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5 Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make During Their First Year

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new entrepreneur

Would you consider selling 500+ million books a success? Of course you would, and it takes a rather creative and smart individual to achieve it.

JK Rowling is one of the most successful and celebrated authors of all time, but before her Harry Potter series grew into a global phenomenon, 12 publishers rejected her. Even the world’s most successful people fail. They make mistakes and suffer setbacks.

Such adversity never ends, not even when you reach the top. But it’s during your early stages when you suffer the most, because you only know what you know.  However, what if I told you there was a way to avoid many of the mistakes most people make. What if there was a way to avoid all that heartache, so you can fast-track yourself to the front of the line.  There is, and it isn’t as hard as you might imagine.

The smartest thing any new entrepreneur can do is to learn from other people. Why make your own mistakes when you can learn from other peoples’? Why suffer, when they have already created a solution to turn such failure into success?

This is what I did when I interviewed 160+ successful people for my latest book, ‘The Successful Mistake’. I dove into their biggest mistakes so you don’t have to make them.

Stop trying to do everything on your own. Nobody built an empire on their own. You need to involve others, and you need to build a team. Erin Blaskie tried to do it all by herself when she first created her virtual assistant business.

She found success. She had happy clients who loved her work. Yet it soon became too much, and the once high-standard that set her apart began to slip. Those clients jumped ship, and it left Erin exhausted. You cannot do this on your own. You need help. Don’t fight this, embrace it.

How To Fix This:

Think about all the tasks you do during an average week, and choose ONE to outsource. Over the next few days, find a VA who can do this work for you. Hire them next week. Start the process and never look back.

It’s easy to say yes. Saying yes feels good. On the outside, yes is a good word, because yes means more work and money. But the truth is, yes brings nothing but danger.

When Greg Hickman first started his business, him and his co-founder said yes to everyone. After all, their mobile marketing agency could potentially help any business, so they said yes to a restaurant… a bar… a barber… a golf course… and anyone else they could get a meeting with. Yes felt good, but ‘yes’ built zero traction. They tried to help too many people, and in the end helped nobody.

How To Fix This:

If you don’t have a customer avatar, you need to create one. This ‘single’ person is who you serve. Say yes to them, but no to everyone else (no matter how tempting it is).

Mistakes happen. Sometimes they are your fault. Sometimes they are not. No matter, there’s little point in playing the blame game. Brian Foley did when he first created BuddyTruk, and it remains one of his biggest ever regrets.

Despite a lot of investment, time, and effort, the first iteration of their innovative app fell short in every area. Brian and his cofounders were angry at the developers. They expected better, and they blamed them for this failure. But as they dove a little deeper, they realised there was more to the story. This failure arose, not down to incompetence, but due to poor communication.  Blame didn’t come up with a solution, but facing the issue head-on did.

How To Fix This:

The next time something bad happens, don’t blame anyone (especially yourself). Accept the mistake. Seek lessons from it. Communicate with your team. And then move on.

Fear is a part of life. Everyone has it, and no amount of money or fame removes it. But those at the top never let fear do their talking. Whereas those at the beginning of their journey often do. Debbie Millman did when she graduated college. She had dreams and ambitions, but she feared she wasn’t good enough; that the sensible option would be to get a job, climb the ladder, and do what ‘most’ people do.

She built a great CV and career, but Debbie continues to look back and wonder what she could have created if she pushed her fear to one side.

How To Fix This:

Do something that scares you today. Like Noah Kagan does, go to a coffee shop and ask for a 20% discount. The more you face your fear, the easier it is to overcome it.

 

Entrepreneurs

The 4 P’s Needed For Entrepreneurial Success

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Entrepreneurship is challenging and more complicated than many realize. It is highly glamorized, and you can become an “entrepreneur” by simply filling out your social accounts. The choice to be an entrepreneur and achieve whatever level of success you envision will, without a doubt, come with its set of challenges. Fortunately, regardless of status, zip codes, connections, you have the opportunity to succeed! (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

Are You Ready to Chase Your Entrepreneurial Dream? 5 Questions to Help You Decide

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As a techie in your 30s, you may feel you’re past the age for your entrepreneurial adventure. Perhaps sometimes you debate if  you should give it a shot after all – for if not now, then when? But are you ready to give up the stability offered by your high-paying tech job? How do you know if the time is right?  (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

5 Elon Musk Approved Tips for Entrepreneurs

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Image Credit: NATHANIEL WOOD FOR WIRED

Elon Musk is quite possibly the poster child of entrepreneurship. With a following that verges almost into a cult-like stature, Musk is notorious for doing things that people say can’t be done. The most futuristic entrepreneur yet, he has (to date) launched a record 64 satellites into orbit, is digging a tunnel deep underground to deal with traffic congestion and plans on setting a human colony on Mars by 2030. (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

6 Ways Traveling Will Make You A Better Entrepreneur

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Twelve years ago, I flew to Turkey to meet with a potential client who had specifically told me not to bother boarding the plane. My boss dropped the trip in my lap just days before I had to show up because he wasn’t able to close the deal himself. Even though the client said he wasn’t going to work with us and I shouldn’t waste my time, I flew to meet him, made a great pitch, created a genuine connection with him—and got him to sign an agreement to work with my company. It ended up being a seven-figure win for my company. (more…)

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