How to Avoid Committing the Biggest Entrepreneurial Sins

Why do most young entrepreneurs struggle to make money right off the bat? It’s because they don’t have experience. Experience is what teaches you what to do and what not to do.

But what if you could learn those lessons right here rather than through trial-and-error? Wouldn’t that be a huge advantage?

Today I want to share the biggest sins I see entrepreneurs commit every day. For some of you, this might be the first time you hear about any of these “sins.” Some of you might be making one (or more) of these mistakes right now—which just means you’re on the verge of another spike in growth.

Let’s talk about the things you shouldn’t do as an entrepreneur.

 

Don’t Take the Easy Way Out

You don’t need to spend a ton of time on the color of your logo, or the font of your sign, or the design of your website. Spend it on the stuff that moves the needle for your business instead.

I get it, all that stuff I mentioned is fun to do and easy to knock off your list. But will you really make more money if your logo is red instead of green?

No.

Will you make more money if you concentrate your efforts on your marketing campaigns, your sales copy, and your client retention?

100%.

That’s the hard stuff, but it needs to get done. And the quicker you get it done, the quicker you’ll distinguish the things that work from the things that don’t. At that point, all that’s left to do is to take action on the things that work.

 

Don’t Entertain the “Idea Fairy”

Every entrepreneur with a creative bone in their body has to deal with the “idea fairy” at some point. This is when your problem-solving mind (a good thing) begins to find more problems to solve.

Your have to ignore the idea fairy at all costs.

The reason? It divides your focus. You end up trying to juggle 10 projects at once, but eventually they all crumble and nothing gets done.

Think of it like this: say Dan opens his own dental practice. It starts out profitable, but then Dan thinks it wise to sell toothbrushes on the side. He also tries manufacturing some retainers and inventing a new brand of toothpaste.

What happens? Dan’s business sinks, and none of his side ventures come to anything.

If Dan had just stuck out his main business, taken himself out of it, THEN focused on his next big idea, it could’ve worked. That leads me to the next point I want to make, which is…

 

Don’t Work “In” Your Business

I say this all the time: you never see Richard Branson inside the cockpit of a Virgin Airlines plane.

That’s because he works on his business, not in it. That’s what you need to do too.

The thing entrepreneurs always get tripped up on is how to make that transition from employee to overseer.

Here’s what you do: hire someone who can do your job 80% as good as you can.

You could hunt the globe for the ultimate replacement, but that’s gonna take you forever. Someone that’s 80% as effective as you will eventually become 85%, 90%, 95%, and even 100% as good as you over time.

That frees you up to do the high-level work that will take your business to the next level.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Once you reach a certain level of success, you start getting offers left and right from people wanting to work with you.

It’s tempting to say yes to every proposal you hear, especially if it’s coming from another successful entrepreneur. The truth, however, is you have to learn how to say no.

The last thing you want is to waste your time in a partnership that fizzles out—especially when you could have spent that time growing your main business.

You don’t owe anything to anybody. Don’t feel bad for saying no to distractions, because “no” allows you to say “yes” when the big opportunities come your way.

 

Don’t Hesitate to Part Ways with Slacking Team Members

When your business grows, your team’s forced to grow with it. If they can’t keep up, you can’t keep them around. No hard feelings.

I have two former partners that I had to stop doing business with. Those guys are still two of my good friends because I ended things before our business bled into our friendships.

This is actually a positive because it forces the rest of your team to level up and work on their self-development. You’re no exception. In fact, 99% of businesses scale when their CEO focuses on self-development, when he becomes the leader his/her growing business needs.

And if there are team members that don’t meet expectations, hire a replacement that’s even better until your entire team is filled with fighter jets.

 

Want to dig deeper into this topic? Click here to listen to the full podcast Craig Ballantyne and I recorded about the pitfalls of entrepreneurship.