Experience is the best teacher—in our more than 10 years as entrepreneurs, we couldn’t agree more to this nugget of wisdom. Running businesses has its ups and downs, and the whole experience has transformed us not just into more strategic business owners but also wiser leaders and better persons. Here, we share some of the lessons we wish we had learned sooner.

Don’t waste your time with cheap clients.

Your business will be better off without clients who unreasonably ask for huge discounts and don’t add value to your business. Ironically, these clients are the ones who have unrealistic demands and will never be satisfied. Please do your team a favor—never do business with this kind of clients.

Communicate your vision to your team.

Communication is different from micro-management. You don’t have to breathe down your team members’ neck all the time. What we mean by communication is more than just what you say—it’s how you say it through your actions. Are your action and work ethic consistent with your company values? Set an example, and people will quickly pick up what you’re trying to communicate through both your words and actions.

Keep your branding focused.

If you’re trying to fit too many messages in a single brand, your target market will get confused as to what you really are and what you’re offering. Stick to one brand messaging and be consistent with it.

Mistakes are nasty and costly, but they taught us the value of taking stock of the lessons to learn along the way and making sure they don’t happen again. Don’t get us wrong—we don’t regret failing (because how else can we learn?). We just want to pass on some knowledge we gained from experience so that fellow entrepreneurs can pick up something useful.

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