So, yes, it is hard and anyone who tells you otherwise is simply lying.
Chances are, if you have taken that leap of faith into the entrepreneurial world, you don’t actually have all of the answers. And that’s totally okay.
Read or hear anything by the most renowned names and they’ll tell you they learned the hard way. By making mistakes, dusting themselves off and hitting re-set.
Here are 5 of the most common mistakes to avoid when setting up a new business.
Avoiding these speed humps allows you to focus on making mistakes that are unique to your brand and you can learn a lot more from.
Mistake #1 – Spreading yourself too thinly
Unless you’ve discovered how to transform yourself into Wonder Woman or Hercules, you can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t always say yes to everything. Instead of trying to do absolutely everything, focus on the things you’re really passionate about and if you have to let an opportunity slip by every now and again, let it be.
Yes, you’re an entrepreneur but you’re also human. That means having a break – spending time with family and friends needs to be made a priority.
Don’t take our word for it, read Entrepreneur’s Doing two things, that’s one too many piece.
Mistake #2 – Teaming up with the wrong people
If you’re intending to work with a partner, you need to make sure that he or she is the right fit for what you’re trying to accomplish in the bigger scheme of things. It’s important to work alongside and put together the right team of people who will complement one another and work towards a common goal. If you’re all on different pages, essentially, you’re working on different endings to the book.
Here’s another Entrepreneur article to back up what we’re saying.
Mistake #3 – Not building the connections that matter
Networking – it’s talked about a lot lately and when you’re driving a start-up company, it can be a real stretch to make the time to meet and greet people. Often, doing so means catching up on your work at odd hours at either end of the day.
While not everyone you make the effort to have a coffee with will become a customer, you never know who they may pass you onto down the line. Being able to build relationships and connections is incredibly important for any company, much less a start-up business. Have a listen to this podcast we did with Simon Phillips a networking specialist and his 10 magic tips to networking.
Mistake #4 – Failing to see the bigger picture
Being an entrepreneur is stressful and at times, you’ll need to take calculated risks that could mean reaping some incredible rewards or on the flipside, losing out. Entrepreneurs are big-picture people – they’re not thinking about cashing in that $50 from the next sale. They’re thinking about what that $50 is going to go towards building to help take their business to the next level. Shortsightedness and entrepreneurship is like mixing oil and water (it’s a disaster!).
Love your movies? Check out this list of ten flicks that explore the stories of great entrepreneurs.
Mistake #5 – Forgetting to have fun!
Often, running your own show is a hard slog and people can get caught up in the cycle of simply moving on to whatever is next on the list. Every week, schedule in time to think about why you chose the path you did and one thing you can celebrate from the week that has just passed. Acknowledging these small wins and showing gratitude for even the smallest of accomplishments will help to keep your motivation levels up. And set out some time to relax too. If you relax you will learn more. Check out this article that gives you some ideas of how to relax and learn.
We can also help here too. If you are in need of a breather? Load up your iPod or whatever device you use, jump on that treadmill and listen to some great entrepreneurial stories we’ve featured here on The Learning Curve.
You don’t have to look too far for inspiration: look to those who have walked the same path.
If you’re an entrepreneur – new or experienced – what would you say have been your key mistakes? What would you add to this list?