Running a business or being an entrepreneur is an adventure. The moment you choose to go down that path, you’re living an adventurous life.
Being an entrepreneur is an exciting and unusual experience. You must be bold and ready to take calculated risks. Even when the outcome is uncertain, you must never give up. It’s an adventure.
And you know the good thing about an adventure?
You may fall along the way, or make what seem to be unforgivable mistakes, or even lose a major portion of your resources … yet it stays interesting.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
It stays interesting only when you decide to keep it so.
When you fall, get up and learn from the fall. When you make mistakes, forgive yourself and learn from them. When you lose resources, believe in yourself, learn from it, and gain more resources.
In my entrepreneurial journey, I have made several mistakes, most of which I have forgiven myself for and learned from, but never forgotten. In every step I take, I make sure to never make such mistakes again. Here are a few of those mistakes from which you can learn:
- 1. Trying to maintain bad eggs
- 2. Advertising what I can’t deliver
- 3. Not picking up calls
- 4. Procrastinating problems
- 5. Not getting enough sleep
- 6. Not taking better care of my health
- 7. Neglecting competitors
- 8. Always trying to be perfect
- 9. Wanting to start big
- 10. Dishonesty
- Conclusion on mistakes I’ve made as an entrepreneur:
1. Trying to maintain bad eggs
I have worked with several people – clients, employees, and partners. Most of them are great. However, there are a few bad eggs among them. Trying to change or maintain those bad eggs usually leads to big problems.
If your client, partner, or employee isn’t good enough for you, you must be confident enough to fire them. Maintaining them won’t help. If they can’t give you what you want, replace them.
This may sound difficult or harsh, but you won’t regret the decision.
2. Advertising what I can’t deliver
I did this several times before I decided to stop doing it. Overpromising your clients won’t end in anything other than misunderstandings. If you’re promising A to Z, be sure to deliver.
Don’t lie to push your service or lie about a product to get more sales. If you say you’ll deliver, do it, and do more. Be sure to satisfy your clients so you have them for life.
3. Not picking up calls
Often, I have been scared to tell a customer bad news. I may not be able to deliver what they have paid for or I will be delivering it late, so I avoid their calls.
This is a big mistake. When you’re in such a position, pick up the call and reassure the client. If you’re going to be in business, you must be able to talk to people. Let them know you’re doing everything possible to deliver their service on time.
4. Procrastinating problems
Problems occur every day. In fact, as an entrepreneur, you’re solving a problem with your service or product. Whenever I procrastinate on one problem, I end up jam-packing lots of problems … and lots of problems are hard to solve all at once.
Here’s what I do. Any time a problem raises its head, I cut it off immediately. Doing that, you’ll be able to focus on more important things than bugging yourself with accumulated problems.
5. Not getting enough sleep
I know you have a lot to do. So do I. In fact, I sometimes wish that I had more than 24 hours in a day. In a bid to meet my obligations, I stay up late and wake up very early.
Depriving yourself of sleep is a big mistake. You’re intending to achieve more but you’ll end up achieving less. Get to bed early so that you can wake up early and continue your work.
It’s better to work when you’re 100 percent than to push yourself over the edge at 60 percent. Try it. It works like magic.
6. Not taking better care of my health
Once upon a time, I was so busy I couldn’t take a day off work. Even when my doctor recommended a week’s rest and supplements, I still worked and skipped the supplements.
Then I broke down. My work came to a halt. I was unable to work for weeks and later I had to take more than supplements.
To succeed in business, you must be in top form. If you’re feeling a hitch, get your health back first. Work comes after that.
7. Neglecting competitors
I used to think about ways to improve my business without considering my competitors. I’m a fan of “improve yourself and don’t bother about others”. This may hold true in life but it’s completely wrong in business.
You must watch your competitors. What are they doing to get better? What can you do to best them all? Learn from their mistakes just as much as you learn from their innovations.
This way, you’ll more easily grow and improve your business.
8. Always trying to be perfect
A perfect life, business, and family is a great dream. I want it as an entrepreneur. You most likely want it too. To be frank, it’s human and normal. What’s abnormal is not embracing imperfections.
Your service or product can’t ever be perfect. Trust me. That’s why Google keeps updating itself; Facebook doesn’t stop, either. There’s always room for improvement, though even that improvement is far from perfect.
Embrace imperfections and take your business to the next level.
9. Wanting to start big
The moment my first business started attaining success, other business opportunities showed up. I could do this or that but I wanted to start big. The blood of starting small was no longer running in my veins.
I lost a great deal of money to this mistake. In any new business, start small. Understand the market before thinking of scaling. This will help you understand the nooks and crannies of the business.
If you lose, the damage will be minimal; if you succeed, you can think about scaling the business.
Several business owners and entrepreneurs are lying. To get investors, they hype their expectations. To gain clients, they lie about the authenticity of their service or product.
I did this once to gain a client but it’s a huge mistake. I lost the client in the long run, which means the client will always have a negative impression about me.
Be the honest business owner who tells the truth even if it means losing a client. There’s much to gain in the long run.
Conclusion on mistakes I’ve made as an entrepreneur:
Mistakes either break us or make us. For a mistake to make you, you must learn from it. I’ve learned from mine and always make sure to never make them again.
What mistakes have you learned from as an entrepreneur? Share in the comments.