Scale is irrelevant if you don't have something worth selling. Focus on building something people will pay for first, scale later.

Tome Morkes is the CEO of Insurgent Publishing, a boutique publishing company that makes books for the creative outliers of the world.

Mistake #1. Taking on projects that were too big in scope for me to deliver.

We all have great ideas. One of my earlier projects was a business magazine for bootstrapping entrepreneurs. This was the first magazine I ever worked on and had no previous magazine publishing experience. It was a challenge for sure and I learned a lot…but never got enough traction to get it off the ground. After two issues, we cancelled the publication.

Lesson learned: There’s nothing wrong with baby steps – take it slow.

Mistake #2. Trying to scale too fast.

In the beginning, I was obsessed with growth / scaling / getting to the next level, to the point where I often spent more time developing scalable marketing and sales tactics than actually going out and closing the sale. I’ve sinced reversed the priorities and, ironically enough, things are scaling dramatically.

Lesson learned: Scale is irrelevant if you don’t have something worth selling. Focus on building something people will pay for first, scale later.

Mistake #3. Trying to do it all myself.

I started off building InsurgentPublishing.com by myself. I’ve since hired a team of four to help manage and grow the business. Things work much more smoothly and it’s a lot more fun.

Lesson learned: Working on your business (not in it) is a cliche, but true. Focus on building an asset you can someday sell and your business mindset will change, and so will your actions (in a good way).

Tom Morkes | Founder | Insurgent Publishing