Entrepreneurship is fun, exciting, frustrating, challenging, satisfying, and energizing. Sometimes it’s even financially rewarding. Many would-be entrepreneurs think they have achieved success the moment they name their company or file the incorporation papers.
In truth, successful entrepreneurship requires much more, including good decision-making. Make one big early mistake and your entrepreneurship dream could be over as quick as it starts. Here is the biggest early mistake I have seen and more insights from my Inc. colleagues.
1. They choose the wrong priority.
I sat on an entrepreneurship panel a few years ago and the question was asked: What is the one thing an entrepreneur needs to be successful?
The first sage entrepreneur said: "Passion, without passion an entrepreneur will run out of energy and dedication to get the job done."
The second sage entrepreneur said: "Hard work, Success only comes if you are willing to work for it."
The third sage entrepreneur said: "Undying faith in your idea, otherwise you'll give up when times get difficult."
Then it was my turn. I looked over at the panel and then after careful consideration said:
"I have seen hundreds of passionate, hard-working entrepreneurs have undying faith in their idea and yet they still failed. They all lacked one thing . . . A brilliant business model.
Oddly enough, when your business model is amazing, the passion, undying belief and hard work seem easy to provide."
2. Thinking a new business will be quick and easy.
Unfortunately, many new entrepreneurs have no idea of the sheer magnitude of the amount of hard work and resources (especially cash) it takes to get a new business off the ground. They think that if they build it, the customers will come. Actually, they won't. Building a business isn't easy, and you've got to be prepared to devote yourself to it for a long time before it takes off. Peter Economy--The Leadership Guy
Want to read more from Peter? Click here.
3. Getting spend-happy with funds.
When startups "invest" money in impressive office space, new furniture, and more employees than they need, it's a certain path to disaster. Too many entrepreneurs have sought my help after they've blown their first funding round with little to show for it. Run lean. Set up card tables and folding chairs in your basement or garage. When you believe it's time to spend money on "the extras", wait another year. Stay scrappy until your numbers prove that it's time to expand — and then hire a great coach before you do anything! Marla Tabaka--The Successful Soloist
Want to read more from Marla? Click here.
4. Narrowing their focus too much.
Entrepreneurs focus on building their app, their product or their service and forget to solve the problem that initially sparked the idea in the first place. Solving problems is what builds business. If you are more focused on how to improve your app, product, or service rather than solving a problem, you will never build a successful business. Focus instead on providing a great experience, opening up your product offering, or increasing the overall value your business brings. For more ways to find your focus, check out my article Why You're Not In The Business You Think You're In. Eric Holtzclaw--Lean Forward
Want to read more from Eric? Click here.
5. Letting perfection get in the way of progress.
I’d like to focus on the positive, which is the mistake I’m happy to see so many young entrepreneurs avoiding. People now understand why it is far more important to get to market and test ideas in most cases — with as little risk as possible — instead of spending inordinate amounts of time and money perfecting a business model that customers have never weighed in on. Find your minimum viable product, and get in front of customers to test your theories. You and your venture will live longer. Bill Murphy Jr.--Action Required
Want to read more from Bill? Click Here.