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Reid Hoffman’s advice for startups: Sometimes you have to let fires burn

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When you’re growing quickly, there will always be fires—inventory shortfalls, servers crashing, customers whose calls aren’t answered. You won’t always know which fire to stamp out first. And if you try to put out every fire at once, you’ll only burn yourself out. That’s why entrepreneurs have to learn to let fires burn—and sometimes even very large fires.

When you have a fast-scaling company, the focus must be on moving forward. And you can’t do that if time is spent dealing with spontaneous, scattered eruptions. Fighting every fire can cause you to miss critical opportunities to build your business—you’ll be all reaction and no action.

The trick is knowing which fires can’t be ignored—the ones that might spread quickly and engulf your business—and which fires you can afford to let burn, even as the flames climb higher. Letting a fire burn takes nerves, vigilance, and lots of practice.

[Audio excerpted courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio, read by William DeMeritt.]

Luckily for Evite........

© Fast Company

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