So striking out on your own to create an income of your own is in your blood, eh? Make sure you know what you’re getting into — what to do and what not to do — and success is inevitable.
Here are 4 reasons why entrepreneurs tend to fail instead of succeed:
1. Using the lone wolf approach
Stories of the lone wolf who struck out to conquer the world from their parent’s basement (or garage) and becoming a self-made millionaire are far and few between. Few successes happen for the lone wolf.
Find a coach or mentor to guide you, if not a qualified and equally passionate partner to start your business with. Everyone needs someone.
“No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.” — John Donne
Mentors are those who’re a little further along the entrepreneurial path than you. They’ll (hopefully) offer free advice and allow you to bounce ideas back and forth so you don’t drop the ball straight out the gate or at another crucial point on your journey.
Coaches will have the same qualifications as the mentor, but you’ll have to pay for their expertise. Don’t skimp on price or time spent researching their background either. A little time and money spent to find the right coach can mean the difference between success and failure.
2. Giving up rather than adapting
Did you know that Apple almost went bankrupt back in the late 90s? They did. Instead of packing it in, they hired back Steve Jobs who’d departed do to differences in vision between he and the board of directors in the 80s. Instead of packing it in, the company did a 180 and hired back the man who would revolutionize the portable music and later, the smart phone industry with his innovations.
When something isn’t working, you need to pivot — not pack it in and call it a day. Few companies fail because of truly bad ideas — at least in the big scheme of things. If Gary Dahl could market a company selling pet rocks and make it into a million dollar fortune, certainly with enough moxy you can make whatever idea you have come to light.
“Learn to adjust yourself to the conditions you have to endure, but make a point of trying to alter or correct conditions so that they are most favorable to you.” — William Frederick Book
However, when you’ve exhausted all ideas and consulted with your mentor(s) and an idea has proved itself dead, then it’s time to pivot to a new and exciting idea, rather than beating a dead horse.
3. Thinking the dream will happen overnight and the work will be glorious
Most entrepreneurs are excited about the idea of working for themselves. They assume that every hour of every day will be filled doing creative and fulfilling work. When that’s not the case, they stop trying and look for the thing that will allow them to have every day and hour filled with creative work. The process repeats itself over and over. This is what’s referred to as an exercise in futility.
There are gonna be things you want to do. Those things don’t go on your wish list of wondrous creative pursuits that’ll have you jumping out of bed in the morning with your work clothes on. The crappy things you don’t want to do go on what Jon Acuff calls a “Grit List.” The things you don’t want to do, but must if success is to be attained.
“Why do I have to fill out an expense report? That’s not my dream. You have to fill out an expense report because expense reports must be filled out.” – Jon Acuff
4. Planning to fail
Mostly by not creating a plan to succeed. Plan out your path for the next few years. Write down specific actionable goals and what you have to do to make them happen. Did I mention you need to write it down?
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” — Alan Lakein
And if you’re truly planning to actually fail, then there’s no need to proceed any further. Learn a trade, get hired on with Bloomingdale’s Management Training Program — whatever. Entrepreneurship isn’t for you!
Main Image Credit: Behrooz/Flickr