“90% of the start-ups fail” – one sentence almost all of us have heard. Did you ever wonder what is fueling the remaining 10%’s success? However, most people fail because they make mistakes they could have prevented. Once you’re aware of those mistakes, you can pursue success by averting them. Preventing them will allow you to work on things that actually create value. Mistakes are ubiquitous. People from all walks of life and profession make mistakes but that’s not a bad thing. Mistakes are the perfect gateway to learning and growth. To quote Paulo Coelho “When you repeat a mistake it is not a mistake anymore, it is a decision” and rightly so. Entrepreneurs learn and grow by making mistakes, and most entrepreneurs all over the world share some costly mistakes. Here are 7 such mistakes:
1. Millionaire in a month
Most entrepreneurs do business to make money yes, but if you’re expecting an overnight success then you’re basically setting yourself up for disappointment. Success is just the tip of the iceberg, below that tip lies the bulk of the iceberg which represents months, even years of hard work. Yes, it is good to want to succeed as soon as possible, but all good things take time to come to fruition. It takes a long time to grow a business. It takes an even longer time to make money from a business.
2. One-man show
Entrepreneurs need to work the hardest yes, but working smarter at times produces better results. Just because you are the founder of the company doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. An entrepreneur needs to be able to delegate work and outsource tasks appropriately. Trying to do everything by yourself will only reduce your efficiency, draw your focus away from work that actually needs your expertise and ultimately result in sub-par work.
3. Not being able to adapt
In this day and age where technology is outdating itself at the speed of light, being able to adapt should be a second nature for entrepreneurs. Failing to do so can be very detrimental for business. A lot of entrepreneurs enter the market with a very rigid mind and no matter what happens they refuse to budge from their initial train of thought. While it is commendable to stick to your vision, you also need to be open to opportunities and potential scope of improvement.
It is never wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Be open to exploring new options. Go with what is working now, but always be ready to make changes in the future.
4. Hiring your best bud
A very common mistake that entrepreneurs make is that they hire their friends and/or family. Why? Because it’s easy to hire them than to turn them down, unless of course they accentuate your company’s overall skillset. Hire someone who has a particular set of skills that you need but don’t have. Hire people who will complement you, not someone who will make your skillset redundant or stay underutilized. It is very important that everyone within the office — including you — can work together effectively and accept constructive criticism, without it being misconstrued as personal. So, hiring employees who are a perfect fit for your work culture is very important.
5. Money > Passion
One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make is that instead of following their passion, they go after money. This hardly results in success, and even if it does they hardly feel fulfillment. Although making money is the main objective for most entrepreneurs, running after it while disregarding their passion and interests will rarely bear fruit. So, the best solution is to integrate your passion into business and never work a single day for the rest of your life.
6. Ignoring social media and market trends
There are so many traditional industries that think they don’t need the Internet. Whether you are a boutique shop or a food chain, it doesn’t matter, you need the internet. Why? Customers are on the internet and any business that wants to be successful needs to be where their customers are and put themselves face-to-face with their clients.
Making mistakes are a rational human bias. We all make mistakes. The key is being aware of them and consistently working to make smart, well-informed decisions in your business. If you can do that, and remain resilient when you do make a mistake, success will be within your reach. As beautifully put by Stephane Nappo – “Ideas are easy, implementation is hard. Startups cope with failure to pave the way of future. We must commend this entrepreneurial courage…”