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Maintain your start-up mindset

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Last week in Inc. magazine, Yahoo! CEO (and Wisconsin native) Marissa Mayer talked about the importance of keeping the mindset of a start-up in business.

“It will sound strange, but we think of ourselves as the world’s largest start-up,” Mayer says. “Start-ups have to move fast. Start-ups organize into small teams that are really dedicated to particular products or investments, and that gives people a large sense of ownership, responsibility, autonomy.”

Red Shoes PR, Inc. is currently in its sixth year of business. Over the course of those six years, the company has seen change, ebbs and flows, growth and accolades. It’s been said that companies are officially no longer considered start-ups after five years in business; while we were thrilled to hit that milestone and celebrated what that meant for us, I do see Mayer’s point of why it’s beneficial to continue with a new-company mindset.

Here are three ways your company can continue with the drive of a start-up long after the paint is dry:

Take risks. Don’t let yourself get complacent in business just because it’s working. In the words of our fearless leader Lisa Cruz: “If you are comfortable in life in any way, shape or form, you aren’t growing.” In the PR business, clients are looking for you to take risks, provide them with ideas they’ve never thought of and push the envelope.

Be persistent. Persistence is a key attribute to great business leaders and, most of the time, it pays off. Never give up. Never stop trying. No matter how seasoned your business is.

Engage mentors. Many start-ups work with personal or professional mentors in the beginning to help answer questions or guide their way through the launch and early years. Continue to call upon those mentors with experience and skill; your relationship will be invaluable.

“It stops being a start-up when people don’t feel as though what they are doing has impact. I don’t think the tipping point is a certain number of people, but an atmosphere that people individually and collectively can’t will the company to success.” – Russell D’Souza

On that note – Mayer’s idea of treating Yahoo! like a start-up sounds brilliant to me.



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