As the founder of air charter service Desert Jet, one of my biggest challenges has been managing the growth of the company. In the beginning, I played every role—but I’ve had to learn how to train new employees to the point where I’m comfortable and don’t have to do everything. Our aircraft charter and management company is structured as a “private car service of the sky,” which allows people to fly privately without having to own an aircraft, buy a fractional share or make a large deposit on a jet card. Since it’s a successful model, our growth has been steady. Here’s how I ensured continual growth at the company and saved my sanity while transitioning from founder to CEO:
1. Visualize where you want your company to be.
For me, visualizing the future of the business worked wonders. Not only could I see what the company would be, but I also knew the numbers I wanted to reach. Set your goals and then reverse engineer what targets you need to hit each year—then break down those targets by each month, then each week. Tweak what is reasonable but don’t make the goals too easy. If you can’t see it, you can’t achieve it.
2. Always see the upside and believe you will succeed.
There is a lot of negativity in the world and naysayers may try to discourage you from seeing your dream become reality. You must have unrelenting faith in yourself and in your team’s ability to reach your goals. When failure occurs, embrace it and welcome the learning experience as an event that will further solidify your success in the future.
I’ve had multiple failures that became learning experiences, like when I hired someone I thought would be my right-hand man, when in reality this person had the wrong qualities for the role. I needed to become a better interviewer to understand what really motivates people. While it’s okay to get discouraged at times, never give up and never get derailed. Truly believe in what you are doing.
3. Work on the business, not in the business.
I initially started Desert Jet because I was looking for more stability in my career as a pilot. Many times, founders start a business using the skills they have developed working for someone else. While these skill sets were important at the beginning stages of your company, they may actually impede your growth if you don’t let go of those early roles and allow new team members to take over.
4. Grow as a leader faster than your company is growing.
As your company grows, you have to stay ahead of whatever the next challenge may be. For me, that meant my company needed me to be a strong leader and give clear direction on where we were going and how we’d get there. I became a coach, a teacher, and then scrambled to learn how to be a better leader, something I still work on every day. Your skills need to be continually evolving for you to stay ahead of the game.
Read more about Desert Jet.