In the article, “5 Mistakes to Avoid as an Entrepreneur,” featured on Entrepreneur’s website, contributor Zechariah Newman discusses common mistakes new investors need to avoid to ensure better chances of success.
“Entrepreneurship is a land of risk and reward where most of your traditional work boundaries have been removed. No one tells you how to work, how long and how hard to work or how much you can make. There are, in fact, a million advantages to the freedom of entrepreneurship,” writes Newman in the article. “However, there are also an equal number of pitfalls that this same freedom creates. One of them is that entrepreneurs have the ‘freedom’ to think they are doing things right, when in fact they are doing them wrong.”
In the article, Newman shares five common mistakes to avoid:
- The wrong success. If they aren’t careful, new investors can fall into the trap of believing certain material items will make them “successful.” To avoid this trap, think about and write down what success means in your perfect world. “Be conscious about what you are aiming at, and take consistent steps to reach it,” says Newman in the article.
- Improper communication. “It is comfortable to feel confident and assume that you are communicating properly — with employees, contractors and mentors — but the bottom line is that many of us don’t,” asserts Newman in the article. “What you intend to say, and the impact you intend to make, when communicating with staff, for example, may not be the right words or have the right impact at all.” Speak using facts, and leave out any emotion those facts may evoke to help avoid this mistake. You can also have your employees take personality tests ahead of time to know how they communicate.
- Bad “servant leadership.” The term, “servant leadership,” is a popular buzzword right now, explains Newman in the article. However, many business owners might not understand what that means or entails. “Servant leadership means not allowing others to walk all over you. It is not about creating an environment of dependency on you. Often, subservient leaders are ones that need others to need and rely on them,” reports Newman in the article. To help tackle this mishap, practice true servant leadership. Provide an environment of service and do what is best for your employees, which may include letting them go. To serve your employees well, set them up for success by properly training them and holding them to a high standard.
- The “customer is always right” mentality. This is a common misconception. If you follow this motto, then you could end up serving a select group of customers instead of the majority. “Operating your business as if every customer is ‘right’ can confuse your message and train your customers how to treat you and your staff,” states Newman in the article. Instead, take on the mindset of “The customer is always honored.” Treat them with respect, however, sometimes they can be wrong.
- Chasing money. A common pitfall is chasing money instead of freedom. When money is a little tight, business owners may feel money is synonymous with freedom. “Chasing money can lead to an unlived life, getting us to chase the wrong things,” explains Newman in the article. “Money should be a byproduct, not the focus.” Make choices toward freedom in the long term. You won’t have true freedom as an entrepreneur if you focus on short-term monetary gains. Freedom and finances will come with proper training and growth.
Read the entire article to learn more about these common mishaps here.