Pavel Klachkou, Lessons Learned: Overcoming Challenges 5 min
Pavel Klachkou shares his experience running ROUTINE AUTOMATION, the Salesforce company. Those interested in learning from real-world examples of overcoming obstacles in a business context, especially involving Salesforce partnerships, will find it extremely insightful.
As the great philosopher Socrates once said, “I know that I know nothing”. This paradox has been a guiding principle for us, and we’ve made it a priority to constantly improve our skills by researching, analyzing, and putting theory into practice.
After 3.5 years…
Starting a company involves navigating numerous obstacles, and uncertainties, and taking on significant responsibilities. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed at times but remember that everyone encounters these challenges. It requires knowledge, experience and systematic thinking, and rational approaches to make it right. And these are what you will always lack and feel like you know nothing.
Before speaking about the challenges, it is important to tell why these challenges are needed. The goals I pursue are the following:
🧩 Become a self-sufficient company. ROUTINE AUTOMATION (RA) company started with my personal entrepreneurship efforts, without any outside investments or loans, relying only on the time and skills of those I worked with. The company should thrive, work, and grow without relying on investments. Any investment needs should only serve to double or triple the growth rate.
🧩 Raise technical skill standards. Gather experts and develop the best training program for individuals. Attract people eager to learn and passionate about effective, rational solutions. Create a company that is an excellent workplace for skill development.
🧩 Build the brand. Establish a name that speaks for itself, and make sure everyone knows that RA represents quality and dependability.
Don’t miss out on this article:
Why I started Routine Automation
👉 1. Nobody knows you and nobody trusts you.
Exaggeration, but still, you need to raise your brand awareness. You have a great team that provides great outcomes. Let people know who you are and what you are. Maintain and improve reputation. The only thing to do here is to keep doing what you are doing every day, having the discipline to improve a bit, but every day. And not to forget to reflect and share the results with others.
👉 2. There are no processes and workflows established in the newly created company.
The absence of established processes and workflows during the initial phase means everything must be built from scratch. Implementing new processes can be challenging due to associated costs, employee resistance, and learning curves. Having a clear vision of how things should work is different from having a system that has been in place for years.
👉 3. Economics and its main principle, scarcity, constantly affect our lives.
Limited resources like time and money should be used wisely to maximize outcomes. Good financial analytics and bookkeeping can help avoid wasteful spending and guide sound decision-making by providing insights on key financial metrics. Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
👉 4. Companies are run by people, and conflicts often arise between the needs and interests of individuals and groups.
It’s important to find common ground that unites people and aligns their interests. Foster teamwork and knowledge sharing, encourage clear and open communication within the team and promote transparency. Focus on interests rather than positions, and advocate for rational decision-making. Most importantly, show respect for all team members.
For me personally, the most challenging aspect was the Socratic paradox – “I know that I know nothing.” I started the business without proper experience in running a company or specialized education and theoretical foundation. Before starting it, I was advised to obtain an MBA degree first. However, I didn’t listen and have never regretted it. I choose to move forward rather than dot every i and cross every t.
👉 5. Another important challenge is – “I want it all, and I want it now”
Growing 1% a day or even a week is a great result. In 70 days, you can double your progress. However, when you obsess over the numbers and constantly rush for better performance, life becomes stressful, leading to a significant decline in performance. So, relax and keep going.
What was Learned
Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.― Otto von Bismarck.
When starting something new, you need to learn twice or even three times as much as you did before. Gain knowledge not only from books but also from the people you talk to. It’s much more enjoyable to avoid mistakes because you’re aware of them, rather than learning the hard way.
Most importantly, accept and value crisis and recession times as opportunities for growth and improvement. These challenging periods enable us to refine and optimize our business operations, reduce costs, reassess values, develop new expertise, and adapt to the changing world.
Effective management is crucial to building in any company, but first, you must find the right balance between delegation and control. Clearly communicate goals to set expectations. Trust your team to do their work. Offer help and advice when needed and track progress without being too controlling. Promote open communication to solve potential problems before they get worse and assign responsibilities instead of specific tasks to empower your team.
Invest in your team’s skills through training and development opportunities. This builds their confidence and improves their ability to handle tasks independently. Recognize and reward performance for motivating your team to continue performing at a high level. By finding the right balance between control and delegation, you can create a more efficient and motivated team while ensuring tasks are completed to your satisfaction.
Avoid pseudo-experts. Listen, and value the real experts. It is important to do your own research and due diligence before accepting someone’s claims of expertise. Many people claim to be experts, but not all of them have the qualifications or experience to back up their claims. Some people may have a limited understanding of a subject but present themselves as experts, while others may have ulterior motives for portraying themselves as experts.