Gabriela Isturiz is taking care to not make the same mistakes her second time around as a business founder. In fact, she says Bellefield, where she is co-founder, president and CEO, is further along in its business journey than eBillingHub ever got.
“We tried to learn from our mistakes. There are many, many mistakes that we didn’t even get to in our first company. But it was a beautiful experience, having our first company — even to the point that it was positioned to be bought out by Thomson Reuters,” Isturiz says.
Three lessons that stick out are learning how to let go, allowing the company to scale and getting legal advice early on.
Time to let it go
After four years, Bellefield is beyond the startup stage with 25 employees and its iTimeKeep is now the most adopted timekeeping solution in the legal space.
Isturiz says all three founders — herself, Daniel Garcia and John Kuntz, who are in charge of operations, technology and sales and product development, respectively — are passing on responsibilities to the team they are training.
“We agreed that the only way to scale and grow was letting go,” she says. “The three of us were totally on board: We didn’t want to keep working 14 hours a day.”
When you create the product and company, Isturiz says you know every single detail and have every answer. So, letting go comes with trusting your people, and accepting that they are going to make mistakes.
“You question yourself: Will they do it the way that you will do it? And the answer is no,” she says. “They are going to do it their way, but hopefully you will be there to nurture them and give them the skill set, so that they can make it their own.”