If you could start over with your business, what would you do differently?

Are you thinking about starting a business or have you recently started a business? You may want to take a look at the following answers from our SteamFeed authors for some tips and advice.

Here is the question we asked some of our authors: If you could start over with your business, what would you do differently?


Albert Qian (@albertqian):

If I could start over with my business, I would probably be doing JUST my business instead of my 9-5 job.


Randy Bowden (@bowden2bowden):

I would go all-in with more confidence in myself and my abilities and not worry about failing! I already knew how to fail, doing nothing or doing something stupid because of my fear. So I would figure out exactly what I need to ensure success and go after it with greater self-assurance in my ability! Believe in success.


Keri Jaehnig (@connectyou):

My business has evolved from where I was in the non-profit sector, honing in on demand and what was working, to where my business is now – Online marketing for business brands, non-profits, and political candidates. What I did then has gotten me to where I am now, so no — I would not change that. If I were to do anything differently, I would have started blogging sooner. And I recommend to any small business owner not to delay in launching their blog!


James Oliver, Jr.(@jamesoliverjr):

Have a capable, technically-oriented, founding partner.


Gerry Michaels (@gettysburggerry):

I would have started sooner and definitely kept my blinders on, trusted in myself more from the begining.  If what you are doing is working, don’t stop doing it because someone who thinks they know it all tells you you are “doing it wrong.”  You know YOU best, and if what you are doing is working, build off of it. It is smart to listen to advice from others, but it is smarter to think that advice through and be sure it works within the methods that you employ. In short, don’t be afraid to believe in yourself. I lost time growing my business by trying to mold my business to someone else’s idea of what my business should be.


Derrick Jones (@djoneslucid)

Surround myself with more advisors and get a better understanding of the mental game. The mental game is an aspect of entrepreneurship that is not talked about enough. That is why I spend considerable time talking about it in my book.

Still have questions? Or want to give some advice? Leave your comments below.

DJ Thistle
D.J. Thistle is a co-founder of SteamFeed, a blog that focuses on the latest trends in social media, technology, and marketing. His passion in technology is only rivaled by his desire to connect with others through social media. He has been a featured speaker multiple times on how to get started in social media at various wine industry events. He has spent the last 8 years teaching in public and private schools in Massachusetts and California. He is happily married and enjoys every moment of raising his beautiful daughter.
DJ Thistle

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  1. This, this right here is what Steamfeed so important, and relevant. I learned something valuable from each and every response, that inspires me to add quality content the site. Such a great group…thanks all and to you DJ and Daniel for all you do.

  2. Our clients would use social media from the start.

  3. I agree with Gerry, SteamFeed is a reassuring vehicle for relevance! It reads as if all of my SMRebel colleagues have a bit of the same advise, believe in yourself and press on! Thank you DJ for your "author question" series…

  4. djthistle says:

    I completely agree guys. This type of information is completely useful and relevant to a lot of people. Thanks for taking the time to be a part of this series.

    I also love how I get to know the authors on a deeper level through this format.

  5. Seems like the consensus with everyone was to just basically go for it, and I couldn't agree more. I was talking with a good friend today about her life/ business goals, and someone told her that if you are trying to do 10 things at once it is like 10 cars moving slowly in traffic all at once. Hence, really slow progress. If you get rid of the other 9 cars on the road and go full speed with the one car then you can really gain some momentum and speed. I loved the analogy!

  6. Ian Cleary says:

    James's tip regarding having a technical focussed partner is extremely important if you are going into a software development startup. Without the techie co-founder it just doesn't work.
    Some great tips above!

  7. ideagirlmedia says:


    Thank you for including my comments! Very interesting to see others' comments and how they would do things differently!! :)


    • djthistle says:

      Thanks for taking the time to share Keri! :) I love doing these types of posts because they're full of value from different perspectives.

  8. mikesullivanarc says:

    I would have built systems and processes right out of the gate. thus, I would have been able to delegate more freely, allowing me to spend more time marketing and selling my services.

    I would have spent more time working ON my business rather than just IN my business. This step was critical to my success. If I would have done it earlier…

    I would also have been more strategic in my marketing efforts rather than simply tactical as we were early on.
    Built a more strategic plan and had our sales efforts follow the marketing path. Meaning, tee up prospective targets and have the sales team pursue those targets on the heels of the marketing effort, or in conjunction with. Basically, warm the prospects up before sales calls.

  9. Al Dhalla says:

    We have a successful business and we are looking forward to many more years of growing our venture. This topic always comes up so we know one thing we would do differently is focus on strategy and not just tactical aspects of our business. Essentially that means we would be working more on the business not just in the business.

  10. The Evolutionary VA says:

    It's taken me 6 months to come to the conclusion that I should not stick to the model that other people say I should be, but go with my gut instincts about what is right for me and my business – basically if you are comfortable with how you are conducting you business, then you will achieve your goal of being successful.

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