What being President/CEO Of Several Startups Taught Me

My very first experience of opening up my first company was at 12. I though it was really cool to take care of dogs/cats while their owners were away on vacation. I earned a nice chunk of change for 12 year old.

Then a few years later in high school, I decided to tell my high school teacher about my little side business.

The very first thing I did in both instances? Gather a few clients. Not 1000s.

Here's my very first price brochure. If I bring this business back, I will be sure to update everything!
Here's my very first price brochure. If I bring this business back, I will be sure to update everything!
This was the form I left my clients after each visit explaining what I did to care for my pet. My first employee was my mom l
This was the form I left my clients after each visit explaining what I did to care for my pet. My first employee was my mom lol. :)

1. You don’t need a lot of clients, but the right clients.

I rather have 100 well paying loyal clients than 1000’s of clients that are no good. Not everyone is the right customer for your business. The more I interview my entrepreneur friends, the more I see this is true. Everyone has some sort of selection process. If you take the client only because you need the money to pay a bill I will say that you will regret it later. They more in likely will be more trouble than it’s worth. I’ve also heard horror stories If you take a customer because you think they are a great match and you can solve their problem that’s a better reason. For my pet sitting business, I was repeatedly hired by the same people. Repeat well-paying clients are awesome.

2. It’s not so much the title, but the work that actually counts.

It’s cool to say you are the President or CEO of something eh? There’s a ton of work that goes into these titles, but it’s worth it. I remember one time in grade school, I was vice president of our class, but the president wanted me to do her duties as well as mine. I told her if you want to be president, you need to do the work that involves being the president. She didn’t like me too much after that. I also made a point to tell classmates who the president was when they tried to get me to overstep my bounds. They wanted me to perform actions as if I was president and I didn’t have the authority.

One of the reasons why I ran for so many presidential positions in my years because I knew I would be involved in creating companies in my real-world life. The mistakes and the experiences would be invaluable. I’m not going to go into complete details here, but that plan didn’t plan out for me. If you read enough of my articles, you will find out why.

The irony is I still ended up creating my own companies and creating my own learning experiences outside formal education despite never being the favorite.

3. Other roles can teach you great lessons.

There are times where I’ve been the sales person, the writer, the behind the scenes type roles and guess what! I learned quite a bit! I’m not opposed to working other titles in my own companies/another startups.

4. Mistakes will be made.

I have been thrown out, thrown away, not welcomed, made mistakes, been embarrassed, sweat bullets, and the whole 9 yards.

And still lived to tell and became head of my start-ups. Shitty things in life happen but things will be fine.

5. Instead of just following your dreams and just hoping things will take off do this: Make a list of your passions (the things that make you get up in the morning). Find someone that’s doing what you’re doing/find a system that can determine if your idea can be a business/product. That way you can have potentially plan to turn this idea into revenue and well-paying clients. Or pick a better idea if that idea doesn’t pan out.

Quick example. I’ll pick the relationship niche. There’s several coaches out there doing quite well, each of them have their own client base. If you look up relationship e-books/books, you will see there is a lot on the market place. There is enough interest in the topic that you can do well in it with the right mindset and plan.

6. Yes you can get paid to pet sit/walk dogs with a road map in place!

I saw a friend post that they wish they can get paid for walking dogs.

Hey buds! YOU ACTUALLY CAN GET PAID TO WALK DOGS! AND PET SIT. As I’m writing this article, I saw this one pet sitting business on television doing so well that she quit her regular job! She has 150 clients and she gets paid to walk their dogs!

For the the third time, yes you can get paid to walk dogs and pet sit. It’s just a matter of getting the right systems in place. It has crossed my mind to bring this business back, new and improved. I blocked my number and name of the business to protect it for now.

Follow Alesha Peterson On Twitter: https://twitter.com/aleshapeterson

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.