What founder, JP Moery, would have done differently if he could redo it all.
Hello and welcome to JP Moery’s Association Hustle Podcast. President of The Moery Company, JP’s mission is to arm today’s associations with insight and strategy to thrive and a progressively complex and competitive business landscape. 21st century associations must move forward with a little bit of hustle and revenue development at their core.
If I could do it all over again here are 10 things that I would change.
1: I would have hired slower, fired faster.
I always waited too long to hire somebody which put me into bind and forced me to make accommodations or settle. Sometimes I didn’t take the time to make sure they were the right person when I hired them, which ultimately put us in a bad situation. Take the time to make sure they are a good fit.
2: I would have confronted performance issues much quicker.
As a leader I valued being liked too much. The employees and the company would have been better if I would have confronted things faster or been more intentional about it.
3: Be smart with family discounts.
I had several friends in the association space and early on, I really appreciated the work. You work very hard on projects for friends or contacts in the industry. You want to build your brand, you want to build reputation, and you end up spending more time on them. However, I didn’t price it the same. I worked harder on them, and I priced them lower for my friends. Looking back that was probably not the best business decision in the world.
4: Embrace thought leadership quicker for the association marketplace.
Podcasting videos accelerated our business and our brand so fast. I would have done that a lot faster.
5: Know when to say no.
I took every job, every piece of work I could get, even if I knew it was a stinker. I always had this default that if we were busy things would be okay. The downside is I burdened my staff with association partners that weren’t collaborative, and that was bad for us. It probably affected our morale. In hindsight, I knew some of these weren’t good projects, but I sold them and I gave him to somebody else to do and that was wrong.
6: Stop treating associations as a homogenous group of businesses.
I always said you’ve met one association, you’ve met one association. But in reality, I didn’t always practice that. There are some businesses that aren’t well run, not led effectively, and frankly, sometimes not even honest. They don’t have integrity. Just like every other industry, we’re not special. We’re not special because we’re nonprofit. I should have gotten out of the deals when I could.
7: I would have had more executive coaching or help.
I would have relied on my advisory board, or I would have relied on friends in the association space. They could have given me advice on how to navigate different things. You don’t have all the answers as a leader, but sometimes I think we’re afraid to admit it. We always want to have the answer for our staff and our clients.
8: Listen more, talk less.
If I could have flipped the ratio of the times I spent talking and spin it to listening, we would have been a lot better.
9: I would have ramped up The Moery Company sales much faster.
If you’ve listened to my journey, I was the lead salesperson for a number of years for the company, and it really just wasn’t efficient or effective. I realized that once we brought our own sales team in, they were able to cover much more ground. They had more margin in their deals that they put together.
10: Be more intentional about diversity.
We launched a business leadership diversity program with local high schools after the George Floyd tragedy. It was too late; I had a blind spot on this. I regret not letting some different perspectives in place in our company and with our advisory board.
11: Put more formalized training and professional development in place for my staff.
Mostly I left it up to them. I usually approved it when they wanted it, but it was not as intentional, or it wasn’t consistent over time. There were surges when I would get enthusiastic about professional development, but I didn’t have a real plan for everyone. I would encourage you to have something in place for your team.
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We hope you enjoyed this edition of JP Moery’s Association Hustle Podcast. We’d love to connect with you. Check out our blog at moerycompany.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. You can also connect with JP on LinkedIn and Twitter at @JPMoery, as well as The Moery’s Company’s Instagram and Facebook page.
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