Meagan Fritts | Crain's Austin

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Meagan Fritts

Background:  

Founded in 2015, Access ATX designs premium custom Austin experiences for groups of all sizes. Each Access ATX tour includes customized tour planning, complimentary door-to-door service, luxury transportation, a local guide, time maximized itineraries and the opportunity to support local businesses. Twisted Texas Tours is a crazy, new way to discover Austin’s weird, wacky and wild side. Twisted Texas has two signature tours: the original Twisted Texas Tour, also known as the Comedy City Tour, and the Live Music and Brewery Tour.

The Mistake:

I crafted my expectations and definition of success from other’s achievements rather than my own vision.

When I get into something I want to know everything and jump in. So when I first launched a business, I was constantly reading business books and biographies. I was fortunate to meet with a lot of people in the Austin community.

But I found myself comparing my work to our competition and looking at what they’re doing and how. It was very easy getting wrapped up in all these successful people. It’s like looking a beauty magazine when you’re not feeling your prettiest.

You can find yourself constantly feeling inadequate or that you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses. So little by little I found myself chasing other people’s dreams instead of my own. I found myself molding some of my ideas and business to fit in.

I thought to myself, “These people had been successful, that must matter.” So essentially I was defining my success after what others had done before. When you compare yourself to others, there’s no stress or worry for them – but it’s almost a paralysis when you feel like you’re trying to live someone else’s life.

It wasn’t like other people were doing anything to influence me. I was holding myself back. Anytime you try to chase other people’s lives, you’re not making the most of your given talents. I steered my company off the wrong path because I was chasing competitors because I thought we weren’t getting successful as fast as I wanted. But in realty, our path was just fine.

It’s more important to keep your eyes on your own vision and appreciate what you have to give to the world rather than mimicking someone else.

The Lesson:

I realized that it’s more important to keep your eyes on your own vision and appreciate what you have to give to the world rather than mimicking someone else. If you can stop looking at what everyone else has, then you can be more grateful for the things you have accomplished rather than focusing on what you haven’t achieved yet.

Anytime your mind is focused on stress of what you haven’t done, it’s like a weight behind you that drags you down. But once I changed my mindset, what’s to come was looked at with more excitement than trepidation.

I had always heard that building a business takes time, and it turns out it’s very true. By not trying to rush that process and appreciate where we were in it, I was able to focus more on the present and take advantage of opportunities that were right there than chasing other things endlessly.

The shift in mindset affected everyone on the team. It gave employees a lot more freedom to be themselves. Once I let them know we were great at what we do, I got to see them rise up and be the tour guides I had hired them to be rather than trying to mold them into something we thought everyone else expected. It gave them extra confidence and we have been able to establish who we are together.

Follow Access ATX on Twitter at @accessatxtours.

Pictured: Meagan Fritts | Photo courtesy of Access ATX.

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