Are you looking to start your own business? While there are a tremendous amount of positives to starting your own business, there are some entrepreneurial mistakes that you are going to want to avoid. In this series, I will call out some my pitfalls in the hopes you won’t fall into them too. (I wish someone had told me about these when I was starting out, so we hope this helps you as well!)
I wish I could thrill you with the lessons I learned in my first year of business. The truth is, my first year was defined by blue-collar labor and reckless youth. I was partying like crazy, and the first time I made $500 in a day, I felt I had won the Lottery. But the value of my story doesn’t come from that first year. It comes from the wisdom I have gained through the “20,000-foot view”. Starting your own business will inherently come with making mistakes. You can ask any entrepreneur, and they will have success stories, and also probably even more mistakes, even to be classified as failures. It’s through failures that you really learn about yourself, your business, and the future you are looking to create.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years and, as the owner of two multi-dealership companies, I’ve seen a lot of new business owners do the same. This series is intended to help you avoid these mistakes, or at least be aware of them so you know what to look for if you do happen to stumble into them.
Entrepreneurial Mistake #1: People talk to the talk, but they don’t walk the walk.
This is even more true today than when I was starting my business. You will always find people who will say, “I’ll do whatever it takes to be successful,” and they do in fact do that, but only for the first 3 – 6 months. After that, the magic wears off, and it’s time to really start working. These entrepreneurs come into their business revved up and ready to do anything to make their business successful. They think all they’re going to be are the hanchos behind the desk pushing the buttons and smoking the big cigar. Well, it’s not like that, so you should know that up front. Did you know that 9 out of 10 new businesses fail? One of the reasons is likely that people think it’s easy. If it was that easy, everybody would be doing it. It’s not. Being an entrepreneur requires long hours, hard work, and usually not much pay in the beginning. It will reap benefits in the long-run, but in the beginning, it’s a lot of work.
So, here’s how I spent my first high-power year in business. I spent it rummaging through people’s houses installing particle board in their closets. Of course, that was after constructing the shelves outside on a carport with plastic hanging down the sides to protect the materials from the weather. That sounds pretty glamorous doesn’t it? But, after many years of hard word, starting my own business as a solo entrepreneur has brought me a tremendous amount of both personal and professional success. If you’re interested, you can check out the rest of my entrepreneurial story.
So here’s the question for you: Are you prepared to work your tail off and make little to no money for a whole year? It’s a pretty safe bet that that’s how it will be. Most people get tired of working 6 – 7 days a week with little return, and then they will eventually give up. And that is the reason why startups fail. It’s when you want to turn back and leave the startup world that you have to keep going. That’s what makes a true entrepreneur. You’ll find, as I quickly did, that starting a new business takes a huge long-term commitment. It requires planning, self-awareness, and realistic expectations. If you’re still considering starting your own business, here is a list of 5 things you should consider before you make the leap.
Interested in learning about the other 3 mistakes to avoid when starting your own business? You can download our ebook here, or you can subscribe to our blog and we’ll update you next week with mistake #2.