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10 Ways Entrepreneurs Shoot Themselves In The Foot
Entrepreneurs and their businesses have a tendency to ambushthemselves when they aren't looking. This affects how muchrevenue they can generate, how fast their business rises,and even if they survive after the first few years. If youfeel there is a possibility you are getting in your way tosuccess, review these elements to see if any of these itemsmight apply.
1. Imagine investing time and money into a product orservice, only to find that it isn't selling. Or at leastthey don't generate the results that you expected. Now, I'mtalking realistic here, and not some grandiose vision. It�shard to give up something when you have invested yourresources into it, more importantly, you have spoutedoff to the world (okay, friends and family) that you weredoing it.
Gluing yourself to an idea, product, or service that isn'tmaking any money or enough money to support the businessisn't smart. Ego and pride don't make money. Gettinghitched to any one idea, or even two, that isn't profitableisn't smart. Every product climbs and falls -- evenMcDonalds drops a product when it doesn't test strong. Ideasare the currency of entrepreneurs, make money with them orlet them go.
2. Be proud of being an entrepreneur. For some reasons,the title entrepreneur seems to have caught a disease, butthat shouldn't be the case. Be proud of being anentrepreneur. When someone asks you, don�t mumble, and don�tcall it by another name, as if being an entrepreneur wassomehow unprofessional. The same applies to the title ofindependent professional -- which is another name forentrepreneur. Stand tall and proud.
When I ask people at networking events if they're anentrepreneur, they often respond with strange body language.Some shift their stance uncomfortably, sometimes their handgoes over their mouth and they let out a barely audible,"yes," and sometimes they even correct me, using some othertitle.
3. No bologna (or b.s.). Entrepreneurs can be naturallyexcited and optimistic about what they are doing. Don't letthe excitement sound like hype. Because of this, peopledon't trust you. Don't just tell the pros, add the cons.Let people know, who is the best person for this service �not everyone, or what circumstances are best for theproduct. People aren't stupid but if they have to figurethe cons of the product or service, you will most likelylose the sale.
4. Being in denial of your cash position. Not balancingthe checkbook, not knowing your account receivables,payables, or what the break even cost is for a product orservice, isn't smart business. If you don't know what itis, get a book on the topic or talk to an accountant.Denial creates fear, and fear creates denial. It�s avicious circle that creates stress and ulcers. Short termprojects turn around short term dollars. Long term projectsnever turn around short term dollars. Be realistic with allyour resources.
5. Accepting weak any bodies. Whether its weak staff, weakclients, weak strategic alliances, or anyone else in yoursupport realm. If you are attracting weak people, you aregiving weak signals. Change your signals and you willchange what you attract. To attract strong people, you needstrong signals.
6. Confusing possibility with reality. This is one of the maincharacteristics of an entrepreneur, and this could be one ofthe reasons people may not like using the name, is theirgift to see everything in possibilities, yet spend money inthe world of reality. Money is always reality.
7. Selling or trying too hard to explain what you sell. Ifyou find yourself pushing what your product or servicedoes, it is time to change your "success formula." Commoncauses are: (1) You are trying to sell to someone who isn'tyour target, or (2) If you have the right target and youdon't know what you are selling. You can only handle thisin two ways, know what the customers are buying, or know thebenefits of what you are selling. Benefits in the termscustomers need to hear and understand, not what you chooseto say.
8. Lack of any or adequate support structures. If it takesa village to raise a child, what do you think it takes toraise a business. Surely, not a lone ranger. Work withothers to help handle your many business and personal needs.Entrepreneurs need support, even if it�s only a feeling.Arrange to have a support structure for every part of yourbusiness. Keep in mind tip number five above for this aswell.
9. Over or under delegating. It is so hard forentrepreneurs to begin to delegate. Yet once they do theyseem to swing the pendulum completely to the opposite sideand over delegate. Over delegating is "dumping" on people.Even paid people don't like being dumped on. Feeling incontrol is a need of most people, entrepreneurs aren't anydifferent. They look at it as a money or trust issue, whenin actuality it�s usually a control issue. Delegateappropriately and with people that think you can trust. Letthe trust build over time.
10. Stop giving up so easily. Successful entrepreneursdon't see failure. They see learning lessons. They pickthemselves up, dust themselves off, change and adjust, andkeep moving. Being an entrepreneur, during the early yearsof a business -- that is under five years for mostprofessionals, takes more work than being an employee. Evenif you are a graduate with an MBA in business. Don'tinclude your learning curve time in with the rest of yourtime. Everyone has a learning curve of some kind.
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