“The biggest growing pain for me was the loneliness of starting a new business,” says Arlene Dickinson. The greatest challenge for a new entrepreneur is surrounding yourself with the right people—advisors and staff who will tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it.

Dickinson is familiar with startup pains. On this episode of the BusinessCast, the CEO of Venture Communications and dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den talks about overcoming growing pains when working to make your entrepreneurial vision a reality—and what she would do differently if she was starting fresh today.

The first hurdle is getting supporters on board in the early days, when your venture is just an idea. Ask yourself, says Dickinson, “What am I willing to give up to entice the right people to join me?”

Once you’ve launched, the challenge becomes delivering on those early promises. If you don’t want to disappoint new clients, make sure you set your company’s bar for success, says Dickinson. Because, if you haven’t taken the time to make sure everyone in the company understands what “great” looks like, you will falter.

And what if you do disappoint a client? Dickinson talks about how to manage that relationship.

Launching a startup isn’t just about the first year. “You’ve got a long runway ahead of you, and you had better be ready for it.”

Available on iTunes

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