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Why starting a business should be uncomfortable


There are a lot of things to know in order to build a successful startup. Here’s how the CEO of HotelTonight grew his business to a valuation of $300m in just 3 years.

Launching your own business can be an uncomfortable experience according to the CEO of HotelTonight. If there was one piece of advice that Sam Shank could give young entrepreneurs, it’s this: find entrepreneurship advisors who can guide you. This was a key contributing factor that helped him progress from feeling “barely comfortable” to building a team of over 140 people in just 4 years.

The team has been a key factor in the continuing success of the business and maintaining that chemistry means HotelTonight “spends a lot of time hiring people who share the vision.” To retain and motivate his people, Shank makes sure “they are challenged every day” both professionally and personally.

However, development doesn’t stop with the team.

The growth of HotelTonight has come with its own leadership challenges for Shank.

“My role includes management and direct involvement with that team to senior level recruiting as well as visioning, positioning and mentoring.”

Shank relies on the time he spends with mentors, coaches and entrepreneurship advisors for guidance to make sure he has the right skills to perform his role.

He ensures he surrounds himself with the right people, particularly when it comes to maintaining composure during difficult times.

Shank has a deep-rooted relationship with the people you can call on to pull you through anything. “There are professional groups of other entrepreneurs that you can join and tap in to, share the wins, the losses, share the good and the bad.”

Shank closes off the discussion with some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

He stresses that it’s important for first time entrepreneurs to build up a team of trusted advisors. This team will be a valuable asset for any entrepreneur who finds himself or herself in a difficult situation with his or her new venture.

The sorts of advisors available include, CEOs or leadership and entrepreneurship advisors. “The important thing is to set this up ahead of time, because when you need it, it’ll be too late.”