Starting a business is exciting — and scary !!!
fm Entrepreneur.com 30 Sept 15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
I’ve started more businesses than I’d care to admit. In my experience, it’s a bit like driving through a heavy fog where you are only able to see a few feet in front of the windshield — you don’t know what’s up ahead, until it’s upon you. However, the longer you are an entrepreneur, the better you can navigate through that fog. As I’ve been driving through the fog for over a decade now, I thought I would take today’s post and boil down 15 of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past decade of building and growing businesses. Consider these tips “stuff I wish I had known when I was young & stupid.
1. Don’t be scared off by Statistics. Some people love to throw around the statistic that 95 % of business fail. Don’t listen to that — it’s an excuse to make you feel comfortable about giving up. If that number is even correct, it’s because most people don’t commit, they don’t follow through to the end or they are stupid in how they manage their money.
2. Do something you really Like. Don’t start something you won’t want to do for a few years. Because if you are successful, you’ll still be doing this in 3, 5, 10 or more years.
3. You are not going to know that much. In fact, you probably won’t know anything when you first start. Start anyway. I figured it all out “on the job.” You will too.
4. Finish what you Start. (unless you see no Value in it) Nearly every entrepreneur I know suffers from the same curse: we like to start more things, than we like to finish. In other words, if you are a good entrepreneur, you’ll have a lot of great ideas. Most of them would probably work out well and make you a lot of money. However, that doesn’t mean you should pursue them all. Pick one and go with it, until it dies or it makes you rich enough to make you happy, then move on to the next most probable one.
5. Never Partner with someone, just because it’s convenient. Partner with someone, because it makes you stronger. The wrong partner will drive you crazy, make you hate your work and end up causing more problems than they solve.
6. You’re probably going to “lousy” at Managing people. It’s OK, we all do at first. However, this is one task you must get better about. Hire an assistant right now, even if it’s only a virtual one for only a few $$ an hour. It will give you some great training on managing, with little downside.
7. There is a fine line between Dedicated & Obsessed. Screw it. Trample right over it. You need to cross that line continually, so never let anyone tell you that you are too obsessed with your idea. What are you obsessed with?
8. Don’t quit your Day Job too soon. Yes, you’ll have more time to build your business, but let’s be honest: there are 168 hours in a week, only 40 are consumed by your job and another 50 by sleep. But don’t be afraid to quit your job – if you can afford it.
9. Focus on your Higher Paying tasks. Divide up your tasks and determine what your “$10/hour” tasks, $100/hour tasks & what your “$1,000/hour” tasks are. Focus on doing more “$1,000s” and fewer “$10s. And yes, you do a lot of $1,000 an hour tasks, even if you don’t realize it. Just do more of them.
10. Read — a lot !!! If you don’t have time, listen to Audio Books. And not just Business books. Read Motivational books, Self-help books, Success books, Biographies of business leaders.
11. Don’t worry about Raising Money at first. Focus on building a business so incredible, people will beg you to invest.
Conclusion: Like driving down a lonely highway on a dark, foggy night, entrepreneurship can be a little scary. But hopefully at least one of the above tips will help you navigate through the fog a little easier with more confidence. If you are just getting started with your business, just remember this: keep driving through the fog. Your future self will thank you.
Comment: Do you have any additional tips you’d like to add? Or something you’d like to expand upon? Leave your comments and continue to grow + help others to grow.