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The One Thing Every Business Owner Should Be More Honest About


The Entrepreneur Insiders 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 are some tips for maintaining a successful startup?” is written by Craig Morantz, CEO of Kira Talent.

When charged with running a startup, it can be appealing—even addicting—to focus on yourself.

How is my business doing? How is my vision being received in the market place? Are my employees effectively sharing my product or idea with the world? However, this approach isolates business leaders, leaving them out of touch with their employees and customers. If you want to maintain a healthy and successful startup, the key lies in your ability to step outside of yourself and work on the business, not in the business.

You can avoid the pitfalls of isolation by staying true to four pillars for success:

Transparency is priceless
There’s a self-limiting belief that sharing important news or data with your customers, staff, and board members will somehow have a negative impact on your startup. I’ve found that there’s almost no value in hiding such information. It takes far more work to keep certain things hidden and other things public. Transparent execution will serve you and your business well. Sharing your strategy and roadmap with those around you will maintain consistency. Disclosing your company bank balance with employees will earn their trust. If you need help, never be afraid to ask for it—it could mean the difference between success and failure.

Keep it simple
The common saying that “less is more” is great advice for any startup. With limited resources and staffing, startup leaders must remove unnecessary distractions and focus on one question: Why?

The more you ask why, the quicker things get boiled down to their simplest form. Asking why you’re doing something should be a constant that drives every action you take. It takes discipline to simplify your business and commitment to question it, but a startup needs to remain laser focused. Simplicity breeds creativity and drives results.

See also: The Biggest Problem With Outside Funding

Be a role model for accountability
Accountability is a major driver of success in a startup. You expect your employees to be responsible in their roles, but as a business leader you are the one who’s under a microscope. Every action you take has the impact to make ripples or waves across your organization. So start by publicly holding yourself accountable. What are you working on? What is the expected result? What’s your deadline?

If you hold yourself accountable as a leader, it will permeate through the organization.

Always be recruiting
This sounds easy, but it takes a great deal of discipline. We tend to focus on what’s urgent today rather than what’s important for the future. Recruiting often lands on the backburner because it never feels like a priority in comparison to the rest of your to-do list.

If one of your employees gives you two weeks’ notice tomorrow, have you already identified the three to five people you would call to replace her? Have you been nurturing prospective employees the way you nurture prospective clients? Proactive recruiting will save you stress in the long run and help foster the most effective staff possible.


With these four tips in mind, manage your startup with a new appreciation for collaboration and transparency.

While you may be at the top, you’re not alone. Instead of relentlessly bearing the weight of the world (or your company) on your shoulders, take off the load every now and then and examine it for useless baggage. Talk about it with your employees, board members, and staff. When you take the time to recruit the best talent and maintain an open line of communication with them, you shouldn’t be afraid to let them lighten your load a little.

Doing so will leave you with the clarity and vision necessary to lead your company into a successful future.