Three Mistakes That Can Hold Entrepreneurs Back

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to quickly grow while avoiding pitfalls that can stanch this growth? I have started several businesses over my lifetime, and many of them have failed. The beauty of said failures is I was able to overcome the accumulation of mistakes and bad habits that I can now share with you.

I always dreamed of becoming a successful tech entrepreneur, but for many years I was content to experiment with side hustles that had limited profitability. After many starts and after finding some amazing partners, I was finally able to create a business that now pulls eight figures two years from launch. But in order to get there, I had to learn to avoid some mistakes that were holding me back.

1. Lacking Decisiveness

As a founder of a business, there are numerous obstacles and issues that can’t be foreseen, which appear on a per minute, hourly and daily basis.

Many of these issues have real impacts on the business or its culture. It can be tempting to see how things play out in hopes that issues may resolve themselves; it is easier to be lazy and avoid problems in hopes that they might improve.

But trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is, and taking action immediately will save you a lot of time, energy and money.

2. Not Understanding The Assignment

It’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking that you must understand how your business makes or will make money; it’s your idea, after all. But it continues to amaze me how many businesses don’t fully understand how they make money—simply because they haven’t checked.

For example, if you are a tire company, you may think your business model is to make great tires, and people will come to you. In truth, many more variables are in play to succeed as a business. You must understand how your clients find you (your marketing), how well you retain them (product quality and sales), how to price each product and probably many other things that I don’t know about since that is not my particular industry.

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Businesses can generally be reduced to a formula with variables that can be improved or scaled to produce revenue. Every founder needs to understand what those variables are and how they might be improved rather than sit back and hope someone else will figure it out for them.

3. Inadequate Risk Tolerance

Starting a business is a big risk. If you are unwilling to accept the chance that you might fail, then you have already failed. If you can’t get over this, you might as well give up.

Once revenue starts coming in, the risks you will take can grow even larger. Learn to calmly assess situations and understand the realistic odds that you will lose money. Is it a “lose it all” type risk? Then you may want to skip it.

The objective is obvious; seek out opportunities with low risk and high reward, but never let fear drive your decision, and keep a clear head.

In Summary

When I stopped letting these three things inhibit me, I was able to unlock a new ability to scale my business. Ultimately you can wrap this all up into being smart and not letting fear hold you back.

If you challenge yourself appropriately and do the difficult work of diving into tasks and putting yourself into situations that make you slightly uncomfortable, you will be surprised at how fast your business can grow.

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