Entrepreneurs are dreamers and doers, instigators and creators, decision makers, opportunity takers, unmotivated by profit, but measured by success.
You had a dream. It became a tangible idea, it turned into a plan, and now you’re ready to take action. Because you’ve decided to be the boss of your own life, you need to learn about some of the mistakes that are so easy to make, yet also just as easy to avoid if you do your homework.
Here are some common mistakes entrepreneurs have made,
and hopefully you can avoid them…
Not taking a risk
“If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” - Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s.
The biggest risk in life is not taking one. Entrepreneurs don’t become successful and build wealth from staying in comfortable, “safe” situations. Entrepreneurs build wealth and create empires out of a fearless determination and an acceptance of fallbacks. This doesn’t mean you can be reckless. With research and an intelligent effort to calculate how you’ll come out on the other side, you can do anything. Even if you fail, you’ve learned a valuable lesson and the risks become easier and easier to handle the further you go.
Hiring friends instead of experts
“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.” - Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.
Think of yourself as a corporation from the very beginning. Corporations run a tight ship built by experts and ran by experts. It might seem fun to build success with a friend or family member, but you want people around you who are absolutely qualified.
Not having a mentor or coach
Think of the greatest athletes. They aren’t breaking records and winning super bowls all by themselves. They have coaches drilling, teaching, motivating, pushing. You might think you can do it all on your own, but sometimes you get stuck in the box, and might not even realize it. Find someone who’s more successful than you, more talented than you, and learn from them. Let them help you become the best person you can be.
“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” - Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter.
Reality competition shows and stories of overnight success in Hollywood have created unrealistic expectations for our own path to success. You’ll hear stories of “that one day turned everything around,” but you won’t hear about the blood, sweat, tears, and years of trying and failing before the “overnight” success happened. You’ll just hear the good parts because it’s good entertainment. Have patience, your empire won’t be built in a day. If you forget this, it will stop continuing to build at all.
Only thinking about money
“If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.”
- Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
They say love is blind, but money makes you blind and deaf. Wealth isn’t just about having loads and loads of cash. Wealth also isn’t just about having passive streams of income. It’s about health: health of your mind, health of your body, health of income. If your end goal is to be Scrooge McDuck swimming in a pile of gold, then keep dreaming. Think about what you love. Become rich in love, rich in happiness, rich in creative ways to receive abundance. If you start with doing what love, you’ll end with wealth.
Forgetting about the client/customer
"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."
– Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.
You could have the best product in the universe, or at least better than your competitors. But, take a minute and think about the best-selling car, the best-selling books, record-breaking movies. Are they actually the best of their kind? Then why are they so popular? Marketing. Marketing takes your product and connects it to the people who need it or should need it. Part of owning a business and creating a product or service is so you can sell it to people, not to yourself. Great marketing will speak to the right audience and exponentially grow your business in ways you couldn’t do on your own.
There is another huge mistake entrepreneurs make, but we’ll wait until the next blog to reveal it. Stay tuned!