If you think entrepreneurs are simply successful business people, think again about the 10 Secrets That You Shouldn’t Know About Entrepreneurship.
Many of the most notable entrepreneurs in history were known for their failures more than their successes: they failed in school and struggled with money and relationships. And many only became successful after great setbacks and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
The 10 Secrets That You Shouldn’t Know About Entrepreneurship
Here’s a list of 10 secrets that we hope can help you learn from their mistakes and avoid similar pitfalls.
1. Don’t dream about doing.
Dream about something bigger than yourself and do the work to make it happen. Successful entrepreneurs realize that when they focus on making even a little progress in reaching a big goal, they win every time — regardless of what the outcome may be. Maybe the path to success isn’t always linear, but focus and determination will always make a successful entrepreneur stand out from the rest.
2. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t.
Sometimes entrepreneurs don’t have to work on their personal growth because they are naturally gregarious or extroverted for entrepreneurship — but some of the most successful entrepreneurs are introverts.
Some of these entrepreneurs know how to be successful in group settings and some prefer to work alone. Success doesn’t come from mimicry and trying to be something that you’re not will only hurt your personal brand.
3. Don’t rely on the right person, the right market or even a great business idea to make it.
The idea that you need all three to succeed is a myth, or at least it has become one for entrepreneurs in today’s digital age of entrepreneurship. Marketplaces are emerging based on individual connectivity and need rather than geography.
Now your product or service can reach more people than ever before through online marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay and Amazon. Additionally, with the proliferation of mobile technology, new products and services are being funded through crowdfunding platforms.
Finally, there are more freelancers than ever before — over 57 million Americans are now freelancing — giving entrepreneurs the option of starting businesses that don’t require brick-and-mortar locations or massive capital infusions. A better mousetrap isn’t always enough.
4. Don’t give up before you start.
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is thinking that they need everything to be perfect before they get started, including their idea and capital — but often you can find a way to start without things being perfect.
Business ideas evolve over time, so it’s important for entrepreneurs not to lose momentum by dismissing an idea too quickly. And entrepreneurs who wait for the “perfect time” to start their business typically end up waiting forever.
5 . Don’t be afraid to fail — failure is good.
Many entrepreneurs are risk-averse, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can also lead to missed opportunities and innovation stifling. The most important thing, especially in the early stages of your business, is that you get started and begin to learn from your experiences. Entrepreneurs who are too afraid to fail end up wasting a lot of time doing things they shouldn’t be doing.
6 . Don’t think you’re the best person for every role on your team.
Many entrepreneurs start their companies with the idea that they can do it all for entrepreneurship– meaning, of course, that they will handle every role on the team. But this is an unrealistic expectation. Entrepreneurs should always be hiring people smarter than themselves and then learning from them.
7 . Don’t put your financial well-being at risk to get started.
It’s very important to be smart about how you fund your business. Far too many entrepreneurs have lost everything because they tried to grow their company before it was ready or refused to be fiscally responsible when drawing up the original business plan. Many businesses fail, some just don’t fail quickly enough, and that can lead some entrepreneurs into personal financial ruin.
8 . Don’t think only in the short term.
It’s good to be aware of your business’s financial health and plans for growth, but it’s even better to look years ahead when making important decisions.
Entrepreneurs who make long-term, sustainable business decisions tend to stand out from those who don’t give much thought beyond the immediate future.
9 . Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Many entrepreneurs are strong-willed, independent individuals who pride themselves on getting things done without much outside assistance.
While this mindset can certainly benefit many entrepreneurs, asking for help when it’s needed is equally important. Asking for help when you need it shows that you’re eager to learn and grow, which will help you build a strong team.
10 . Don’t take anything for granted, especially your customers.
When building your company’s brand, it’s very important to remember that some entrepreneurs have had the privilege of having an established customer base from day one.
For others, word of mouth — or even good old-fashioned marketing — plays a crucial role in establishing a base of loyal customers. Regardless, your business’s survival depends on delivering quality products and services that your clients want to buy.
So while there’s no such thing as a perfect business plan, and many entrepreneurs fail to succeed in spite of the recommendations made in this article, it does little good to ignore these 10 secrets.