10 big mistakes entrepreneurs make
We are human and mostly we shrug it off and learn from them.
Entrepreneurs are renowned for making mistakes because when most of us started, there were no courses on how to be an entrepreneur, and mentorship was harder to come by then it is today.
10 Mistakes that many entrepreneurs make:
- Misguided trust: We trust wholeheartedly our accountant, lawyer, internal accounts person, sales people etc., and by doing this often we are set up for failure. There will be one of these people that will let you down in a way you never imagined possible. They may just be lazy and not do proper research so your business is not set up as it should be, or they may embezzle money from you, steal your ideas - you name it. These are the things that we read about in the newspaper every single day.
- Failure to communicate vision: We think by saying it out loud, that we are communicating our vision, but we are not. It could be just another crazy idea. To communicate your vision effectively, you need to write it down, share it with your team, put posters on your wall and on your screen savers, set up messaging guides etc. There is so much you need to do to effectively communicate the company vision to achieve buy-in, but many entrepreneurs believe by just saying it out loud that it is enough. It's not.
- Ego: We all have an ego; healthy or not, and just sometimes it gets the better of us. Keeping your ego intact and working hard to make sure you stay humble and listen to what others have to say is imperative to being an effective entrepreneur and good leader.
- Planning: Without a business plan, your business is flying by the seat of your pants and if they fall off, it's stuffed. So rather than hope for the best and make adhoc decisions, write down a business plan. It could be a simple one-pager or a comprehensive blueprint of what you are trying to achieve.
- Hiring the wrong people: We have all done this and if you think that you haven't - I am going to call you out and say you are lying. All you can do is learn from your mistakes and thoroughly check the people that you are interviewing and looking to employ. Sometimes we will get it right, and other times we will get it wrong. The most important lesson to learn from this is the "why's". Why did we choose this person over another and make sure we don't do it again.
- Believeing our own bullshit: Yes, I said it, others think it. We come up with this great idea and we believe in our heart of hearts that its a go-er, then it fails. But we already have told everyone and we truly believed it to be true - but the reality is that the idea sucked.
- Wasting money: I also laugh because growing up and living with so many Jewish people, who are always tarnished with their more conservative ways with money other than flashy houses and boats, it's those of us who didn't grow up in the depression or with role models that are similar that have no problems with spending money on anything. The problem is that in every business there is going to be a rainy day and you need to prepare for it.
- Lure of fame and fortune: This happens particularly in tech startups but the reality is fame and fortune when it comes to being an entrepreneur is more miss than hit. You have to put in the hard yards, work incredibly diligently and without fanfare, and eventually, just maybe your idea will be a winner and bring you all the money and fame you were looking for. Until then, roll up your sleeves.
- Micro managing: I've never done this - thank god, but I have friends who are entrepreneurs who do. They don't believe that others can do the job just as good as them. But 80% is ok. Trust me. You will continue to grow your business if your team work at 80% of your capacity.
- Believing in yourself and your team: There are going to be very tough times ahead and you have to not only be prepared but also believe that it is possible to make it through. Never give up and never let your team see your fear. Give them ownership of the problem and collaborate as a team to make it through the toughest times in your business. You are not alone and not only have many entreprepreneurs been there before you, your team is there by your side. Treat them right and they will help you through.
These are all mistakes that many entrepreneurs make. If you are aware of them, you can prepare yourself better.