The Entrepreneur Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “What’s something you wish you knew before starting your business?” is written by Tiffany Pham, founder and CEO of Mogul.
When I first started Mogul, a platform for women worldwide, I expected to be a one-person team for two years, working from my bedroom in New York City. I had heard of other media platforms operating remotely for years prior to getting an office or building out a team, so I thought the same would likely happen for my new company.
But when Mogul launched, we had a million users.
Never did I expect that we would begin with such explosive growth. Subsequently, I began working day and night—20 hours a day—in order to sustain our user base.
Shortly after, I began to implement an internal infrastructure in order to support our external growth. I raised venture capital and hired on our first employees. Now, over a year later, we reach 18 million users per week and are accessed by all 196 countries and 30,470 cities.
When I look back, I realize that I had to retroactively implement our internal infrastructure because I didn’t think Mogul could scale so largely so quickly. Thus, my lesson is: Be confident in your abilities. Set high expectations. Envision that, with all of your hard work, the best scenario could happen. Then work backwards and create internal support to achieve this.
Setting high expectations has been a recurring theme at Mogul. My team always sets very aggressive goals for their areas of business, and together, we figure out ways to achieve them, even if they seem impossible at first. I have learned, alongside everyone else at Mogul, that achieving the “impossible” is usually actually possible with hard work, dedication, and creativity (or out-of-the-box thinking), and setting ourselves up for success involves first creating these dream goals. Every time we have done this, we’ve actually surpassed what once seemed impossible.
For example, when we launched Mogul Courses, we set out to provide them for free to 62 million girls in support of Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” campaign. We then set up a system whereby every time a user purchases a course, we partner with an organization to provide them for free to girls in need. Women’s education has been a cause that I have always held dearly and, given our global reach and the processes we have put into action, we have already begun to have a true impact.
Yet, if there is one thing you should take away from this, it is to remember to always be kind, authentic, and generous. If it hadn’t been for the talented people I brought onto the team, Mogul wouldn’t be where it is today. Be kind with everyone, remain true to your mission, always give more than you receive, and the momentum will continue from there.
Tiffany Pham is the founder and CEO of MOGUL, an award-winning worldwide platform connecting women to trending content, including stories, products, and jobs that are personalized to their interests. MOGUL was named one of the Top NYC Startups to Watch in 2015 by Entrepreneur Magazine, named one of the Best Websites for Finding Top Talent in 2015 by Inc. Magazine, one of the Top Websites for Marketing Your Company Online in 2015 by Forbes, and has been honored and recognized by Bustle and Harvard Business School.
Read all responses to the Entrepreneur Insider question: What’s something you wish you knew before starting your business?
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What Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Apple by Michael Maven, founder of Carter & Kingsley.