3 Things I Wish I Knew When I Began My Business Career

Despite the great deal of success I have attained within the past four years of running Playa Bowls, I still find myself scratching my head in business meetings and having to ask questions. That’s right, this CMO, Forbes 30 Under 30, million dollar franchise owner right here has her moments!

Nothing prepares you for the business world more than being thrown into the fire. A degree in the field may open your brain up to the proper vernacular and processes, but I feel it also boosts your ego to the point of removing the humility and humbleness necessary to maintain your place within the business universe.

Here are the three crucial things to remember if you want to thrive in the world of business:


Always Ask Questions

Whether or not you believe in the existence of stupid questions is completely irrelevant. If you don’t understand something, simply ask. You have to be able to ask questions and not allow the fear of looking stupid control you. If anything, asking questions makes you appear smarter, even heroic. Yes, I said heroic. I will get to that point in just a moment.

If your question is smart and outside of the box, those around you will have no choice but to accept the challenge of searching for the answer. Making people think outside the box alongside you not only places you on the next level, but it allows you to carry the rest of the room with you. Asking a smart question is also an invitation to a new thought, which could potentially lead to a new idea. Smart questions can transform into your next biggest success.

Now for the hero part: Nine times out of ten, when someone asks a question, at least one other person is asking it too. Being the brave soul to ask a question makes you the hero amongst the rest on your wave-length.

Asking questions shows you’re a deep thinker, intelligent, brave, and a risk taker — any questions?


Remember Everyone’s Common Intention

Despite a large part of success coming from networking and establishing who you know, it is crucial to understand and accept a fellow businessman or woman’s intent. And, what is that common intention? Getting ahead.

Business is cut throat. Everyone is out for themselves, always wanting to get ahead of those on their level. This common intention of moving up the latter trumps looking out for your best interest. It took me a long time to learn how to not take this reality personally. At one point, I felt like people were using me for my success, taking advantage of my humanity and unapologetic willingness to learn. I grew out of that as soon as I understood this truth.

Remember, everyone, including yourself, wants to get ahead in life and are willing to go to any measure to achieve success — its human nature. So, how do you move ahead and gain connections in a more genuine way? Surround yourself with people who are really good at what they do, and utilize their strengths through collaboration. That leads to my third point:


Create Your Tribe

You need a team of like-minded people in your corner in order to move ahead in business. A tribe of people with diverse talents with a common goal can achieve anything. As I said before, you must choose to surround yourself with passionate people who excel at a specific skill set — specifically one you do not possess. That way, they can ask the smart questions you would never think of.

Creating my tribe has not only benefited my franchise, but it has enriched my life. We have had so many employees start at entry level, move up to managers, and many have even stepped up to corporate. I love the relationships I have gained and feel so lucky to be surrounded by people I truly love who also happen to support and enhance my vision. The people involved in my business are like family, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.


Abby Taylor is the co-founder and CMO of Playa Bowls. In partnership with co-founder Rob Giuliani, the company has grown to over 75 locations nationwide and over $40M in revenue in less than five years. This is the fifth installment of a regular blog that explores the Playa Bowls business story in the hopes of inspiring the next great entrepreneur.