15 small business owners share what they wish they’d known when they first started


From Business Insider

David Morken, CEO and founder of Bandwidth, has learned the importance of balancing his life with work.

Morken founded Bandwidth, one of the fastest-growing voice technology providers in the United States, in 1999. It now has more than 300 employees.

Like many small business owners, he frequently spent long hours at the office and learned that it came at the expense of personal relationships.

“My company has an ’embargo policy,’ which means that when on vacation, none of our employees are allowed to contact work and vice versa,” Morken says. “The lesson is that business owners do not put enough value on free time, so face burnout. Leaders also need to hire and train employees effectively, so others are best prepared to lead in their absence.”

Spending time with family means setting firm boundaries as well, Morken says.

“My wife and I are fortunate to have six children, so obviously family is super important to us,” he says. “To spend the most time with them as possible, you have to set strict priorities on what’s essential to accomplish today, so that you leave work in time to spend with your kids.”