All entrepreneurs make mistakes. While I left myself no excuses to succumb to the obstacles that stood in my way of
achieving greatness, that definitely doesn’t mean I didn’t make any mistakes. I made many of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make!
After almost 20 years partnering with other small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to bring their visions into fruition, I have recognized a pattern of common mistakes most entrepreneurs make. I’m sharing the biggest of these with you now because you have the opportunity to avoid these mistakes by learning from others. Success leaves clues!
5 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make
- You try to help everybody. This is a big one. One of the first things I do with any new client is to review their target market. I want to know who is your dream customer because answering this singular question is at the center of the work we must do to boost your business. Unfortunately, when I ask “who do you serve,” the response I receive is almost always “everybody”.You can’t help everybody. You just can’t. Let’s see what that looks like. There are about 7.2 billion people in the world. Each person has their own ideas, attitudes, values and beliefs. Each person has unique experiences and perspectives of the world around them. How can you develop marketing communications that speaks to every person at the same time? It’s impossible!
- You want everything to be perfect. Again this is impossible. If you think your business can’t get off the ground until you have all your ducks in the row, then you are sadly mistaken. There will always be a duck or two that decides to take its own path across the water and nothing you ever do will reel it back in. Every business is full of runaway ducks. This is just the way it is. Expect it and accept it. Your business isn’t nor will ever be perfect. Your job is to manager those imperfections and maximize on everything you execute well.
- You don’t charge what you’re worth. This mistake entrepreneurs make is a big one that makes me want to pull out my hair. I have had way too many coaching sessions with clients who think they have to give things away or charge ridiculously low prices in order to compete. No, no and no! Charge what you’re worth from day one. It is so much harder to justify a significant rise in prices when you come in at super low pricing. Start strong and finish stronger. Besides, low prices dilute your brand and the market. When business owners charge low prices, it diminishes the overall return for everyone within the industry.
- You think it’s all about the money. If you’re starting up a business because you think you’re going to hit the ground running by making a lot of money, just stop now. You’re doing it all wrong. This is one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make. It’s likely that you won’t break even or even see a profit within the first year or three. Money can’t be your motivator or you will lose motivation. Entrepreneurship requires a special type of person. It requires someone who is willing and able to forego luxuries. You must be able to sacrifice and skimp until your business gets to a profitable level.
- You attempt to do everything themselves. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can duplicate yourself and your processes to grow exponentially. The smartest thing I ever did for my own business was to get a coach. She is who was instrumental in helping me to get my first book published. I had literally been sitting on the same manuscript for years thinking it had to be perfect but my coach held me accountable to my goals. On the same note, before I could afford to actually hire help, I enlisted my kids. One thing children love to do is watch paper get ate up by the shredder. That was the first task I delegated to my son. Once he learned the alphabet, he graduated to filing. Now, at fourteen years old, he mans my vendor booth at trade shows, signs attendees in at events and even performs a little data entry. This frees me up to focus on more mission-critical activities like making money.
These aren’t the only mistakes business owners make but they are some of the most common and detrimental. Have you been making any of these biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make? If so, it’s time for a course correction. Tell me about the biggest mistakes you have made in your business in the comments below. And if you found value in this article, please share it with your networks.