Geoffrey Radcliffe | Crain's Las Vegas

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Geoffrey Radcliffe

Background:  

Post Launch is a 4-year-old online marketing firm that focuses on the five major areas of digital marketing: SEO, social media management, online advertising buys, content marketing, and video marketing. The company is entirely based in Las Vegas. They hire mostly business people, not tech geeks, to handle clients' business because, as CEO Geoffrey Radcliffe explains, at the end of the day it's all about making dollars happen and not making vanity metrics look impressive.

The Mistake:

The biggest mistake that I have made along the way is trying to take on too much by myself. As an owner of a small business, it's easy to shoulder a lot of things.

Even though you hire a team, a lot of people don't often realize that those individuals are good at doing their jobs. And it takes a lot of faith and the ability to allow someone else to fail on your nickel before they get to the point where they are actually completely competent and your trust exists.

The biggest business mistake was not wanting anything to fail and shouldering way too much of the business on my own as a result.

We have to learn to deal with those sucker punches sometimes.

The Lesson:

I had a dozen employees who were all working in the capacity of personal assistant roles to me. And I hired a business coach who came in and after about two seconds he said, "Wow, you look like you're the center of a bicycle – everyone comes to you."

There's something to be said for having an actual organizational chart within a company so that everyone doesn't have to come to the boss all the time. So the business coach I hired actually walked me through that process: assigned roles, helped with the organizational chart, and helped me coach and train the people that are now my management team, which is a whole lot less stressful.

The best lesson I learned is to realize that there are going to be failures in business regardless. What you can do is just learn from your failures and keep growing – whether it's you making a mistake or someone on your team making a mistake. Nobody is ever 100 percent perfect in business. We have to learn to deal with those sucker punches sometimes.

Follow Geoffrey Radcliffe on Twitter at @radcliffe001 and Post Launch at @postlaunchco.

Photo by Skylar Stephens of Pavement Ends Photography, courtesy of Geoffrey Radcliffe.

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