Most people daydream about the idea of running their own business. The freedom to have no boss, set your work hours, and control your own financial destiny. However, running your own business doesn’t come without taking on some bumps and bruises. Here are ten important lessons that every entrepreneur should keep in the back pocket.
- Entrepreneurs Are Always Overly Optimistic- I often use this phrase with the works; irrational exuberance. Be very careful of letting your own rose colored lenses cloud the quality decision making your company needs based upon the facts.
- Measure Twice And Then Measure Again- No matter how many pro forma sheets you run and how many classes you sit through, nothing can prepare you for the certainty of uncertainty. Make sure to margin for error in the beginning.
- If It Doesn’t Smell Right, Don’t Do It- You’ll have lots of salespeople wanting to sell you different solutions or products for your business. If they don’t pass your smell test, than just move on to the next salesperson. You won’t be missing out on anything.
- Be An Avid Tester- Nothing can get you quicker to answers than doing A-B testing and figuring out the answers to your hypothesis. Fail fast and correct quickly.
- Activity=Effectiveness- You will typically get better at what you do more often. Focus on the tasks you are good at and those that generate top line revenue. Get good at these and do it more often.
- Be Prepared To Cut Bait- This doesn’t mean giving up as an entrepreneur, but because of industry or regulatory changes you should be prepared to cut bait on what doesn’t work and focus on what will work to grow your company.
By learning some of these lessons, hopefully you can take less of an initial beating as an entrepreneur. There is no doubt you’ll be left with a few scars as all entrepreneurs are when they start a business.