Becoming an entrepreneur and creating your own business is one of the more challenging and frightening adventures on which someone could embark. To be successful, you have to stay focused, make wise investments and truly believe in yourself and your product.
However, you can have all the motivation and drive in the world, and still end up burning out or failing.
Below are the five most common mistakes likely to overwhelm and interrupt your entrepreneurial journey. Take the time to familiarize yourself with them, and hopefully, they will become five less things you have to worry about in your already-insane schedule.
1. Not Delegating Tasks
You might think that as a lone wolf, you can tackle the world, but there's only so much you can chew on your own. For instance, when I needed a logo for one of my past businesses, I played around with a trial version of Adobe Photoshop.
I ended up needing to spend five hours learning from a 12-year-old through his YouTube videos.
Needless to say, I wasted that time when I should have paid someone for a logo on fiverr.com or 99designs.com, and spent my brainpower handling executive tasks of development and marketing.
I think a lot of entrepreneurs can be perfectionists, and by being so, they try to do everything on their own. The problem with this is it takes up all of your time when you should be focusing on executive things, like strategy.
2. Information Overload
When you start something, it's important to learn as much as you can in order to make smart decisions.
Then, you must take action and be flexible enough to pivot. However, many entrepreneurs fool themselves into thinking they need to know everything in order to hedge any risk.
It's important to focus on tactics, but there comes a time when you just need to step up to the plate and execute.
At the end of the day, you only need to know enough to make the sale or try for it (since you'll also learn that way). Otherwise, you'll be caught in analysis paralysis trying to understand everything.
So, what's the most important factor when starting your own business? Customer demand.
If you aren't sure someone wants to buy what you're working on, then you're making faulty decisions on your company. You've just wasted months of your life.
So, the best way to gauge demand is by asking someone, “Hey, will you buy this?” Then, when they say no, find out what's stopping them. Perhaps they need testimonials, benefits about what you're selling or need a demo of it in action.
It also helps to study competition in your market. Finding competitors just means your niche/industry is profitable. Remember Friendster or Myspace? Yeah, I don't either; we're all on Facebook.
3. Lacking Synergy
You might be extremely excited, obsessed and crazy about what you're starting. However, you can't expect everyone to share the same feelings. Whether these other folks are people you're hiring or cofounders, you can only utilize their talents.
The common belief system people in an organization have is “I am the only one who understands my business!” They always get caught up believing their employees are just not motivated enough as much as them. They just can't see the bigger picture of synergistic work.
How do you solve synergy issues?
All you can and should do is share your vision with incentives of changing the world, plus making crazy amounts of cash and having fun while doing it.
4. Dealing with Haters
Taking a verbal punch with humility is one of the greatest traits an entrepreneur can possess. It simply reflects another's opinion towards his or her business.
Opinions are hardly meant to be taken seriously, especially when from family or friends who have never been in your position.
Sometimes an entrepreneur can have the best service to offer, the most efficient team in place to handle the business, hardworking partners and every other single thing, but if his or her customers are just not as excited for the service, the business will lose to a competitor.
Getting all worked up while receiving criticism, or taking it bit too offensively, is a clear path to burning out, constant frustration and counter-productivity. It is easier to listen to that criticism and to rectify the issue accordingly.
The best solution is to listen to your hating customers and ask them to share what they believe could improve your service or product enough so they would pay for it.
5. Crazy Personal Life
This reason alone has put way too many entrepreneurs out of business.
It's a known fact that this game is all about sacrifices. You have to work day-in and day-out on your business, so having some "me" time can be extremely revealing and rewarding. Sometimes, it also gives you time to brainstorm your strategic planning.
I recommend being in the moment. It's kind of cliché, right? However, it makes all the difference in your mental health. When you're working, be at work, and when you're with your loved ones, don't pay attention to anything else.
The best thing to do is set one day or even just an evening away from the emails and cell phones to spend with your loved ones. Think of it as a weekly ritual for you to get ready, relax a bit and enjoy some fun.
How about enjoying the full flavor of that morning cereal without watching TV? Or, speaking to your friends and family without refreshing your emails?
There's even visiting the gym to blow off steam and allowing endorphins to change your mood. How about balancing your girlfriend, boyfriend or family in your crazy entrepreneur life?
Try it out and let me know if this helps in the comments below.