Starting and running a business is not easy and with all of the stats about how upwards of 90% of startups fail, one may question why they would start a business in the first place. From my experience, it’s down to wanting to find joy in the work that you do, be your own boss, and bring your ideas into the world.
One of the challenges is building a team and creating a happy, positive, and productive work environment that people want to be a part of. Mike Ficara shared with me that hiring and finding the right people to join his team is an ever-ongoing challenge. The pool of talent is ever-growing, and you end up questioning if you have made the right decision. Over the years, Mike has learned the significance of hiring and firing quickly, and that it takes time and experience to become good in the hiring process.
On the topic of team building, Mike recommends starting with a lower compensation package while focusing on the training and development of new team members and the team as a whole which fosters growth within the team. As people grow, and perform their compensation package will grow too. Mike shares how it’s so important to create a company culture that aligns with the organisation’s goals and find individuals who fit well within that culture and this is one way that he does it within his company.
Micromanagement is a challenge teams face that is often misunderstood and misused. Micromanagement is the use of excessive monitoring, control, and power over your team/s. It often stems from insecurities within leaders that overspill into the culture and workplace. Having clear processes, deadlines, and expectations of your team is not micromanagement and still allows for autonomy within the workplace. Every business is different and finding the right balance between direction and autonomy is crucial for success.
Most of this comes down to clear communication and defining what the workplace culture is and how everyone keeps each other accountable. Mike shares how he uses Discord as a communication tool within his company and how it’s been effective in helping his team to collaborate with each other and facilitate communication among team members. It’s a flexible communication tool for a modern workplace. Communication goes beyond the use of a digital tool and is about being open and honest with everyone. The use of these modern-day tools can help though, especially if you have team members from all over the world.
There is a misconception that financial success alone leads to happiness in entrepreneurship and that this is why people start businesses. They chase some big financially-fuelled dream only to realise that money does not guarantee happiness and fulfilment. This is what Mike realised the hard way and that finding joy in meaningful work projects, working with a great team, and achieving a healthy work-life balance is more meaningful. True happiness within business comes from creating a business that allows for personal enjoyment and the ability to spend quality time with loved ones. This is when you really become your own boss!