It takes a wise man to learn from his mistakes, but an even wiser man to learn from others.

As discussed in Part I of this series, growing a business is like flying an airplane. Again, no matter how naturally talented you are or how brilliant your business concept is, you must take the time to be learn and grow. An age-old Chinese proverb states, It takes a wise man to learn from his mistakes, but an even wiser man to learn from others.

If you’ve happened upon this post and are in the early stages of starting your company, I encourage you to start at the beginning of this series. If you have already started your company, but find yourself floundering, there might be some good insight for you, as well. Today, we discuss getting on the right path.


After you have backed out of the gate, the next step for a pilot is to taxi to the runway. Your basic goal is to move in the right direction. Your survival, and the survival of others, is reliant on you moving to, and staying on, the correct path. Signs, reflectors, and lights will point you in the right direction. Additionally, other planes around you will be heading in the right direction.

As a small business owner, you can learn so much from your surroundings.

Don’t. Reinvent. The. Wheel.

Watch your competition and make logical decisions.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your business is so groundbreaking, that you have nothing to learn from your surroundings. You will either have existing experience or other companies that you can watch and learn from.

Explore the websites of your competitors. What do they offer that you do not?

Join your Chamber of Commerce and network. What do people with more experience than you do?

Ask someone successful to mentor you. Watch and listen more than you talk.

In Part III of this series, we will discuss taking off.

If you’d like to ensure that your business is heading in the correct direction, Right Column Financial’s Bookkeeping and CFO Services are a great way to ensure that you stay on the right path. Connect with us if you’d like to learn more about how Right Column can come alongside you to grow your business.