What it takes to build a multi-million dollar company

Building a successful business, online or offline, isn’t an easy task. Being an entrepreneur is a grueling task, and you have to be willing to work your ass off if you want to be successful.

The BS ads flooding your Facebook newsfeed and all over YouTube hawking online courses and mentoring programs that promise the good life are not reality. Nobody has built a successful business without putting in real work.

The only businesses these self-proclaimed gurus have built are the half-assed businesses about building an online business — that are built around showing others how to build businesses. Confused yet?

It takes real work. There are no magic shortcuts.

One entrepreneur that knows this first-hand is Douglas Kegler, CEO of CollaborateMD, a company he founded back in 1999. I first connected with Kegler years ago, meeting through a networking event for Florida-based companies and entrepreneurs.

He has built a company that has grown each year, in an industry that is constantly changing. I decided to pick his brain and while doing so, we uncovered six lessons that he learned along the way of building his company to $12 million in annual sales, which is currently valued at more than $45 million.

Always trust your gut.

Kegler suggests always trusting your gut when you have tough business decisions to make, and that most decisions should be made fairly easily. “I don’t mean day-to-day decisions — I’m talking about choosing vendors, product decisions or direction, hiring employees, signing agreements, etc. If the decision you’re leaning towards makes you feel uneasy, most likely it’s the wrong decision,” he says.

You learn this lesson by not going with your gut one day and then later regretting the decision. “Afterward, you will find yourself saying, ‘I should have gone with my gut.’  The tough part for some people is separating your ‘gut’ feeling from nerves — you learn this with time and experience.”

Remain focused and don’t let distractions take you off course.

When you are starting and growing a business a lot of ideas come at you, from every direction, and you need to make sure you don’t let these take you off course. “You will get ideas from employees, customers, vendors, partners, friends, etc. — everyone has the ‘best’ idea for your company, but you must stay focused on your vision. I’ve seen many companies fail because they lacked focus and changed direction, which…

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