Avoiding the 7 Deadly Entrepreneurial Sins
BY Kevin Daum
As humans, even entrepreneurs must avoid temptations that easily derail success. These tips help you stay on the straight and narrow path to success.
The entrepreneurial life is filled with fun, excitement, and action. It's fast moving and dynamic. It's also filled with many choices. Some lead to happiness and success, but many others lead to destruction and failure. Whether you are an actual entrepreneur or simply entrepreneurial in your role, you are still susceptible to overindulgence.
The following are the most common traps that derail leaders from their intended vision. I've also listed simple ways you can protect yourself from falling victim to these temptations.
The trappings of success have lots of appeal. The vision of cash, fame, fast cars, and fancy houses can draw valuable focus, energy, and resources away from what is really important about building a business. Entrepreneurs seduced by lust will spend much-needed time and money on status items before the business is solid, putting the entire operation at risk.
Avoid temptation by setting a legitimate standard for success of the business before indulging in your own rewards. Keep the focus on building a sustainably profitable business with capital reserves that exceed one year of fixed overhead. Then you will have plenty of extra dough to reward yourself, and you'll be relaxed enough to enjoy it.
A healthy appetite for business is good, but companies need to grow in a controlled and moderated manner to achieve great success. Entrepreneurs seduced by gluttony will take on too much before their infrastructure is solidly in place, ultimately delivering poor performance and ruining their reputation before it's fully established.
Avoid temptation by setting targets based upon a manageable rate of growth. Be cautious about building sales beyond your infrastructure; make service and reputation your first priority for sustainable growth.
It's important to maximize profits, but not at the expense of the long-term health of your company, industry, and reputation. Entrepreneurs seduced by greed will make immoral decisions that may increase short-term returns via shortsighted policies in pricing, marketing, and personnel, doing damage to their reputation and sustainability.
Avoid temptation by taking a long-term view. Build a reputation for playing fair with your employees, customers, and industry, including competitors, and they all will help you foster long-term growth and profitability instead of taking advantage of you at every opportunity.
Successful entrepreneurs know that hard work is required, and real, sustainable success takes time to develop and prove. Entrepreneurs seduced by sloth will make sloppy choices involving untested business models and marketing techniques, burning valuable resources and putting everyone involved at risk.
Avoid temptation by doing your homework, managing impatience, and testing constantly before committing other people's resources and reputations. Remember, not every idea is a good one just because you are passionate about it.
Passion is a critical entrepreneurial component. Uncontrolled passion, however, can lead to irrational behavior and decisions. Entrepreneurs seduced by wrath will let unbridled emotion reign, creating fear, anger, and destruction internally and externally.
Avoid temptation by concentrating on the desired results. Practice self-awareness and determine the appropriate level of fire to remain a gracious leader.
It's good to compare in the competitive landscape. But being hypersensitive every time your competition gets a win will take its toll on your progress. Entrepreneurs seduced by envy will spend so much of their time and resources trying to battle and sabotage competition that they will miss their own unique opportunities to perform and maximize growth.
Avoid temptation by concentrating on your own achievement. You will win some battles and lose others to those who perform well. But building a business is a marathon, not a sprint. You will prevail if all your energy is directed to maximize your own performance with little distraction.
A healthy ego is helpful when building a business. But too much pride can keep you from seeing the necessary truth. Entrepreneurs seduced by pride will insist their ideas are always the best and be closed to outside suggestion just to feed their ego.
Avoid temptation by being an open learner. Focus on being successful rather than trying to be right. Success has greater enjoyment when built on the contributions of many.
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