Bob Mighell (Founder, Tilting Motor Works): One of my biggest challenges has been the management of employees.   They really don’t teach you how to hire excellent employees and keep them motivated in business school.  When starting a company, you have the opportunity to create a workplace environment where you really want to go to every day.  When it is your company, you only have yourself to blame if you don’t like the people you work with.  We have all worked in dysfunctional organizations and you often wonder how they got that way.   Even though everyone knows it is broken, no one is able to fix it.  I found that once you have built a great core of people who are all working toward one direction, they no longer see it as working for you but rather as working with you.  Your employees are the ones that can help you to select who really needs to stay and be promoted and they will easily tell you who needs to go.  Excellent employees don’t like to see others in the company who are not contributing their share.  Once someone is not working out it is best to let them go as soon as possible.  I have seen complete attitudes in shops change with the removal of one bad apple.  People like working with other people who really like their jobs.  I feel that life is too short to not like what you are doing.


Brad Jefferson (CEO and Co-Founder, Animoto) and Jason Hsaio (President and Co-Founder, Animoto):  The challenges for an entrepreneur are vast and decisions and actions made every day might be the difference between success and failure.  You have no idea what your known and unknown competitors are doing but you can be sure they want to kick your butt and knock you out of business.  For us, the biggest challenge of being an entrepreneur is balancing work and life and knowing when to turn off the computer and focus on family and friends.  We can only assume that our competitors are also working long hours, possibly even longer hours than we’re working, and we don’t want to lose because we didn’t put in as many hours.  We continue to struggle with this challenge because we want the absolute best for our company and our families, but we can’t be physically and mentally present at both places at the same time.

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