Learning how to run a successful business has been one of the biggest challenges of my life. I’ve gone from owning a chain of pharmacies in Winnipeg to running an online pharmacy, which acquired brand name and generic drugs from around the world and sold them at competitive prices. Today, in addition to continuing to lead several pharmaceutical clinics, I am focused on the real-estate sector as the owner of Thorwin Properties, a Winnipeg-based property management firm.

From my experience in helping to lead a number of businesses, I’d like to offer a few points that other entrepreneurs and business leaders can consider.

Be Bold & Brave

Don’t be afraid of rejection in your personal or professional life. Starting an online pharmacy in 2001 was a large risk. I think that was understood by myself and my team. At the same time, we had the opportunity to do something we were passionate about and to make a significant and positive change in the pharma landscape and, most importantly, in people’s lives. That, in my mind, was worth the risk.

Take Care of Your Team First

Ensuring that your employees are happy and able to thrive is essential to running a successful business. Taking care of your team will enable your employees to be more productive and efficient and, in turn, will help grow your business in the long run. Hiring is probably the most difficult part of any business operation.

Focus on Quality & Service

This one speaks for itself, but add a daily focus on small, incremental improvements, as they can give you a real sense of accomplishment. My focus on improvement throughout the whole business over time has helped to separate me from my competitors.

Learn From Your Mistakes

We all make mistakes. What’s important is how you respond to those mistakes. Make sure that mistakes don’t stop you from taking decisive actions in the future.

Of course, this list only scratches the surface of what it takes to be truly successful in today’s business world. And your definition of success might be different than mine. In addition, your idea of success might change over the years. For example, when I was younger, I thought nothing of working long hours to move my pharmacy business forward. Today, I have four children and cherish time spent with them. It’s now all about work-life balance.