If you don’t already know who Lynda Weinman is, then perhaps you should get to know her because her failures to successes are the stuff legends are made of and could teach you a thing or two about your own company.
Lynda Weinman is the co-founder and executive chair of Lynda.com, one of the most successful companies in online education. As a self-taught tech genius and teacher, she has turned a $35 domain name into a multi-billion dollar industry. Also known as the “mother of the internet,” she wrote the first industry book on web design in 1995.
Her rags to riches story began when she was looking for a book that would help her students to better understand web design. With the complicated technical talk, she was inspired to write her own book on the industry, which funded her husband, Bruce Heavin, to open a school to teach web design classes.
Eventually the burst of the dot com bubble and 9/11 forced her to layoff 150 employees, but with the growing interest in the internet, she decided to move her school online, which slowly but surely grew to 100,000 members with more than 500 employees.
As a very large company, Weinman now has the help of a CEO to run the business. Though the company started out small, it has now reached new heights in success, which teaches a lesson in determination and patience. Here’s what you can learn from Lynda Weinman’s success to apply to your own business model.
#1) Be Yourself
No matter how large your business grows, you should always stick to what makes you original. No one ever wants to change themselves for the success for the business unless it’s to help them grow as leaders. If you can grow alongside your company, then you’re off to a successful start.
Never sell yourself short when it comes to hiring the best that you can. Your employees should believe in your vision as much as you do. If you must ask for help, do so. Just because you are the leader doesn’t mean that you don’t need help. Even if you have to create a hierarchy of management in order to better organize your team the more that it expands, do so to lift the weight off your shoulders.
#2) Don’t Be Afraid of Growth
As with any business plan, growth should be part of your goal. Fear of the unknown can set you back tremendously, causing you not to move forward.
Even when starting at the first level, you’ve got to get your hands a little dirty to move your way up. If you want your business to grow, sometimes you’ve got to wipe the slate clean and gain a fresh new perspective of where you’re at.
The near failure of Lynda Weinman didn’t make her a give up. Instead, she rerouted her way back up through her preferred industry by taking advantage of what was already there. If you see an opportunity that would help you to better envision business, then take it, even if there are risks.
#3) Look At the Big Picture
Weinman and her husband found an advantage that would allow her to retire. It worked perfectly, because with the buying out of her company to Linkedin, the two sources fit together quite well. With the money made from the business, Weinman and her husband could live comfortably.
Though profit was not the sole motivational factor for Weinman’s startup, she was able to step out of the spotlight and allow her business to be managed by a company that basically believes in the same thing as she does, which is to help people to achieve success in their careers.
When Weinman first picked up the web design book that would help her students, she probably never thought that she would reach the success that she did. It’s difficult to see into the future, but if you have a sound idea of what you would like to achieve, not only for money, but because you love what you do, then your success could reach far beyond what you ever thought.
If Weinman had feared the inevitable then her company would not have grown as it did. Fear is one of the biggest factors in failure. It was her fearless ingenuity that allowed her to make a gigantic comeback and leap forward into success. Although Lynda.com has been bought out, she has gained more success than she could ever imagine.
“It’s kind of amazing to be a self-taught person and then walk into these kinds of institutions and be the expert,” says Lynda.
Any of these nuggets of wisdom sound good to you? Do you already practice any of these techniques? Please let us know what you think of Lynda Weinman’s great success story and don’t forget to share it!