Some tips for new entrepreneurs based on my over ten years of experience in the game.
In 2020 we saw a drastic increase in the number of new businesses opened. As layoffs and wage cuts became the norm, many Americans looked to turn their hobbies into cash. The world of entrepreneurship can be challenging to say the least, and many new businesses will fail while others will succeed. I have compiled some tips for new entrepreneurs based on my over ten years of experience in the game.
Don’t take business advice from people who never owned a business.
This is likely the most important advice I can give. The difference between failure and success in entrepreneurship lies in your mindset. The mindset of a dedicated employee is security-driven, the mindset of a successful entrepreneur sees the opportunity in risk. In the early stages of business, you will be met with a lot of fear and uncertainty, you must learn to block out the noise if you are going to succeed. This statement of advice is not to discredit those who choose the traditional route, as no entrepreneur can be successful in the long run without dedicated employees but, in the early phases, this security-driven mindset can be poisonous to someone just starting a business. There is a huge difference between building something from scratch and entering into an existing system to improve it. While the business advice from your family and friends will be well-intended it will also be misleading. Recognize that their advice is theory and don't fall into the ego trap of winning over the support or praise of the people in your life. Your family and friends are not your target audience so what they think is irrelevant. Insulate yourself with a community of like-minded individuals and seek out business information from reputable sources.
Failure is the first attempt in learning. It’s one of the best things that can happen to you.
Do not get discouraged by failure or setbacks. Welcome adversity as your teacher and use your failures as a launching pad. One reason so many new businesses fail is the owner's inability to overcome failure or take the necessary risks. You must be comfortable with embarrassment, falling short, and trying again to win at this game.
Seek out mentors and be willing to pay for their time.
You will need guidance on this journey and you will need to pay for it at times. Thinking you can go it alone will significantly slow you down. It is important to seek out advice from individuals who inspire you and have a track record similar to the one you are trying to set.
Don’t hire anyone you can’t fire.
You will often hear people say "don't do business with family or friends" and this is misleading advice. You should empower the people around you through opportunity but don't hire anyone you can't fire. A common mistake new entrepreneurs make is hiring their friends and appointing them to positions with privileges they didn't earn. This makes your company hard to manage and hard to structure. This model of doing business serves your ego but those who don't put in sweat equity are also those who won't care as deeply. When you do things in business out of love instead of logic you are doing no one a favor. Make sure that you are hiring people based on the value they bring to the organization, not their relation to you. Rule of thumb; if you would be uncomfortable firing them yourself to save your business then you should not hire them in the first place. When you become a business owner the business becomes your number one priority and you need people around you who won't take that personally.