Things
I love
Necessary
things I
don’t love
/ Page 11
Having kids will propel
my business
Wish #5
/ Page 12
Two months after founding Motivate Design, I found out I was pregnant.
TWO KIDS LATER
Havingkidsforcedmetochangemybusinessfromonethatneededmyconstantattentiontoonethatcouldrun
withoutme.WhenIreturnedtoworktofindthatmyteamwasdoinggreat,IrealizedIhadroomtocreateanew
job because they were doing my old one better than I was!
W I S H # 5
Having kids will propel my business
Motivate Design founded
First kid
changed my business
to one that could
run without me
Focus on sales
New partners
Second kid
2009 2016
Hired new team
Wrote a book
Plan for growth
New office
TEDx
/ Page 13
Thank you!

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How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur

  • 1. / Page 1 What I wish I knew Before I started a company
  • 2. / Page 2 Motivate Design is a user experience staffing, research and design shop, founded in 2009. M Y C O M PA N Y First, what I started Moderated Do-It-Yourself Workshops How it looks How It works Design Discovery Validation Research Full-time Contract Staffing
  • 3. / Page 3 Business karma trumps a business plan Wish #1
  • 4. / Page 4 DO GREAT WORK Don’t think of everything in terms of return. Put forth your best work and the money will follow. TREAT PEOPLE WITH KINDNESS In the long run, being kind will get you farther than any business strategy. We were able to grow organically, through repeat work and word-of-mouth, because we are nice people. MAKE MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS Don’t write people off just because they can’t do anything for you at the moment. I’ve found some of my best employees and favorite clients through connections that I least expected to lead to business. You never know! W I S H # 1 Business karma trumps a business plan Business Plan Business Karma
  • 5. / Page 5 Wish #2 Nobody knows everything
  • 6. / Page 6 I knew I didn’t know everything, and sometimes thinking about how much I didn’t know held me back. I would compare myself to other people who seemed to know more than me (or so I thought). I asked questions and found out they felt just as scared and insecure as I was. I NEED TO KNOW: W I S H # 2 Nobody knows everything What I do know and focus on that What I believe in, and what I’m willing and not willing to do. What I want so I know where I’m going. What I want to leave behind, so I know what I’m building.
  • 7. / Page 7 Not everyone I hire will succeed Wish #3
  • 8. / Page 8 Someemployeesaregreat.Iconsidermyselfluckytoworkwiththe smartest,nicest,justallaroundbestpeople I could find. (and that’s my fault) W I S H # 3 Not everyone I hire will succeed Take too much Want too much attention Demand too much Don’t exemplify companies values Misuse company resources Don’t take pride in their work Want more structure Don’t contribute to company culture Don’t know what they want
  • 9. / Page 9 Find people that are better than me Wish #4
  • 10. / Page 10 As a founder, I originally had to do “everything”, but that doesn’t mean I wanted to. I learned my real job was to find people who do certain jobs better than me. DEDICATED EMPLOYEES Take Finance. I sent invoices when I felt like it. Apparently that’s not the way to do it. So, I found dedicated people who not only send invoices routinely and on time, but like to create projections and financial models. They truly help me understand how to run an efficient, profitable business. W I S H # 4 Find people that are better than me My Job Now Things I love Necessary things I don’t love
  • 11. / Page 11 Having kids will propel my business Wish #5
  • 12. / Page 12 Two months after founding Motivate Design, I found out I was pregnant. TWO KIDS LATER Havingkidsforcedmetochangemybusinessfromonethatneededmyconstantattentiontoonethatcouldrun withoutme.WhenIreturnedtoworktofindthatmyteamwasdoinggreat,IrealizedIhadroomtocreateanew job because they were doing my old one better than I was! W I S H # 5 Having kids will propel my business Motivate Design founded First kid changed my business to one that could run without me Focus on sales New partners Second kid 2009 2016 Hired new team Wrote a book Plan for growth New office TEDx