You have the spirit of an entrepreneur, but you haven’t figured out how to get started quite yet. That’s not a big surprise. No matter how long you went to college or university, no slip of paper can prepare you for the realities of starting a business. Your business will bloom with your experience. In this series, “Everything You Need To Know About Starting A Small Business,” we’ve gathered founders and CEOs who have created successful businesses. Maria Weyman, Founder and Co-CEO of creditcardGenius, is here to share her experiences with you.
What was the reasoning behind starting your small business?
I got started because my partner needed some help to move our first site, HowToSaveMoney.ca forward and start creditcardGenius.ca. I also enjoy learning and creating. And when you build your own business from the ground up, there isn’t a day that goes by that you aren’t learning. Turns out, when you pursue a path less travelled, there are a few gigantic learning curves waiting for you along the way.
What were some of the major challenges of starting your business, and how were you able to navigate them?
The major challenge for us — and I would venture to say, other small business owners as well — is thriving towards being the best in our space without burning out our small team and ourselves. I’m a big doer which is a big plus when you want to get things done. But I also get tunnel vision and super focused on those ambitious goals and lose sight of the periphery. Striving for excellence but also appreciating the effort behind the scenes is something that I actively try to get better at.
Is there a specific quote that motivates you as a small business owner?
Do I ever! I’ve loved this quote from Teddy Roosevelt since the first time I read it: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Do you have any insight you’d like to share with anyone thinking of starting a business?
Learn fast, fail fast, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and be ready to do it all over again. And again. Starting a business isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t about how you got started or the mistakes you’ve made along the way (I’ve made plenty and will make plenty still). For me, it’s about showing up every day and carrying the hope that you’ll finish your journey well because you know you gave it your best.
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